357. Is Your Work Worth It? How to Think About Meaningful Work with Jennifer Tosti-Kharas and Christopher Wong Michaelson

If you’ve ever pondered questions like, “Should I follow my passion or chase after money? How can I strike the right balance between work and life? What legacy will my work leave behind?” then this episode with the insightful duo of Christopher Wong Michaelson and Jennifer Tosti-Kharas, coauthors of the terrific book Is Your Work Worth It? How to Think About Meaningful Work, will not only challenge your perception of work but also spark an exploration of deep introspection into the role of work in your life.

Listen and Learn: 

  • The story of how Christoper and Jen merged their backgrounds in psychology and philosophy to come together to coauthor Is Your Work Worth It? How to Think About Meaningful Work
  • What Christopher and Jen learned about the meaning of work through studying The New York Times Portraits of Grief 
  • What are the lasting effects of COVID-19 and how are they shaping how we work? 
  • What are the traits of work and how does social construction come into play?
  • Fairness in work
  • Are there downsides to working in a field that’s a “calling” and what toll might that take on a person? 
  • What would we do if we weren’t working? 


About Christopher Wong Michaelson 

Christopher Wong Michaelson is co-author, with Jennifer Tosti-Kharas, of Is Your Work Worth It? How to Think About Meaningful Work. He is a philosopher with 25 years of experience advising business leaders pursuing meaning and providing work with a purpose. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and then joined the New York office of Price Waterhouse (now PwC) as one of the first five consultants in a business ethics practice. When he accepted a full-time faculty position teaching corporate ethics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, he kept a foot for several more years at PwC working on its Global CEO Survey and as its first Strategy Officer to the World Economic Forum. Christopher went from Wharton to NYU’s Stern School of Business, where he still teaches, and later joined one of the largest business ethics faculties in the world at the University of St. Thomas, where he is the Opus Distinguished Professor and Academic Director of the Melrose and The Toro Company Center for Principled Leadership. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, three kids, and two dogs.

About Jennifer Tosti-Kharas

Jennifer Tosti-Kharas is co-author, with Christopher Wong Michaelson, of Is Your Work Worth It? How to Think About Meaningful Work. Jen is the Camilla Latino Spinelli Endowed Term Chair and Professor of Management at Babson College. Her research on meaningful work, work as a calling, and employee sustainability efforts has been published in top journals, covered in international news outlets, and recognized with Best Paper awards by academic publishers and the Academy of Management. She has co-authored a digital, interactive textbook, Organizational Behavior: Developing Skills for Managers and co-edited The Handbook of Research Methods in Careers. A former management consultant, Jen works with both companies and individuals to craft meaningful careers and appreciate the risks and rewards of work as a calling. She holds a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in Management with an emphasis on Organizational Behavior from the Stern School of Business of New York University. She lives outside Boston with her husband and two kids.

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Episode 357