You Are Not Your Job

“I thought when I lost my job, I had lost my lifeline.”

This thought was shared by a person in a social media group that I visit once in a while. Fortunately, the person who said it went on to say, “No way!” She realized that there was much more to her life than her job. It was a refreshing to witness her resilience.

As I work with people at all stages in their careers, including recent and long-term unemployed, I hear this concern. People say, “I thought I was going to retire from there. Then I got laid off” Or, “It was so devastating to be let go. My whole life was wrapped up in my job.” It’s understandable, especially as we work so hard and are asked to do more with less. Because we don’t have time to consider alternatives, we don’t. That can lead to soul-crushing experiences as these people described.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Work is just one part of our lives. It is also temporary and subject to rapid, disorienting change. What seemed like a secure position in a great company can become history after a bad year or quarter. A big customer leaves and headcount (that’s you) gets reduced. Do you want to be defined by something that can be taken away so easily, or by more lasting things?

Only you can define you, and there is so much more that makes you who you are besides where you get your paycheck. Yes, we all want to contribute and do our best for our employers, but that should not come at the expense of all else.

Our families, friends, activities, community involvement, and faith practices are all important. The way we treat each other and the good that we do to improve our world need to be in the mix, too. Those two in particular should fall higher in our priorities than our job titles and the name on the paycheck.

You job is something you do, not who you are. It’s something worth remembering on the tough days.

 

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Author: Bill Florin

Owner and President of Resu-mazing Services Company and driven to help people improve their lives by helping them with professional career marketing strategies and online reputation management services.

2 thoughts on “You Are Not Your Job”

  1. So True – I thought my ‘career’ at RadioShack was all-consuming and was, the older I got, so essential for survival; I had horrifying visions of not being able to support my family, no insurance, unable to work, to the point it caused so much stress I ended up having 5 strokes and had to retire at 61 on total disability. Things worked out so far and there is “Life After RadioShack”!

    1. Yours is a great example, Pops! I have also felt that same trapped feeling. Sometimes it is only after we have gotten out of the situation that we realize that our overwhelming stress and hopelessness were self-inflicted. Thanks for sharing!

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