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Three Reasons Why We Work (Other Than Making an Income)

The fact that people work to make money seems obvious. Most people need some kind of income to survive. But, we also work for other less obvious reasons. Employers use these reasons to keep us motivated and to help retention. Here are three of the significant reasons why we work other than just for the financial motivation.

Meaning. One reason we want to work is so that we leave an impact in our fields and on our communities. Many career choices are obvious in this regard, such as medicine, teaching or politics. But any job can have a positive impact on the community. For example, a real estate agent might be highly motivated by the satisfaction of helping her customers find their first home and be able to save money rather than spend it on rent. Knowing you are leaving an impression on people and bettering their lives is one motivating factor for work.

Relevance. The desire to feel important and valuable is another reason why we want to work. It seems similar to finding meaning at work, but where meaning looks outward, relevance goes inward. Seeking relevance differs slightly in that employees want to feel needed in the job they hold. Employers can take advantage of this motivation by providing creative ways their employees can improve on and learn new skills. Generally, employees do well when they feel they are valued in their positions and not about to be replaced by someone better at their job.

Independence. The word independence encompasses everything it takes to support yourself. It means not having to report to anyone else or ask someone’s permission to buy or do something. This taps a little into income, but it’s a bigger concept than that. Having independence is about having freedom and being able to provide security for your future. It’s a major motivator behind working.

There are countless reasons people get up every day and go to work. Other reason could be needing job benefits such as 401(k) and health insurance or wanting to be challenged in some way. Plenty of people who don’t need the money continue to work so that they feel they have accomplished something every day or so they don’t get bored. The motivations to work are unique to each individual. What are some of the reasons you work?

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