The Question

People work because they need money to live. What are some other reasons that people work? Discuss one or more of these reasons. Use specific examples and details to support your answer.


This is an example TOEFL essay written by the author of this website.  It follows our writing templates for type two essays.  If you need more assistance, we have many more sample essays which you can look at.

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The Example Essay

(question taken from the Official Guide to the TOEFL)

             Only a very narrow minded person would suggest that making money is the sole reason why people go to work each day.  While money is important, I feel that there are two additional reasons why people hold jobs and go to work.  First, working makes one feel that his life is meaningful.  Second, regular employment gives us a chance to interact with people outside of our normal social circle.

              First of all, having employment gives us a sense that our life is meaningful, which is very important in today’s world.  The objectives of our job give us something to strive for each day and allow to us make long-term goals about what we want to accomplish.  Without a job, people often feel that their life lacks a sense of purpose.  My own experience is a compelling example of this.  In 2008, after ten years of working in a fast-paced corporate environment, I was laid off from my job.  Even though I was financially secure and did not need to get another position right away I felt quite depressed because I did not have an offi.  Pursuing my hobbies was fun, but I lacked something to strive for each day.  At work I always had sales objectives and profit objectives to work towards.  Accomplishing them always gave me a great sense of satisfaction.

              Secondly, jobs give us the opportunity to meet new people on a regular basis, which can provide us with a sense of happiness.  People who are unemployed interact mostly with their family and pre-existing friends, which can sometimes be boring.  When I was in high school, I worked in a local supermarket.  Although the job was not very well-paid, I often look back on that experience with fondness; indeed, in many ways it was the best job I have ever had.  I was very happy to chat with the eclectic assortment of customers who came in each day.  As they all came from radically different backgrounds than me, it was stimulating to learn about their lives.  Even though I now work at a job that pays me a much higher salary, I do miss my low-paying supermarket job sometimes.

              In conclusion, I strongly believe that in addition to making money, there are two reasons why people work.  They are the opportunity to give their life a sense of purpose, and the chance to interact with people outside of their usual social circle.