Why Do We Have To Work? (11 Reasons Why)

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Oberon Copeland

Oberon Copeland is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, with a degree in economics and HR.

The idea of working for a living goes against the grain of our modern minds and culture. With automation, AI, the gig economy, and other changing factors, many people feel that work is not necessary.

However, as much as we may believe it or not, we need money to survive in society. To get money, you need to work. But why do we have to work? We have 11 reasons why.

Why Do We Have To Work?

1. Survival

We have to work in order to survive. If we don’t have a job, we don’t get money. And without money, we can’t buy food, clothes, or shelter.

It may seem discouraging that we have to work for money instead of having the ability to live off our investments, but the truth is that working is necessary for survival.

2. Basic Necessities

One of the main reasons we have to work is because we need money to live. The two most basic needs for survival are food and shelter. And to get these, you need money. But not just any type will do.

Even if you have a trust fund that provides for your every need or want, it won’t last forever (especially if it’s not invested properly!). You still need to keep up with inflation and other variables in the economy by making a livable wage.

Moreover, many people spend their entire lives working at careers they hate and living paycheck-to-paycheck just so they can have a place to call “home.”

They believe that they don’t have a choice in the matter. But there are other ways of earning an income than investing your energy into something you hate — even if it means taking on more debt or spending less time doing what you want in life.

3. Provide For Others

We work because we need to provide for others. Whether it’s our family, friends, or even just ourselves — we have a responsibility to provide for others.

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Money is the way that most people make a living. There are other ways to make a living, but few people possess the skill set necessary.

We all know the feeling of working hard for someone else and not seeing any return on our labor. It’s frustrating! But we keep going back because it’s our job and our duty.

4. Skills And Experience

Working builds skills and experience. In our early years, we learn skills by observing and helping others. But as adults, we have the opportunity to build them by working.

People who work in an office usually have a better understanding of office politics than those who don’t. Work can also be seen as an opportunity to learn new skills through training or on-the-job learning.

Change is inevitable in the workplace; if you want to stay relevant, it’s important that you’re always learning and developing your skillset.

5. Advancement

One of the reasons we have to work is because it can help us later in life. Even though your job may not be what you want it to be now, it can help you get good career experience for when you decide to move on.

Another reason people say that we have to work is that we need money to survive in society. We live in a world where money is king, and without money, it’s hard to survive! We also have to work because money gives us freedom.

6. Networking


If you’ve ever tried to get a job without a strong resume or connections, you know how difficult it can be. One of the reasons why we have to work is because it helps us build our resumes and network.

There are many jobs that require previous experience, so working gives us that experience and also shows prospective employers that we know what we’re doing.

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Working for an employer not only builds our skills but also helps us navigate social situations and make connections with other people who may help us in the future.

7. Purpose

Work gives you a sense of purpose and belonging. The story of Adam and Eve in the Bible shows us this. God created Adam and gave him a job: naming all the animals.

It was an act of creativity and love. God could have just spoken to Adam, but He wanted to show him what good work can do for your soul.

We are born with a need to feel useful; one way we do that is by working. If we don’t work, our lives can become meaningless.

8. Money And Taxes

Society expects you to work for a living, and if you don’t, you won’t be able to survive. It also expects us to pay taxes to maintain infrastructure and amenities like roads and schools.

We are also expected to contribute to a charity and other philanthropic endeavors. While these may not be the most enjoyable things, they’re necessary for our survival as a society.

9. Happiness

Research found that most people are happier when they work. Work can be anything from a low-paying job to the prestigious career you always dreamed of.

There is a reason for this. The act of working provides many psychological benefits, and working also gives you the resources to do the things you want or need to do in life.

It may not seem like it right now, but the benefits of working outweigh not doing it in the long run.

10. Economic Growth

Society is built on the foundation of work. To live a good life, we have to work. When people don’t work, society suffers because people who don’t earn money are unable to spend money.

When working, people typically spend their earnings and create demand for goods and services. If you’re not working, you’re most likely spending your time watching TV, reading books, or doing other activities that don’t require income.

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All those hours spent on entertainment means less demand for goods and services because you haven’t spent the income from your job.

Suppose there’s a low demand for goods and services in the economy. In that case, prices will go down, leading to lower employee salaries and reduced business profits — not a good situation!

In addition to keeping our economy afloat and functioning properly, working also helps society grow. Working allows us to be self-sufficient and gives you dignity in your community.

Without jobs or activities that make us feel respected in society, we lose hope, which leads to poverty.

11. Comfort

Even though we’d rather live off passive income streams like investments than go back to doing something we hate, working has benefits. Think about the joy of being able to provide for your family. Working can make all the difference in providing for a loved one or family.

Moreover, financial security isn’t something that lands in most peoples’ laps, and you have to work for it. But when you finally achieve financial security, it’s one of the best feelings in the world.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why jobs pay so little, why entry level jobs require experience, and why work is so boring.


How do you feel about work? It might not be the most exciting thing in your life, but working provides a purpose and pays for your basic amenities.

If you don’t enjoy your job, consider this: Someone who loves what they do for a living never works a day in their life.


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