Nature of Work
Changing Nature of Work
By Tanis Helliwell
A New Definition of Work
What people seek from their work is changing for several reasons. The greatest of these is the growing discontent that I sense in individuals who feel that their work is not in keeping with their deepest sense of who they are or what they are meant to do. This is, I believe, a predictable step in human evolution.
What Motivates Us to Work?
Two decades ago Hertzberg in his pioneering study of what motivates people at work discovered that no amount of what he called “hygiene factors,” which are extrinsic to the job such as job security, money and good pension plans, would ever lead to job satisfaction. He discovered that only “motivators,” which are intrinsic to the job such as growthful, challenging work, being recognized by others and doing work one liked, led to job satisfaction.
This stage in human development has now arrived in the western world where many people have met most of these basic needs and are now engaged in the quest for inner meaning. This search for identity leads them to reexamine their work to see if who they are is reflected in what they do. This means that they want to have good relationships with fellow workers and employers and have a workplace free of conflict. At the same time they are seeking stimulating, interesting and growthful work that will develop their potential.
Changes in Our Workplace
Regardless of the kind of work that we do we are faced with immense change in our workplace. Fewer people are expected to do fewer jobs in the traditional workforce, which causes more people to search for work alternatives.
- Internal pressure is increasing in individuals to seek meaningful, soulful work, while simultaneously external pressure is being placed on them by technological change. This combination of internal and external forces is forever changing the nature of work.
- Laptops, cell phones and other technology frees millions of people to work at virtually any location from airplanes, to their homes, or in hotels.
- Further reductions are caused by individuals being retired earlier, entering the workforce later, and by the shrinking of middle management as teams and smaller work units replace the formerly centralized, top heavy management structure in large organizations.
- Formerly labour intensive industries such as logging, mining, banking, research and laboratory, are replacing humans with automated substitutes.
- And all this is happening at a time when natural resources are shrinking and we are in the midst of a severe economic downturn globally.
So where do people find work? Small and medium sized businesses are growing, which are populated by those that do not fit into the old system. These are the young, late middle-aged, women, minorities, entrepreneurs and all those in alternative occupations. Some of this is freely chosen and some has been forced on these individuals by external circumstances. Regardless, it is changing the nature of work as individuals seek to find a place for themselves in an evolving system where the new rules are unclear and ever changing.
Choosing the Work We Do
We have a choice to view work as a job that we are obligated to do or we can see it as something we choose to do because it gives us joy and a sense of purpose and meaning. A new definition of work involves sharing our unique gifts in the ways that seem most meaningful at any given time in our life. By doing this we create beauty both in our lives and in our world. This definition is flexible and allows for continual growth and redefinition. The work we may want at 20 may not be what we feel called to do at 50. Rather than attempting to make ourselves fit into someone else’s idea of a job we focus on what combination of talents and skills and temperament we have to find or create the work in which we can excel and be happy. Each of us is like a seed that will grow into a totally unique plant if given the right internal and external conditions.
Tanis Helliwell, a mystic in the modern world, has brought spiritual consciousness into the mainstream for over 30 years. Since childhood, she has seen and heard elementals, angels, and master teachers in higher dimensions. Tanis is the founder of the International Institute for Transformation (IIT), which offers programs to assist individuals to become conscious creators to work with the spiritual laws that govern our world.
Tanis is the author of The High Beings of Hawaii, Summer with the Leprechauns, Pilgrimage with the Leprechauns, Embraced by Love, Manifest Your Soul’s Purpose, Hybrids: So You Think You Are Human and Decoding Your Destiny.
For information on Tanis’ courses, click here.