Most people's self-esteem is closely tied to their work. When people meet for the first time, the first questions almost involve jobs, and the answers tend to spark interest or deaden it. Many of us tend to stereotype people by the kind of work they do. Considering that a job takes about half of a working adult's waking life, it is not surprising that psychologists see work as a significant influence on a person's outlook and behaviour.
One 10-year study found that people who have to think and use their judgment to perform complicated tasks at work tend to develop and intellectual flexibility that they carry over into the other parts of their lives. They seem to be generally more independent-minded and open to new experiences than those who perform more routine jobs. They also tend to select intellectually engaging activities for their leisure pursuits, such as learning a language or investigating the history of their area.