Being more than your job

The question that gets asked more at social events than any other is probably “So what do you do?” Don’t quote me on this though, I have no empirical evidence that suggests it is so. It just feels that way to me. The minute you give an answer to this, the asker immediately decides on the kind of person you are off the basis of whatever stereotypes or thoughts they have of people in the same profession.

Other than a stint as a magazine editor, when I had a clear answer to this question, I have been generally been left at a loss for words when asked. Amongst the different jobs I have had, there has been poet, booker at an actor’s agency, project manager for a public franchising project, information officer for a small record label, event director for a fashion brand, founder of an IT company and television researcher and producer.

Too many people define themselves by what they do for a living which is why, when you take that away, it can create chaos. We are now living in a time when we have to come to terms with our lives beyond work. When cooped up indoors, you can’t just do work. You are then faced with you. What do you actually enjoy doing? Do you bake, or knit, or paint, or read, or draw, or build puzzles …?

If you didn’t have to work for a living, what would you do with your time? Would you continue to work? Would you pursue something else?

Life has to be about more than work, I think. How we define ourselves has to be about more than just what puts food on the table and keeps the roof over our head. Even when you enjoy what you do for a living, it can’t be the only thing that defines you. I don’t think any one of us fits perfectly into a single box. Now is the time to embrace all dimensions of who we are.

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