In the News: Christopher Michaelson Asks the Big Questions About Why We Work

Christopher Michaelson, professor of business ethics at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business, recently co-authored the book, Is Your Work Worth It?, an excerpt from which was published by Fast Company.

From the excerpt:

For most of us, work will take a disproportionate share of our waking adult hours. It defines our identities, especially in a culture where the first question we often ask when meeting someone is, “What do you do?” Work shapes our legacies: the mark we leave behind by what we produced, who we influenced, and what it all meant. Yet, most of us don’t have enough time in the workday to pause working to ask the big questions about why we do the work we are doing unless we are faced with a tragedy that forces us to confront our own mortality. ...

Unfortunately, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life” is, at best, easier said than done and, at worst, simply false. The downside of work as a calling can lead to a life of overwork, underpay, and exploitation. The potential romance of loving your work probably leads a lot of young entrants to the workforce to feel excessive pressure to find their callings. It can also contribute to mid-career restlessness among those who are still searching.