A job is a job, it’s not who you are

Through my job as a journalist I meet an awful lot of new people on a regular basis and, I like to think, it has made me somewhat of an expert when it comes to small talk.
You know exactly the sort of chat I mean, that’s reserved for people you’ve only just met; how do you know so-and-so? Where do you live?

And the most ubiquitous of all: what do you do?

The last one is a strange question if you think about it. I ‘do’ lots of things, I cycle, I read, I write, I go to the cinema.

Of course, we all know the question means ‘where do you work’ but why do we equate going to work with the essence of who we are and what we do.

In this ever-connected world, work is ever present. Our bosses can contact us wherever we are, we can catch-up with our colleagues at the touch of a button, we never have to be far from work thanks to technology.

But just because we can make work our entire lives it doesn’t mean we should.

I love my job, being a journalist is the only thing I wanted to do and I define myself as ‘a journalist’ because I do let work take up most of my life.

However, I don’t think that’s a healthy attitude to work – no matter how much I enjoy my job – because it doesn’t leave enough room for people I care about, for enjoying myself, travelling and myriad other things that make me happy.

Work is important, it’s the thing we do that means we can put food on the table and keep a roof over our heads, but I need to gain some perspective on where it fits in my life.

I am not my job.


9 thoughts on “A job is a job, it’s not who you are

  1. You make a good point. I formally retired, although my husband still works for our city’s Firs Department. When new acquaintances receive this info, most reactions are awkward. Maybe it’s because I’m still youngish. They inevitably ask me what I do with myself, as if I don’t contribute to anyone or anything. My answer is usually that I am a runner, world traveler, and pursuer of Hollistic Wellness. They don’t quite know how to respond. I usually smile and say how nice it is to be defined by my passions rather than my former profession. You are right. The years I spent working has made my current choices possible, but I certainly wouldn’t define myself by my prior job.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. World traveller sounds like an amazing job Tracey! And congratulations on getting their early. I imagine most people would love to do what you do and find it hard to react to your way of life. I think I could find plenty to keep me occupied if I wasn’t working! M

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi just found your blog I will be following with interest. I have now taken early retirement (I’m 56) I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to do this but it has sparked some very strange reactions in people. A close friend thinks all retired people are boring and have no further contribution to make. Others ask constantly what I do with myself all day ( it would take too long to say) I just say I live and enjoy my passions. This time last year I had no idea I would not be working but I do not miss it one bit my life is rich in so many ways. Plus I may now have time to actually posting something on my own blog. Wendy

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Wendy, thanks for stopping by and congratulations on the retirement. Funny how people react isn’t it?! I imagine they’re secretly wishing they were in the same position as you. Please do let me know the link to your blog, I’d be very interested in seeing what you’re up to. M

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The reactions Tracey and Wendy are describing sound very familiar, I got much the same when I became a freelancer and went part-time. While I allow that some people might be secretly wishing they were able to do the same, I do believe that for many others it’s a genuine question. Sadly, we so often define ourselves (and are encouraged to do so) by our jobs that we spare little thought, time and effort to discover what it is we really love. I’m not talking about ‘likes’ – the things we enjoy in our ‘spare’ time if we have it, but the things we are really passionate about – something that you would choose to make time for, even if it meant less income.

    Liked by 1 person

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