Potential and Current Workers

Thinking About Work


Why do I feel pressured to work?

There are several ways we may feel pressure around working. The first is internal pressure, or pressure that you feel inside you.  Internal pressure usually comes from a dissatisfaction with the way things are now.  This dissatisfaction can look like these examples, or something different:

  • Feeling unhappy about my current work life (working or not working).
  • Feeling bored by my current work life.

The second is external pressure, or pressure that is coming from outside of you.  External pressure might look like:

  • Threats of losing something I value if I don’t go to work
  • People convincing or cajoling me to make a change
  • Life circumstances that make it difficult to not work

Both kinds of pressure can be good, if it’s welcome.  An example of welcome pressure is if you expect to get something good out of working, or that you realize that you don’t want to hang around the house anymore without something interesting to do. Pressure can be difficult if it is not welcome or not expected.  For example, if we hear that we will lose our housing if we don’t start to have some kind of work activity.  Sometimes, external pressure can lead to internal pressure.  For example, losing our non-work income can lead to a feeling of a “push” toward working.

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