Vocationally Enriched

Wellness Factsheet

Being vocationally enriched throughout your life, even in retirement can add that extra spark in your day and improve your wellness!

Did you know?

Globally, about 970 million people volunteer their time and skills – equivalent to over 125 million full-time workers at a value of US$ 1.348 trillion (AU $1.888 trillion) or 2.4 per cent of the entire global economy (UN 2017).

The Facts

Your job, leisure and service-related activities should engage and enrich you. Finding activities that you love and find mentally stimulating, uses your skills and gives you purpose, meaning and a sense of achievement. Your work should energise you and motivate you to turn up every day.

Globally, only 29% of employees are engaged with their work.2

  • 70% of employee’s world-wide feel there is a good fit between their talents and their work, whilst only 20% experience a perfect fit. In Oceania, employees are most unhappy with the match between talent and job.
  • Only 20% of employees globally feel that they are really appreciated by their company.
  • Only 25% of employees worldwide are extremely proud of their company.
  • Employees who change companies and exert discretionary effort have (at the very minimum) their basic work needs met.

79 percent of people who quit their jobs cite ‘lack of appreciation’ as their reason for leaving.3

  • Employees who change companies and exert discretionary effort have (at the very minimum) their basic work needs met.

Retirement is ranked 10th on the list of life’s 43 most stressful events.4

  • Retirement is associated with a decline in health5 - the retired are 40% more likely to have had a heart attack or stroke than those who were still working.6

People with hobbies and passions and/or volunteer opportunities throughout life can improve their wellness and transition better into a meaningful and satisfying retirement.7

  • Volunteering has been linked to greater life satisfaction, quality of life and lower rates of depression.8,9

What can we do about it

Your work should be your calling and be enjoyable most of the time, if not consider the following actions:

Talk to your manager if your workload is not manageable.

Achieve a balance between your roles, responsibilities and leisure time.

Identify and reduce stress in your vocational activity by learning project/time management, presenting, writing, communication and study skills (PU 2019).

Consider volunteering your time and skills to a worthy cause – without this detracting from your family and work commitments.

Have a heart for service and focus on activities that stimulate you and add meaning to your life!


1: UN. 2017. Volunteers count. Their work deserves to be counted. UN Volunteers. Accessessed 29/03/2019. https://www.unv.org/swvr/volunteers-count-their-work-deserves-be-counted

2: Effectory. 2018. The global employee engagement index. Volume 3.  Effectory International. Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Accessed 29/03/2019. https://www.effectory.com/request/global-employee-engagement-index-vol-3 

3: Tanner. Performance: Accelerated. A New Benchmark for Initiating Employee Engagement, Retention and Results. Accessed 29/03/2019. https://www.octanner.com/content/dam/oc-tanner/documents/global-research/White_Paper_Performance_Accelerated.pdf 

4: Holmes TH, Rahe RH. "The Social Readjustment Rating Scale". Journal Psychosomatic Research. 1967; 11(2):  213–8. https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-3999(67)90010-4 

5: Behnicke S. Does retirement trigger ill health? Health Economics. 2012 Mar;21(3):282-300. https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.1712  

6: Moon JR, Glymour MM, Subrananian SV, Adendano M, Kawachi I.  Transition to retirement and risk of cardiovascular disease: prospective analysis of the US health and retirement study. Social Science and Medicine. 2012 Aug;75(3):526-30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.04.004 

7: Paggi ME, Jopp D, Hertzog C. The Importance of Leisure Activities in the Relationship between Physical Health and Well-Being in a Life Span Sample. Gerontology. 2016; 62: 450-458.https://doi.org/10.1159/000444415 

8: Jenkinson CE, Dickens AP, Jones K, Thompson-Coon J, Taylor RS, Rogers M, Bambra CL, Lang I, Richards SH. Is volunteering a public health intervention? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the health and survival of volunteers. BMC Public Health. 2013; 13: 773. 

9: Yeung JWK, Zhang Z, Kim TY. Volunteering and health benefits in general adults: cumulative effects and forms. BMC Public Health. 2018; 18: 8.  

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