Why We Work – by Barry Schwartz

30 Aug Why We Work – by Barry Schwartz

Are you defined by your job? Have you stopped to ask, why do you do the kind of work you do?

Sure, the pay cheque is a big part of it. But is that really why you do what you do? The question seems so simple. Professor Barry Schwartz proves that the answer is surprising, complex and urgent.

If the pay cheque is why people do what they do, then why are so many people dissatisfied with their work, despite earning a good income? And why do so many people find immense fulfilment and satisfaction through “menial” jobs?

Schwartz reveals how the (false) idea that the goal of work should be about pay, came to be.

Be warned; the book is a critique of the modern workplace and the thinking that created it. According to the author, to enjoy your work, you need a higher sense of purpose, a sense that your job contributes to making the world a better place. He argues that fulfilment in the workplace is higher among workers who have a sense of purpose, a degree of autonomy in decision making and an enjoyable social environment.

Schwartz notes that, in an ideal world, nobody’s work would be just about the money. People should pursue excellence in what they do, take pride in achievement and derive meaning from knowing that their work improves the lives of others.

With great insight and wisdom, Schwartz illuminates the path for readers to take their first steps toward understanding and empowering us all to find great work.