Pleasures and sorrows of work

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pleasures and sorrows of work

The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work by Alain de Botton

We spend most of our waking lives at work–in occupations often chosen by our unthinking younger selves. And yet we rarely ask ourselves how we got there or what our occupations mean to us.

The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work
is an exploration of the joys and perils of the modern workplace, beautifully evoking what other people wake up to do each day–and night–to make the frenzied contemporary world function. With a philosophical eye and his signature combination of wit and wisdom, Alain de Botton leads us on a journey around a deliberately eclectic range of occupations, from rocket science to biscuit manufacture, accountancy to art–in search of what make jobs either fulfilling or soul-destroying.

Along the way he tries to answer some of the most urgent questions we can ask about work: Why do we do it? What makes it pleasurable? What is its meaning? And why do we daily exhaust not only ourselves but also the planet? Characteristically lucid, witty and inventive, Alain de Botton’s “song for occupations” is a celebration and exploration of an aspect of life which is all too often ignored and a book that shines a revealing light on the essential meaning of work in our lives.
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Published 14.12.2018

Alain de Botton: Work as a Place of Emotional Intelligence

We spend much of our lives at work – but surprisingly little gets written about The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work is an exploration of the joys and perils of the .
Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton: The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work

Work is activity that earns money. Lucky people enjoy their work, but even they might not do it without pay. To the extent that pay motivates, people work for the sake of something else — so they can buy food, shelter, clothing, security, luxury or leisure — and against their inclinations. For a thousand? He is exposed as someone under constraint, like a prisoner in a stockade.

Look Inside. Jun 01, ISBN Jun 02, ISBN We spend most of our waking lives at work—in occupations most often chosen by our inexperienced younger selves. And yet we rarely ask ourselves how we got there or what our jobs mean to us. The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work is an exploration of the joys and perils of the modern workplace, beautifully exploring what other people wake up to do each day—and night—to make our frenzied world function. With a philosophical eye and his signature combination of wit and wisdom, Alain de Botton leads us on a journey around an eclectic range of occupations, from rocket scientist to biscuit manufacturer, from accountant to artist—in search of what makes jobs either soul-destroying or fulfilling.

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The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work is a different sort of project, consisting of more reportage than usual, and less arch philosophical musing. Yet the author's trademark style, with its clarity and wan detachment, is present throughout. De Botton usually mixes idiosyncratic illustrations or photographs with an array of memorable quotations. He quotes rarely in the new book, but photographs abound - more like documentary evidence than images designed to prick the imagination. This seems in keeping with a book composed of reports from the field. In looking closely at specific arenas of labour, he hopes this book will serve as "a hymn to the intelligence, peculiarity, beauty and horror of the modern workplace and, not least, its extraordinary claim to be able to provide us, alongside love, with the principal source of life's meaning.

Brilliantly insightful, gorgeously written, and laugh-out-loud funny, this book takes us on a guided tour of how work actually gets done. We learn about fishing for tuna in the Maldives, making biscuits in Belgium, auditing in London, a space launch in Latin America, transmitting electricity in England, and much much more. De Botton is fascinated with exactly how things work and he conveys this fascination with brio. The most mundane activity is brought to life. His visit to a top-notch global accounting firm in London is unexpectedly hilarious. The HR Director plays a key role in maintaining the mask of shallow cheerfulness that keeps the office running smoothly.

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  1. Nerina A. says:

    The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work by Alain De Botton: | chrissullivanministries.com: Books

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