Do you choose?
Being able to choose any career you want is not necessarily a realistic scenario. Training, jobs market demand, lifestyle and other factors come into play when finding work.
But nevertheless it can be useful to take a step back and contemplate it from time to time.
After all, if you add up all the time people spend at work, the hours clock up. In Mexico, Greece and Chile – home to the highest average annual working time in the OECD – the average worker spends more than 2000 hours on the job, 2012 figures show.
However, some studies suggest the employed have higher levels of happiness than those out of work – so, despite Monday morning blues, simply having a job can be good for you.
Introducing the “portfolio career”
The way people work is changing.
Research from the United States shows, for example, that within the 100 years to the end of the 20th Century, the number of years people spent in education doubled at the same time as working hours decreased by 30%.
The “job for life” – or staying with the same firm for an entire career – is said to be becoming a thing of the past, while there is talk of the rise of the “portfolio career”, in which a freelancer does a range of part-time jobs.
There is also the possibility of learning new skills while in one job that help open the door to new work opportunities.
“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life,” the Chinese philosopher Confucius uttered these words of wisdom about employment and happiness thousands of years ago. For more quotes about being wise at work, take a look at the eZonomics slideshow here.
But if workers have chosen a job they don’t love. Is it too late?
One aspect to consider is the tendency to succumb to the “sunk cost fallacy” – or the reluctance to walk away even when doing so would be the best course of action because of time and money put into something. It can apply to jobs, as well as investments and many other aspects of life.