This question might have been ask a numerous amount of times over the many years of man's hmm, let's say eventful existence. It has been asked in different context and the answer has been mostly situational. As creatures of habits, we are programmed to always self-preserve, and most times, we're willing to do this at any reasonable (and unreasonable) cost.
You might imagine I'm asking you why you work at all, but that's not the case. Of course I'm asking you about your work, but the question is why you do the job you do. The numerous number of reasons can be summed up into two:
1. Chasing the Bag: Depending on the part of the world you live in, financial stability and wealth can usually be the only determinant of the job you find yourself doing. This is particularly true for people living in third and second world countries.
This is because in places like these, the unemployment ranges from very significant to very high, combine with the reduced job creation power in these region, what you have is a situation where there are tons of people vying for the few jobs available, but that's not the true underlying cause. Having stated the ability of these countries to create job, it only goes that the ability to create wealth will be naturally proportionate, with many of the people in there regions living below the poverty line, you quickly realize that the option of choice, of choosing what one loves to do to gain wealth is really not there for them.
Due to the desire to meet the basic human need, these people usually jump at any job opportunity that seem to have enough financial rewards for them to live just bare on or above the poverty line, still there are those who will rush at jobs where they are severely overworked and unjustly underpaid. This is today's reality due to the abundance of labour, low regulations and lack of implementation of labour laws, all characteristics of the developing and developed world, workers here usually do not get to work for any other reason but for the financial gains attached to what they do.
Even in cases where people decide to set up something for themselves, it is usually driven by what is known as the 'refugee effect', which is a phenomenon whereby the entrepreneurial spirit of a person or bunch of people are kindled due to lack of other legitimate means of acquiring wealth. The refugee effect is known to be chiefly responsible for the high levels of entrepreneurial activities taking place in Third World countries.
2. Passion: The second reason why people do the jobs they do is passion. In certain places where there's reduced poverty or where a good lot live above the poverty line, people can get to choose what they do. This is mostly found in first world nations whom are quite wealthy (of the back of the second and Third World countries, of course; I didn't tell you that😁).
In these places, there's usually no problem such as lack of affordable housing, access to capital, food and life security, social amenities and infrastructures etc. The availability of these things makes life really quite easier for those who find themselves here and hence people in this place are less inclined to be driven by the satisfaction of the basic needs as it is almost always covered at little or no cost to them. This gives them the leverage to really get to decide what they do for work as they can afford not to see financial gain as the primary factor in choosing their work.
Of course there are exceptions to the rule. For example, on a national level, the unemployment of a first world nation like the USA might be minimal to a single digits, but when you break it down and realise most of the unemployed are from areas that are predominantly black, you can see that for those in that area, it can be very high. These can being about the reaction you will find in the other two category of countries. In the same way, the unemployment of countries like Nigeria may be very high, but taken by regions, you can see that there are places where it's almost non-existent.
The point is more than 95% of the world's workforce are working for one of these two reasons. They are either after their passion or they are after the money bag, and these are dependent on a number of factors as outlined above. Let me now ask you, why do you do what you do? The money bag or passion?
Money bag and passion. We can't deny that we need money to live and survive.