When we think about our jobs, the primary motivation is generally financial. Making money is often what guides people in what work they choose to do, what company they work for, or even their schedule. Of course, with working, comes the stress and anxiety of making ends meet. Trying to meet deadlines or finish projects on time and to your manager’s or client’s expectations. But it’s important to remember that working also provides people with a sense of purpose, an opportunity for socialization and even achievement. Thinking about the benefits of working, both mental and physical is a great way to reframe the stressors of being an employee. Here is a closer look at some of those benefits.
While many people have friends outside of the workplace, whether through interests or hobbies, work friends are a great thing to have as well. Some people especially find it much easier to make friends with coworkers, in part because they are around them throughout the day. For those who have difficulty just striking up a friendship with a random person, work friends are a great source of support and fun. Your work colleagues can feel like a network who really gets what you deal with on a daily basis, because they are dealing with it too. For those who are too busy or who may be shy or struggle socially, work friends are a really great reason to come to work.
If your work life is stable, and you are good at what you do, having a steady job can help provide the consistency that can help you stay even-keeled when other things in your life are stressful. If you find yourself going through a difficult time in your relationship, or you are caring for a sick relative, or some other challenge in your personal life, having a steady job can be a real grounder from the day-to-day stressors. In fact, sometimes people don’t fully appreciate this benefit of work until they hit a rocky point in life. Working at something you are good at can help navigate bouts of depression, help bolster and stabilize your mood. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your mental health is contribute to the world. That’s something that doesn’t often fall under the category of work benefits.
3.) Intellectual Challenge
Similar to the social and emotional benefits of working, being employed also provides intellectual stimulation. People who love taking on new challenges or who get bored easily often have a hard time understanding others who aren’t wired this way. But for those people who love conquering new challenges, work that is cognitively demanding and isn’t monotonous is very important. Find a job that meets your intellectual needs to make sure you are happy for the long term.
4.) Clarity of Self
One of the first questions people ask when meeting someone is, “what do you do?” Our sense of identity and self-worth is heavily linked to our work. Of course, if all you can relate to on a personal level is your work or your job, that can be problematic. But a balanced manifestation of who you are relative to your job or career can feel very self-expressive. Your work can help you better understand yourself.
Work often puts us in contact with people and situations that we wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to experience. This can dramatically help us learn about the world and ourselves. At work, we come in contact with people who have all sorts of thinking styles and behavioral approaches to getting things done that are different from our own. These different perspectives can be valuable learning experiences that help us in our own work and even our personal lives.