Work And The Indivdual Simply put, work is a major contributor in shaping an individual's life. Our lives revolve around the work we do and the rewards that we get from our work. Work provides the individual not only income to live by, but also identity, value, social belief, social relation and respect. The type of work we choose to do determines our status in society and measures our level of success in life.
In this society, being without a job is almost like being invisible. Every one has to be involved in some type of work whether it is for self or for someone else. We do work to survive. The only means we have to get what we need is money. And money is earned, not given. Money is most commonly earned through work, which makes work the center of our life. This being said, it would be easy to assume that studying and analyzing the history of work can lead to understanding ourselves as society and as individuals.
For example, two hundred years ago, most people did not go to work; instead they worked at home on the farm. In the 1800s about 90 percent of Americans were farmers. People did not use clocks. They worked with the sun and seasons. People made a living by growing their own and trading. They did not rely on wages. As industrialization hit America, within a century most farmers came into cities and became part of the industrial wage system. As a result, they had to adapt to changes that affected their lives. People started doing work for others for income that they can use to get what they need. The work was no longer at home. With that came job security, hard labor, and unfair working conditions. As people became more and more dependent on working for wages, their lives were altered in ways that influenced their values and family structure. Women started working outside so the family can get more income. Then children followed. In the mean time, people need to acquire the proper skills to fit the jobs in the factories and mines.
As technology kept changing and the world became more and more industrialized workers needed to adapt to the changes of the work place in order to survive. A job that existed one day became obsolete the next day. Working for wages became the only way to make a living for most people. But the conditions of work got worse for workers. As a result, people needed to change their working condition. By organizing labor unions, and by joining together workers were able to improve their work safety, labor hours and health conditions. Little by little, workers improved their work environment and their lives in general. Business owners were forced to recognize that they have to treat their workers better. From this we learn that as we adapt to our work, we as individuals and as a society change our habits and our lifestyle.
Furthermore, work makes people feel useful. People can't just eat for a whole day or sleep all-night and then sleep during the day again. We have to do something to occupy ourselves. Whether it is by working a job or doing something for us. Paul Zimmer, in his poem " Work" said: "To have done it thirty years Without questioning! Yet I tell myself I am grateful for all workÃ¢ÂÂ¦ Now I know I will spend the rest Of my life trying for perfect workÃ¢ÂÂ¦ I am working, working, workingÃ¢ÂÂ¦" He believed that work is a psychological necessity and an important part of our life because everything we do can be categorized as being work. The type of work we do or the job we maintain also determines tour status in society. People that have high paying jobs are considered successful. And people with low income due to their low level of skills are categorized as being less successful. Due to this fact, people want to work more to get more income so they can put a high value on their lives and obtain a better status for themselves in society. In addition people also improve their skills so that they get better paying jobs that lead to making more money.
In conclusion, work is a major part of ourselves that defines us as individuals. We work to survive. We work to feel good about ourselves and our social status. We do work because work is life. We are working whether we are in school, at a factory, or we are running a business. Work plays a huge roll in our life, therefore, I do think that it would be right to say work defines the individual in many different ways. Work defines us as human beings.