TED Conversations

Steven McConnell

Family Photographer,

This conversation is closed.

Why Do So Many People Loathe Their Jobs - And How Do We Fix That?

The default context for work is this: work is not fun, but we need to do it to make a living.

And we dream that, one day, when we "make it big" and earn enough money, we can quit work and have more fun in life.

In other words, for most people work is seen as the opposite of fun.

I believe that is a lie which we've been born into.

For a lot of people - even today - work is their passion, their mission in life, the source of fulfilment and a means through which they make a difference. People have dedicated their lives to their jobs. They have even died - willingly - because they believed their work had meaning greater than their own life/

It's an incredible gift and a privilege to enjoy your work. The question is - how to we allow more people experience that gift? How do we stop people from wasting their lives in meaningless 9-5 jobs which they loathe?

How to we allow people to realise their passions and translate them into successful, profitable business ventures which feed their souls and make a difference?

Those are the questions I'm interested in exploring.



Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Mar 14 2013: well, not convinced so many people loathe their jobs. What is your evidence on that?
    • thumb
      Mar 14 2013: Look, first of all I'd like to point out that we'll always find evidence for what we want to believe, so even if I provide you with it (or you provide evidence to the contrary) it's not necessarily an indicator as to whether the situation exists.

      All I know is I meet a lot of people who, when I ask them how they are - say to me "I'm busy working - and you know, work is work", "I'll be better when I finish the day/workweek" or "It's Monday - how do you think I am?"

      And how many happy faces do you see if you stroll through the city at lunchtime? Or when you're on a bus at 5pm?

      It seems that there's a belief that we're born into, which goes something like: "work = sucks". And anything not work = "fun".

      I think if we buy into that we short change ourselves because we're effectively condemning ourselves to big chunk of our life being of lesser quality than it could be. Work can be a huge source of fun, fulfilment and meaning - we just need to find a way to help more people tap into that.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.