Why Do We Work?

Rezkyro Poltak Samuel Pasaribu
3 min readJun 11, 2022

As a kid, I do love watching Spongebob on television, but as I grow up turns out there are a lot of hidden “adult” jokes on the show or at least a depiction of adult life/work.

here’s a meme depicting adult life on Spongebob

every kid dreamt of being free of the clutches of their parents, if they move out, or have money, they could play every day for the rest of their life.

But this is where we got it wrong as a kid, we have to work to earn money then we can have the freedom to spend it.


Strange doesn't it? the question that came into my head “why do we work” back when I was stressed out after working for around 1.5 years. but as stressful as it is. Humans do need to work.

here's why :


If you live in a city, well sadly you are programmed to have a lot of “needs” whether they’re luxurious items or activities that make you happy or even the internet nowadays came as basic necessities

money make the world goes round, as they say. but yes as we live in a society we do need money as a basic exchange of goods. unless you want to live alone in the woods and find yourself food shelter and everything.


strange isn’t it when you have this long holiday you sometimes feel empty. you feel like you do need to do something to fill this emptiness. whatever vacation, sports, or alcohol-filled party you attend there's this need for stability of action you need to do in the majority of your time.

Cause sometimes you just need to use your head to feel that you are doing “good”

Social Engineering

Modern Society demands you to fill up the role in it. once you fill the role then you are rewarded with money, which then you can spend on your basic needs or luxurious needs.

What role? we live in a group, in a city, where millions and millions of people live. every person has to do something. contributing as a leader, a worker, a businessman, a chef, a taxi driver, etc.

The more impact you have with your jobs, the more money you will be rewarded. This system is an unending cycle. you have to choose which job suits you.

Self Actualization

I asked many of my friends, what work means to them? and by far the answer of “self-actualization” came a lot.

self-actualization means the complete realization of one’s potential, and the full development of one’s abilities and appreciation for life. it is a psychological drive of humans to be a better version of themselves.

Basic Needs of Being a Human

Human as social creature needs attention and appreciation to justify their existence in a group or a society, and we can easily find this in a work-related environment where there would be a hierarchy of command and job levels.

when we joined a company we are going to be assigned based on our set of skills and we will be appreciated and rewarded for our jobs.

ever feel happy when someone said, “thank you” or “great job” when you are at work? That’s what keeps some people going.


Being an adult sucks, you have so many “needs” to feed on

based on what I wrote we could differentiate 3 needs. Social, Psychological, and economic.

but these are the reasons why we work. as much as you hate your job, sometimes we do feel grateful for being “there” or “a part of a team” being excited, rewarded, and recognized.

sometimes you feel fulfilled by the work you do, sometimes you just have to find other kinds of things to make you happy.

work is in our nature, we are inherently social creatures thus being at work is natural for us.



Rezkyro Poltak Samuel Pasaribu

An Indonesian with massive interest in politics, Law, and pop culture.