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You are not your Job!

There is a very pervasive view in our society, and honestly throughout human history, everyone really, really identifies with their job. It somehow becomes a core piece of your identity. For those who have nice respectable jobs, they tout it, and those who don’t downplay it. I’ve always found this really strange, I like my work, but I really don’t like the thought of being boxed into just my job. I really hope that I’m more than my job, someone with many facets and roles.

People get so hung up on jobs that they shoot themselves in the foot. Did you know there is a huge shortage of Truck drivers, and garbage men? These people make $50,000 to $100,000 pretty easily, but most people now a days just can’t bring themselves to take a job like that because of what it would do to their identities. People have “dreams” and “passions” and so don’t want to entertain the thought of a non-glamorous but well paid job. I think that’s really DUMB. From two sides, one, get over yourself, you’re a person like everyone else. What is more important, your ego or your family’s long-term financial well being? On the other side, why does driving a truck stop you from doing other things and pursuing other passions? You can empty septic systems by day, and be a leader in the community by night, build beautiful furniture, or other things. It’s not an either or type thing.

I went to school for accounting, I am not “an accountant”, I studied finance, I am not just a “finance guy”, I work in investments now and really like it, but that is not the pinnacle of who I am. I am a Father, I am a builder, I am space nerd, I am many things…

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you shouldn’t find a job that you like, but don’t blind yourself or let the work define who you are. I see people all the time get so wrapped up in their work. They build an identity at work and they can in turn become 2-dimensional people. Work becomes everything because that is their identity. How sad is that? There is so much more going on in life that you are probably ignoring.

Work, first and foremost is what we do to contribute to society so that we may have the resources to live our lives. If it happens to align with who you are as a person, great! But if it doesn’t that’s fine too, make sure your priorities are straight.

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