Does Your Job Define You?

What do you want to be when you grow up? A familiar question that gets asked to children resulting in some fabulously entertaining answers (I for one wanted to be a princess and a detective part time). As we do in fact grow up, we soon learn that this is one of the most difficult questions we all have to face.

There are only a few people who as adults actually end up in their childhood dream job. Others start off thinking they’re on the right track and at some point realise it isn’t the right job for them. Whilst some will risk starting over and move on to something else, others prefer to stick it out. They say that the perfect job, like the perfect house doesn’t exist. It may be perfect at a particular point and for a length of time however long or short it may be.

Many social interactions start with “So what do you do for a living?” Whilst this may just be a means of starting up a conversation and being pleasant, this will inevitably lead to a certain degree of judgment. Do you think that you will have the same reaction and engage in the same way with someone who says “I am a brain surgeon” versus “I deliver pizzas”? The irony is that consciously or not we will make assumptions about this person based on their occupation. It is rather like judging people based on their appearance. Like it or not, first impressions count.

To what extend does what you do make you who you are? People often introduce themselves by stating their name followed by their occupation. It seems that it has become commonplace to measure your self worth based on work achievements which ultimately ends up defining an individual. When did we start placing so much pressure on ourselves in terms of what we expect our jobs will provide us? At what point did it become a source of fulfilment, recognition and definition of our own success? Should a job provide you with all this or is it just a way to make money?

These high expectations put too much pressure on your job (as it would if you placed this amount of pressure and made similar demands of anyone) and ultimately lead to a sense of frustration and disappointment. If your job is your main source of self esteem and respect for yourself, then this is not a winning formula.

How to make your J.O.B work for you

J oke

If your career defines you will always be on an endless quest for validation from other people, which may not happen. Constantly trying to impress others and only feeling good about yourself when you achieve something at work, is not balanced. Relax. Laugh off the stress from work when you leave the office. Don’t carry the weight of the world in the form of your job on your shoulders, as you will quickly run out of steam. Unload the pressure. Find other ways to validate and reward yourself.

O pportunity

Your job is an opportunity to learn and discover a great deal about yourself. You can find out about your likes and dislikes as well as your strengths and weaknesses. It is a source of both professional and personal development. Take pride in what you do and remember to go on holidays and switch off. Regardless of what you may think (and I am sure you are an integral and key part of your business), it will carry on without you. Nobody, however impressive they may be, is irreplaceable. So switch off after work and switch off your blackberry every so often.

B rand

You are much more than your job title. You are a work in progress, an ongoing masterpiece. How you brand yourself at work is important as it helps you define what you want and where you’re heading. It is equally, important to identify your interests outside of work so you don’t become a one dimensional individual.

Be proud of your achievements as a person, parent, sibling, spouse and friend as this is what makes you YOU. Remember to congratulate yourself for becoming the person you want to be.

Do you think a job defines a person? Do we make judgements based on a person’s occupation?

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Written by Ana Antunes da Silva.

Image provided by Flickr user cartoon_studio.

4 Responses to “Does Your Job Define You?”

  1. Zandro says:

    Great tips Ana! I remember I told my mom that I wanted to be a superhero. Sometimes when I dreamed for my future, it’s kinda easy to tell but as I get older, I realize that sometimes you have to leave your dream behind in order for you to survive with the reality. More people wants to own business while others just want to be an employee for the rest of their lives. The difference is that, getting a job you like is more better since it makes you happy. I may not be a superhero but as a volunteer, I consider my self a hero. Thank you for sharing this! I had a great time reading your post. This post is worth sharing. More success!

    • Ana says:

      Many thanks for your kind feedback. I couldn´t agree with you more that being a volunteer is certainly heroic. I am certain you are a special superhero with very unique skills and talents that only you have! If you think of a topic you would like to read about on here please do let me know.
      I wish you all the best. Ana

  2. Thank you for your tips that you post. .
    All i can say is don’t let your career define you or your life. You should define yourself, not in terms of what you do, but in terms of who you are. Think positive, live positive.

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