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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Work – a source of joy and happiness?

Vieraskieliset / In-english
27.6.2022 6.00

Juttua muokattu:

7.6. 09:52

Text: Vau­la Es­ke­li

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

Pe­op­le are hap­py about many dif­fe­rent things. Work is one thing that ma­kes them hap­py and con­tent. Work is more than just a sour­ce of in­co­me. It has mul­tip­le me­a­nings to all of us.

Our mo­ti­va­ti­on to work and our con­tent­ment with the tasks as­sig­ned to us de­pend on va­ri­ous fac­tors: en­jo­yab­le wor­king con­di­ti­ons, good at­mosp­he­re at work, good so­ci­al re­la­ti­ons with col­le­a­gu­es, and sa­la­ry. Furt­her cha­rac­te­ris­tics of a good workp­la­ce inc­lu­de com­pe­tent ma­na­ge­ment, con­fi­den­ti­al in­ter­per­so­nal re­la­ti­ons, po­si­ti­ve re­cog­ni­ti­on of wor­kers, and op­por­tu­ni­ties for self-de­ve­lop­ment and ca­reer pro­mo­ti­on. Wor­king pe­op­le should feel ap­p­re­ci­a­ted and use­ful­ly ca­pab­le both wit­hin their own wor­king com­mu­ni­ty and in so­cie­ty. At its best, work can make life me­a­ning­ful, alt­hough work in it­self does not make any­bo­dy hap­py. As in all life, there are both good days and bad days at work.

Many of us re­mem­ber our child­hood dre­ams of what we wis­hed to be­co­me as grown-ups. For some, the dre­ams of what they wan­ted to do in adult life may come true, but qui­te of­ten dream jobs chan­ge as the per­son grows ol­der and gains ex­pe­rien­ce.

My work has been so­met­hing that I dre­a­med about as a child and have al­so li­ked as an adult. It has ful­fil­led my needs and de­si­res. When I was ap­p­lying to my first study prog­ram, the in­ter­vie­wer as­ked what would hap­pen if I did not get ac­cep­ted. I re­mem­ber I res­pon­ded with great de­ter­mi­na­ti­on that I would re-ap­p­ly as many ti­mes as ne­ces­sa­ry to get in­to the prog­ram. I got ac­cep­ted that first time. La­ter on, I stu­died for anot­her pro­fes­si­on, and now that I am close to re­ti­re­ment, I have oc­ca­si­o­nal­ly wor­ked with tasks that are al­most si­mi­lar to my first job.

I dis­cus­sed with some ac­qu­ain­tan­ces their work ca­reers, how they li­ked their work, and what fac­tors cont­ri­bu­ted to their li­king or nor li­king their jobs. The sig­ni­fi­can­ce and va­lue of work seem to be slight­ly dif­fe­rent bet­ween the ol­der ge­ne­ra­ti­ons and yo­un­ger pe­op­le. The post-war ge­ne­ra­ti­on self-evi­dent­ly ap­p­re­ci­a­ted di­li­gen­ce and de­vo­ti­on to work. Gai­ning a suf­fi­cient in­co­me could re­qui­re a lot of work at that time. Pa­ren­tal at­ti­tu­des of­ten shape yo­ung pe­op­le’s at­ti­tu­de to­ward schoo­ling and ca­reer choi­ces. En­cou­ra­ge­ment re­cei­ved at home may help the child to ap­p­re­ci­a­te the va­lue of school work and the con­se­qu­ent op­por­tu­ni­ties la­ter in life. Skil­ls le­arnt at home are va­lu­ab­le when a yo­ung per­son mo­ves away from home to live in­de­pen­dent­ly.

The dif­fe­ren­ce in mo­dern pe­op­le’s com­mit­ment to work is ref­lec­ted in that they do not al­wa­ys con­ti­nue in the same job and in the same workp­la­ce un­til re­ti­re­ment. Many pe­op­le study for a new pro­fes­si­on as adults, and pe­op­le ea­si­ly chan­ge jobs. It al­so tur­ned out in the dis­cus­si­ons that jobs felt to be in­te­res­ting and ver­sa­ti­le were con­si­de­red more re­war­ding. It is im­por­tant to feel that one’s work is me­a­ning­ful. This ma­kes wor­kers com­mit­ted and con­tent. Wor­king in­vol­ves a bles­sing that is va­lu­ab­le in dai­ly life.

