Are You – Your Job?
We spend years of school studying to get a job, and the rest of our adult lives chasing after raises, promotions and the prestige of professional achievements. According to research by industrial-organisational psychologist and behavioural scientist Andrew Naber, the average person will end up spending 90,000 hours of their lifetime at work.
𝗧𝗵𝗮𝘁’𝘀 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗮 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗿𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗲𝘀.
So, it’s unsurprising that we identify ourselves by what we do. Think about how you introduce yourself to strangers. One of the first things we tell people about ourselves is our job title, followed by an explanation of our work.
Work can give you a purpose in life, a goal to focus your time and energy on. But it becomes a problem, an unhealthy obsession even — when we end up forsaking family, friends, hobbies and health for our careers.
Mental health challenges like burnout, depression and anxiety arise when work takes over your life and becomes your entire identity. Our minds become consumed by work-related thoughts 24/7. We struggle to have conversations with those who don’t work in the same field, and if something terrible happens and we’re no longer able to continue doing what we do for a living, we end up feeling as though life is no longer worth living.
In a society that reveres spending long hours at work, skipping meals and sleep to get a job done, with only rewarding professional achievements such as raises, promotions and prestige, it’s no longer unusual to find yourself struggling to live a healthy, balanced life.
What can we do to change this?
Ultimately, work is the primary way we eke out a living. We can’t pay our bills, support our family or enjoy the finer things in life if we don’t have a job.
Isn’t it inevitable that we identify ourselves by our work?
But is it impossible to separate our jobs from our worth as a human being?
Of course not!
You are a human being. That means your existence itself matters — not just the work you do. The evidence of your worth shouldn’t come from just the work of your hands. If you only find satisfaction when you’re working on your career, then once your career ends or is over, your source of satisfaction disappears forever.
So, while it’s alarming that the average person will spend a third of their life at work, this is also good news.
𝗜𝘁’𝘀 𝗼𝗻𝗹𝘆 𝗮 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗿𝗱.
There’s still another two-thirds of your life that makes up who you are. So, build friendships, find new hobbies, spend time with family and loved ones. Understand that there will always be more work you can do, but there is only one you. Don’t let your job dictate who you are!
𝗣𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗳𝗶𝗹𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗶𝘀 𝗮𝗹𝘄𝗮𝘆𝘀 𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗽 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝗮 𝗷𝗼𝗯 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁’𝗹𝗹 𝘀𝘂𝗶𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗱𝘀, 𝘀𝗼 𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗺𝘂𝗰𝗵-𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗱𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗸 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗵𝗼𝗹𝗶𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝘆𝗼𝘂’𝘃𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗹𝘀𝘁 𝘄𝗲 𝗱𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘆𝗼𝘂.