This ongoing series answers the question: Why does business matter? In this post we consider how good work contributes to our wellbeing.
People need good work
How do you feel after solving a particularly difficult problem or conquering a home repair? Pretty good, right? I feel like a champ after something as simple as changing my motorcycle’s oil.
That’s what good work does for us; it creates a sense of accomplishment and worth.
Our species is designed to solve problems, to be creative, to contribute, collaborate, and to make our lives and the lives of others better.
Work provides us a chance to use our skills and talents, to exert our wills, to engage our minds, to contribute to a team, and at the end to step back, behold our handiwork and exclaim, “I did that!”
It’s not exclusive to business
Of course, good work doesn’t only happen in the context of business. Opportunities exist in our families, our homes, civic duties, and volunteer activities.
A mother teaching her child to read is working no less than a manager training a new employee. In fact, one could argue mom is creating more value.
What’s special about work and business?
The economic environment of business is one of the most important of these opportunities for people to find and do good work. It is in this setting where good work not only provides personal fulfillment, but also creates wealth.
Entrepreneur and employee alike can come to work in the morning, apply themselves to their respective challenges throughout the day, and both go home wealthier.
This wealth in turn feeds families, educates children, affords recreation, contributes to charities, underwrites hearth and home, and prepares for the future.
Good work is intrinsically rewarding and in business good work is rewarded.
A happy reality
I know the world is not tidy and that work is not always so glorious. Even so, we can’t escape our need for good work if we hope to be fulfilled. Business is one of the most virtuous arenas where this can happen.
Maybe you don’t like your job, or if you’re an owner, you think your company isn’t what you want it to be. Well, I’ve got good news my friend—you’re free to change it.
This isn’t the army where deserters are shot or a collective where dissenters are imprisoned. This is the free market. Get a new job, start a new company, or improve the one you have.
In business there’s no one stopping you from doing good work. In fact, business rewards good work while acting as a vehicle for fulfillment and flourishing. That matters.