Your job isn’t who you are

At least, that’s the conclusion I’ve come to.

I’ve never had a job that I really felt identified me accurately. I’ve tried to assume identities over the years that were job related, but when all was said and done, I realized that was just me attempting to label myself somehow.

You know, so I could have something to tell people when I met them: “I’m a teacher. I’m a [insert whatever here].”

But why do we say things like that to people? Why do we identify ourselves by our employment? Is that the only way to quantify ourselves? Maybe it’s just a pride thing, but that just doesn’t seem right to me.

Especially now. We’re in the midst of a long recession, and many people are working jobs for which they are incredibly overqualified. What an awful time to be identifying ourselves by what we get paid to do.

Maybe we should stop.

And maybe, when we meet somebody new, we should stop asking “what do you do?” and start asking them to just tell us a little about themselves.

I think the second method of inquiry would get the most accurate answers.


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