Open in the App Open in the App Open in the App
Get the key ideas from

Why We Work

Hint: it's not for money

By Barry Schwartz
10-minute read
Audio available
Why We Work by Barry Schwartz

Why We Work (2015) exposes the flawed assumptions that govern the modern working world. These blinks walk you through the reasons why current management strategies backfire, and show you some far more effective alternatives. In addition, case studies based on company success stories illustrate just how powerful engaged and fulfilled employees can be.

  • Human resources professionals interested in the key principles of employee well-being
  • Employers grappling with a demotivated team
  • Entry-level employees interested in the real landscape of the working world

Barry Schwartz is an American psychologist and Dorwin Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action at Swarthmore College. He has authored more than ten books and published well over 100 papers in scientific journals. He also writes for leading newspapers, is a regular guest on radio programs and has even given two TED talks.

Go Premium and get the best of Blinkist

Upgrade to Premium now and get unlimited access to the Blinkist library. Read or listen to key insights from the world’s best nonfiction.

Upgrade to Premium

What is Blinkist?

The Blinkist app gives you the key ideas from a bestselling nonfiction book in just 15 minutes. Available in bitesize text and audio, the app makes it easier than ever to find time to read.

Discover
3,000+ top
nonfiction titles

Get unlimited access to the most important ideas in business, investing, marketing, psychology, politics, and more. Stay ahead of the curve with recommended reading lists curated by experts.

Join Blinkist to get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from

Why We Work

By Barry Schwartz
  • Read in 10 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 6 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
Why We Work by Barry Schwartz
Synopsis

Why We Work (2015) exposes the flawed assumptions that govern the modern working world. These blinks walk you through the reasons why current management strategies backfire, and show you some far more effective alternatives. In addition, case studies based on company success stories illustrate just how powerful engaged and fulfilled employees can be.

Key idea 1 of 6

The most fulfilling work allows us to make a difference in the lives of others.

Do you know what your work means to you? Whether you know exactly how and why your work matters, or have never really thought about it, your answer is a key indicator of your experience of work.

People tend to see work from three different standpoints. For some of us, work might be nothing more than a job. We do it to pay the bills, buy groceries and have some spending money. Work is necessary, but going beyond a job’s required tasks is pushing it.

Others perceive their work as a career; in other words, a period that is hopefully characterized by progress and growth. Career-minded people work for promotions, raises and increased responsibilities. They certainly expect more fulfillment from their positions than those for whom work is merely a job.

Still others believe their work to be a calling. For these people, the work they do creates positive change in the world. Their work becomes not only a vital part of life, but a source of happiness too.

You probably know people that fit into each of these categories. Perhaps you’ve found yourself in all three of them at different stages in your life. But why do these differing attitudes exist in the first place?

Well, that’s a question that one American psychologist was determined to answer. Amy Wrzesniewski and her team conducted interviews and studies with individuals across different fields and industries in order to find out what made their work a calling and not just a job.

Hospital custodians cited interactions with patients as the most fulfilling aspect of their work, while administrative assistants said they felt most satisfied when supporting their faculty in providing education to tomorrow's leaders. In both cases, employees felt their work was a calling when witnessing the positive changes they made in the lives of others.

How can you make your employees feel like their work is a calling? Find out in the following blinks.

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

Key ideas in this title

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

No time to
read?

Pssst. Sign up to your secret to success: key ideas from top nonfiction in just 15 minutes.
Created with Sketch.