“What would you want to be when you grow up?” was a question we were all asked and most of us find it hard to answer it even now. As a child, I wanted to be an astronaut and then a teacher and as I grew up, the choices also grew in number with me.
As we get older, our jobs start defining us, maybe that is how we are brought up. Your aunt’s son is at the managerial post and is earning XYZ amount and their daughter is an MBBS-MD and the list just goes on. The better the job post, the better the status. But is it really so?
Does having a good career or being in a good post really define who we are?
With the whole idea of a good career and a better name, we have forgotten that we are more than just our jobs. We then label ourselves as good or bad according to our career and the work we do but we forget that having a career is a journey. It’s what we achieve over the period of time and not just a junction to reach to. As soon as we start labeling it we start believing in it.
With the increasing focus on career, it unconsciously narrows down our thinking so much so that we see people, things, and even relationships only from the perspective of how valuable they would be in contributing to our careers.
This not only limits our perception but also makes us withdraw from other areas of life. We forget our likes, dislikes, and interests. This is where we need to stop and think: is this what I really want to be? Is this really what I want to run after? Does my job really define who I am?
Some Important Points to Keep in Mind:
1. Stop and Think
It’s important that we ask ourselves what a job means to us. Is it our interest or simply a need? Is it a part of us or is it who we are?
2. How to respond to the question – “What do you do?”
It’s important that we remember that what we do is our work and is just a part of us. It’s not who we are. Therefore, it’s important to say, “I am a Counseling Psychologist by profession” or “I work as a Psychologist” rather than saying “I am a Counseling Psychologist”. A lot goes out with how we frame it. Using the latter gives a sense of us being more than just the work we do.
3. Cultivating a life outside of work
Imagine what your life would be if this job was not there? Would you have a network outside? Would you be able to live life without your work?
4. Focus on your life outside the workplace
Cultivate new interest and find time to do things you like and be around people who you value to add meaning to your life.
Developing a healthy work-life balance is a must. In the end, your hard work is not what would be remembered and cherished but it’s you as a person who would be remembered.