Friday, October 10, 2008

Why do we work?

Noting the collapse of investment banks and the global financial crisis, some of us engineering professors are speculating whether students’ interests might shift from investment and finance to something more “solid” like engineering and computing.

In our discussions, it was observed that many students choose investment and finance because they heard of people making so much money in such a short time that successful ones can retire in their 40s. It implies that they do not like the job or career, but endure it just for the money.

It is something I do not fully comprehend. I want to make some money with my job, at least enough to live on and support my family. No doubt about it. But I also enjoy my job. I would continue to work even if I am suddenly so rich that I can retire immediately. Perhaps not as hard as now, but I would certainly continue to work. My interests are quite broad. So I can imagine myself equally happy with another career (perhaps even more so). But I would not want to take up a job which pays more but which I do not enjoy.

Ultimately we humans want to be happy and satisfied. Many people claim that they do not love money, but simply the freedom to pursue personal fulfillment that money brings. However, judging from our behaviour, many of us do really love money and work mainly for money afterall. Perhaps we are cheating ourselves. How sad it is.

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