Laboring For What?

All over the country, many Americans are enjoying an extra day off in honor of Labor Day.  A national holiday that recognizes the contributions that working Americans have made to the prosperity and well-being of our country.

However, unfortunately an overwhelming high percent of American employees do not feel like they are making a difference at work.

According to the Gallup – State of the American Workplace:  Employee Engagement Insights for U.S. Business Leaders report (2013), 70% of American workers are not engaged or actively disengaged.

In the report an engaged employee is defined as being involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and contribute to their organization in a positive manner.  Whereas “not engaged” employees are essentially “checked out.”  They are sleepwalking through their workday, putting in time but not energy or passion into their work.

Essentially, the majority of America’s workforce is spending their days “going through the motions” for a paycheck.

When considering that the average employee spends more time working than in any other daily activity (sleeping, caring for family members and leisure), and are not receiving any intrinsic benefits like fulfillment and self-gratification from their profession, there is a problem.

With only 30% of workers being passionate and invigorated by their work, the assumption can be made that most people are working outside of their passions, dreams and purpose.


In May of this year, I watched my 65 year old mother walk across the stage and receive her Master’s Degree in Counseling, with honors.  The same woman, a single mother who struggled to raise her three children on a receptionist’ salary and who at many times worked multiple jobs to make ends meet.

She tried to go to school when she was younger, several times, but there were many road blocks that prevented her from finishing.

However, instead of giving up on her dream, she continued to believe in herself and kept her eyes on her vision.

Finally, after my younger brother graduated from high school, she went back to school and completed her Associates Degree that she started some 30 years earlier.

With a victory under her belt, she continued her journey, pushed herself and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business a few years later.

Now at a time in her life when many of her peers feel like they are too old to learn and are applying for social security, she has plot a course to fulfill her destiny.

It may have taken her a long time but settling for a career path where she was sleepwalking through each day was never the final plan.

So I ask, are you engaged or “checked-out?”

Annena G.

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I am a writer - on Chapter 2.

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