An ex­ces­si­ve work bur­den, on the ot­her hand, is harm­ful for our phy­si­cal and psyc­hic he­alth. Conf­licts in the work com­mu­ni­ty and over­wor­king cau­se stress and fa­ti­gue and im­pair wor­king ca­pa­ci­ty.

A friend of mine, who is a mot­her, men­ti­o­ned that pa­rents need to find good ways to re­con­ci­le the needs of child­ren and the re­qui­re­ments of work. When the child­ren are small and gro­wing up, the si­tu­a­ti­ons wit­hin the fa­mi­ly keep chan­ging and take a he­a­vy toll on the pa­rents’ re­sour­ces. She is a stay-at-home mot­her and said she does the per­for­man­ce eva­lu­a­ti­on ses­si­ons with her­self.

A pa­rent who ta­kes care of their child­ren at home is a spe­ci­a­list of child care and re­a­ring. They de­ser­ve ap­p­re­ci­a­ti­on but al­so fi­nan­ci­al sup­port from so­cie­ty. We cons­tant­ly hear about de­mands for equ­a­li­ty. But we can­not be equ­al in all things. God has gi­ven dif­fe­rent du­ties to mot­hers and fat­hers. Yet, there is enough work and res­pon­si­bi­li­ty in a fa­mi­ly to be sha­red by two pe­op­le, and sha­ring helps them to ma­na­ge eve­ry­day fa­mi­ly life. The work done at home is in­dis­pen­sab­le for child­ren’s wel­fa­re, even so that pro­fes­si­o­nal ro­les and so­ci­al sta­tus are me­a­ning­less when the pa­rents see their child­ren as uni­que gifts.

The mul­tip­le me­a­nings of work are cru­ci­al­ly im­por­tant re­gard­less of whet­her we are tal­king about sa­la­ried work out­si­de home or child care and ot­her care-gi­ving done at home. Fa­mi­ly care-gi­vers have the de­man­ding res­pon­si­bi­li­ty to care for a spe­ci­al-needs child, an in­va­lid or an el­der. In my own work I have en­coun­te­red el­der­ly pe­op­le who take care of their spou­se and want to do most of that work by them­sel­ves. A lady who was ne­ar­ly eigh­ty on­ce said warm­ly that she felt her work to be a la­bor of love that she wan­ted to do with the strength that she was gi­ven.

I have some per­so­nal ex­pe­rien­ce of wor­king as a fa­mi­ly care-gi­ver. I sub­bed for the mot­her of a spe­ci­al-needs child du­ring her days off. The va­lue of that work did not come from the fi­nan­ci­al com­pen­sa­ti­on but from the joy that this spe­ci­al child brought in­to our home du­ring those wee­kends.

When I think about the dif­fe­rent as­pects of work, I can­not help al­so thin­king about unemp­lo­y­ment and the fac­tors that li­mit the abi­li­ty to work. Ap­p­re­ci­a­ti­on of work is of­ten emp­ha­si­zed. Busy pro­fes­si­o­nals may not al­wa­ys re­a­li­ze that. Yet, unemp­lo­y­ment can be a dep­res­sing and des­pe­ra­te ex­pe­rien­ce. Both sing­le pe­op­le and pa­rents wor­ry about their li­ve­li­hood and of­ten feel an­xie­ty. If the si­tu­a­ti­on per­sists, there may al­so be pres­su­re from out­si­ders. An unemp­lo­yed per­son may ex­pe­rien­ce cri­ti­cism and disc­ri­mi­na­ti­on. There are al­so pe­op­le unab­le to work due to he­alth prob­lems. Being dif­fe­rent from the mainst­re­am should not make any­bo­dy feel in­fe­ri­or. We are all equ­al­ly va­lu­ab­le be­fo­re God’s ey­es. I hope none of us wants to inc­re­a­se any­bo­dy’s bur­den. The Bib­le inst­ructs us to car­ry each ot­her’s bur­dens and to help those who need help (Gal. 6:2).

I hang my was­hing on the line

white, black, co­lor­ful.

I hang a child’s shirts,

a yo­ungs­ter’s fa­vo­ri­te hoo­die,

a tab­le cloth made by my mot­her,

socks knit by my mot­her-in-law.

I look at the marks of life,

all this

gi­ven to me.


Hän loistaa valona, hän säteilee kirkkautta, hohde verhoaa hänen suuren voimansa. Hab. 3:4

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