About me

Rik Hospers is a former an independent counsellor. He is curious about how work influences the way we experience life. And how organisations can make the lives of people working with them better.

He has spent about half of his working life abroad. He has lived and worked in Europe, Africa and Asia. He has also been active in politics as an elected representative. He has a MSc degree in Business Administration and is currently pursuing a MA degree in Humanistics. He is a married father of three and lives in the beautiful historic city of Delft in the Netherlands.

Delft: Oude Delft flanked by the Oude Kerk (from 1246 AD)

About Worklife Examined

This is my blog examining some of the practical, philosophical and psychological aspects of work and life.

I get my inspiration from philosophy and academia, from other people’s experience and I draw from my own experience as a former employee of a multinational company, who has lived and worked in Europe, Africa and Asia.

From time to time we all think about who we are as individuals, how we deal with ourselves, how we relate to other people and what we want to achieve in life. Many of us spend around half of their waking hours in the workplace. Having passed the ‘halfway point’ of my life, I’ve experienced how our work greatly affects how we might think and feel about our lives.

Moreover, despite what many like to believe, we are not always in control of our own destiny. Sometimes life happens to us. And again the organisations where we work can play a major role in that. For example in the opportunities that they offer us. How they deal with us as their employees. What the organisation’s explicit or implicit rules, norms and expectations are and how those are communicated. How they respond to people who challenge those rules and norms; people who may be different from the mainstream. How they assess and reward performance. And finally, of course, if we loose our job.

Organisations, as groups of people working together, are social entities. The degree to which they emphasise or try to strengthen this group connection may affect how you feel about your job. Organisations continuously interact with other people and organisations, with society at large. How they position themselves in society may influence how meaningful you find your job and by extension possibly your life.

And finally, what or who is the organisation anyway? How do you experience the organisation where you work? Is it your team, your manager, the CEO, the owner(s), HR, your internal customer? Probably it’s many of these at the same time. People relate to their work organisation in many different ways. When all is well the organisation may be your team, but when your new boss turns out to be a jerk he can become all the organisation is about to you. Like they say: “People join organisations and leave bosses”.

Therefore, I find it worthwhile to critically examine how organisations are led, how they deal with their employees, who they want to be, how they position themselves in society and, most importantly, the extent to which and how they reflect on their values. And how all of that affects how we see ourselves as individual human beings.

I don’t expect to find definitive answers, but rather hope to reach new viewpoints along the way, bringing us ever closer to understanding. That’s why I invite you to join me on this journey by commenting and contributing ideas and suggestions yourself.

Caspar David Friedrich – Wanderer above the sea of fog (1818)

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