Do you identify with your work? I do, a lot of the time. Ask me who I am and the word “writer” will pop up early in my answer, even though that’s only one of many things I am. I’m also a wife, a daughter, a stepmother, a sister, and someone with an adventurous nature who recently pulled up stakes and moved all the way across the country. I’m good at cooking and yoga. I’m bad at horseback riding but I love it so I do it anyway.
But when I think about my identity, how I mark my place in the world, I think of my profession first. I bet you do, too. Being work-focused can be good: It motivates you to do your best, to try new things, to take risks in pursuit of greater goals, to find creative solutions to problems, and to dig in and do what’s needed when challenges come along.
Identifying with your work, though, is a very bad idea. If you, like me, have been confusing yourself with your job, it’s time for a subtle but essential attitude shift. Here’s how to get started:
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Think your identity comes from your profession? Three reasons to change your mind.