I’ve defined myself by my work. It is so easy to do, especially if you put your “all” into the work that you do. Work is a huge part of our lives—it is often what we spend more hours in a day doing than anything else, with people that are not only colleagues but who often become friends. It is where we achieve that success that translates into a solid paycheck and a career that we love.
How you view who you are can so easily be defined by your work if you are a driven, high achiever and you are proud of your successes, compensated well and have been given increasing responsibility and leadership opportunities.
What happens when that all goes away? Who will you be then?
I am bringing this up because tying your self-worth to your work is fragile: jobs get eliminated as employees are let go to manage expenses. Another scenario might be that for you, disillusionment or burnout may start to set in and if feels like the only solution is to quit or look for something else, but what? It may be time to retire, but how will you choose what to do next when that job you have had for so long isn’t there anymore?
I’d like to suggest a different lens to look through as you define who you are. Try focusing on your strengths. Understanding those innate talents that you exhibit in your life and your work and out of those what are the strengths that stand out that you use most often when you are approaching your life and your work and define yourself as you play to those strengths.
This is just a taste of what is possible when you focus on what makes you uniquely you—or what defines you.
Stay tuned for more on this topic.