Career Happiness: Why you must find purposeful work

Two Connecticut business women were best friends and business partners.  They worked together for years in business in the Fairfield County area.  Due to the nature of their work, they really needed each other to continue the business. 

I just heard they had a terrible falling out because one wanted to retire and the other did not.  Apparently, their falling out was about the purpose of their work. The one who wanted to keep on working viewed work within the purposeful prism and the other did not.  The purposeful worker believed correctly that retiring would be disastrous for both of them.

I’m reading The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha.  Easy to digest, simple advice about happiness.  Quick good read.  He tells a story – 1 of 100 so no real spoiler alert – about his beloved high school guidance counselor. At 65, he was forced to retire.  Pasricha went to the retirement party.  He could tell his guidance counselor was doing his best to say the right things but he could see by his pained expression that he was unhappy about retiring.  A week later, the guidance counselor died of a heart attack. 

Statistical data, unfortunately, shows that this story is not an anomaly. Indeed, it is common for recent retirees to die at a statistically higher rate than expected. A Forbes article I once read had a great line: “the two most dangerous years of a person’s life are the year of birth and the year after retirement.”
 
Why? We need purpose in our lives.

Find purpose in your work and keep working for as long as you derive such satisfaction.