Hey everyone! Certainly, each of you sometimes wonders what kind of work best suits your character. Today’s quiz will help you find the answer to this question. But first, let’s talk about the different types of work.
Work or labor is an intentional activity people perform to support themselves, others, or the needs and wants of a wider community. Alternatively, work can be viewed as the human activity that contributes to the goods and services within an economy.
Work is fundamental to all societies but can vary widely within and between them, from gathering natural resources by hand, to operating complex technologies that substitute for physical or even mental effort by many human beings. All but the simplest tasks also require specific skills, equipment or tools, and other resources (such as materials for manufacturing goods). Cultures and individuals across history have expressed a wide range of attitudes towards work. Outside of any specific process or industry, humanity has developed a variety of institutions for situating work in society.
Work can take many different forms, as various as the environments, tools, skills, goals, and institutions around a worker. Because sustained effort is a necessary part of many human activities, what qualifies as work is often a matter of context. Specialization is one common feature that distinguishes work from other activities. For example, a sport is a job for a professional athlete who earns their livelihood from it, but a hobby to someone playing for fun in their community. An element of advance planning or expectation is also common, such as when a paramedic provides medical care while on-duty and fully equipped, rather than performing first aid off-duty as a bystander in an emergency. Self-care and basic habits like personal grooming are also not typically considered work either.
While a later gift, trade, or payment may retroactively affirm an activity as productive, this can exclude work like volunteering or activity within a family setting, like parenting or housekeeping. In some cases, the distinction between work and other activities is simply a matter of common sense within a community.
There are several ways to categorize and compare different kinds of work. In economics, one popular approach is the three-sector model or variations of it. In this view, an economy can be separated into three broad categories. The primary sector extracts food, raw materials, and other resources from the environment. The secondary sector manufactures physical products, refines materials, and provides utilities. The tertiary sector provides services and helps administer the economy. In complex economies with high specialization, these categories are further subdivided into industries that produce a focused subset of products or services. Some economists also propose additional sectors such as a “knowledge-based” quaternary sector, but this division is neither standardized nor universally accepted.
Another common way of contrasting work roles is ranking them according to a criterion, such as the amount of skill, experience, or seniority associated with a role. The progression from apprentice through journeyman to master craftsman in the skilled trades is one example with a long history and analogs in many cultures.
Societies also commonly rank different work roles by perceived status, but this is more subjective and goes beyond clear progressions within a single industry. Some industries may be seen as more prestigious than others overall, even if they include roles with similar functions. At the same time, a wide swathe of roles across all industries may be afforded more status or less based on characteristics such as a job being low-paid or dirty, dangerous, and demeaning.
Other social dynamics, like how labor is compensated, can even exclude meaningful tasks from a society’s conception of work. For example, in modern market economies where wage labor or piece work predominates, unpaid work may be omitted from economic analysis or even cultural ideas of what qualifies as work.
At a political level, different roles can fall under separate institutions where workers have qualitatively different power or rights. In the extreme, the least powerful members of society may be stigmatized or even violently forced into performing the least desirable work. Complementary to this, elites may have exclusive access to the most prestigious work, largely symbolic sinecures, or even a “life of leisure”.
As living beings, humans require a baseline of good health, nutrition, rest, and other physical needs to reliably exert themselves. This is particularly true of physical labor that places direct demands on the body, but even largely mental work can cause stress from problems like long hours, excessive demands, or a hostile workplace.
What job suits you best? If you haven’t thought about this question yet, today is a good time to ask yourself. Take this quiz with twenty questions to find out which job is right for you. They can also help you to think about what you really want to do.
How many questions are there?
There are 20 questions.
What can you get as a result?
Builder, teacher, paramedic, graphic designer, programmer, doctor
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