How many hours should a person reasonably work each week? | Page 3 | INFJ Forum

How many hours should a person reasonably work each week?

Discussion in 'Education and Careers' started by Seraffa, Mar 18, 2011.

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  1. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    I agree.

    Meaning comes first.
     
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  2. Ginny

    Ginny Displaced Naiad

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    That.

    The transition into work life is hard, going from studying to nothing to full time. I do 40 a week (plus the h break a day) and an hour commutation. It was a shock, but I think next week will be better.

    It's a pita to stay in any job for too long if it doesn't sustain you intellectually. You can be challenged anywhere, but if you're not being fulfilled even the least bit, it's not worth it.

    What I do now is about as much as I can tolerate, probably, but only temporarily. I will definitely look for something else in the long run, but I might be staying just long enough to do this alternate route to trade school (trade school would be a little more digestible, but it pays less) which is supported by my employer (after 5 years). Sounds like an awful lot of time, but if I can't find anything better, I'll probably go that way.
     
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  3. worthy

    worthy Regular Poster

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    What's work? It's an interesting thing to consider. I think counting only "paid" work doesn't give the full picture. But counting "unpaid" work exposes how little we value certain types of work. If you love it and would do it anyway, is it work if you get paid for it? If you don't love it and don't get paid for it but still do it, is it work?

    I don't know how many hours I work, but I sure feel like I'm (almost) always working. I have a part-time job, which I get paid for. I do work-study and time-trade that ostensibly have monetary value. Beyond that, I volunteer in the community, unpaid, but with value to the community. I am generally helpful and often get emails with networking and resource-seeking kinds of questions, which I spend time answering in service to my circle of friends and community. I am a homeschooling mother, which means I'm an unpaid teacher (and chauffeur and probably many other things). I cook for the family and keep the house clean and do laundry and fix stuff -- all work. I tend my yard and stack wood and feed the woodstove in winter and make soup and wash the windows and give the cats flea medicine and unclog the bathtub drain and weed the garden and actually grow some food that we eat and shop for provisions (hunting/gathering) and tend kids' injuries and take them to appointments and goad them to practice and do their homework and and and...it's satisfying, but it is work, and it is not paid. I am on a couple of boards, for the betterment of the community, also unpaid.

    I am also a musician, which means I spend a fair number of hours each week playing and creating, but also practicing and networking and promoting. If I play gigs for no pay, are they any less valuable than gigs that I happen to get paid for? Does the pay change them from play to work, or does something else trigger that distinction? I play some unpaid and underpaid gigs in hopes that I will someday get paid at all or paid more for doing the same thing. What of that is work?

    Is it work because I call it work, and not-work because I call it not-work or allow society to define it as not-work?

    I really enjoyed the book, "Rest." It advocates for no more than four hours of focused work/day, as I recall. Seems that most people's attention and productivity peter out after 4 or maybe 5 hours, at least in the knowledge economy. That sounds true to my experience. What do people do for the other 3 or 4 hours of their workday, if they have a full-time job in an office? No idea. If they are pushing papers around, legitimately, in an office, and getting paid for it, is that still work?

    Maybe the question is, how many hours a week is it appropriate to commit regularly to someone else doing something you wouldn't choose to do other than for the pay? But work can be meaningful, and many believe it should be, and at least some people find it is...

    I don't mean to hijack the conversation. It just got me thinking about these things. As a mom, I can't imagine a life where I could "only" work for X hours (40?)...but maybe that life and that choice is possible for non-parents? Yet I've made the choice to work for pay less than fulltime because I value the unpaid work I do as well (and I have the privilege of being able to make that financial equation work out, mostly, most of the time).

    Just thoughts. If I were not obligated to spend time caring for children or other people, personally think I'd choose a model of around 20 hours/week of paid work and 20 hours/week of unpaid work that feels worth the time expenditure, and the rest of the time spent in self-care and things done just for the enjoyment of them. Sounds like a luxury life, but maybe it will be possible for me someday.
     
  4. Impact Character

    Impact Character Watering Seaweed

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    Aww worthy! This is wonderful and wise! I almost feel like printing this out and framing this. :smile: :<3::<3green::<3:
     
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