Our Jobs Don’t Define Us

But they can remind us of who we might become

Carly J Hallman

--

Photo by Jeffery Erhunse on Unsplash

Our jobs don’t define who we are, not really. We all know that. We’ve read the tweets, laughed at the memes. And yet, here we remain. Asking people what they do. Including details about our professions in our online bios. Defining ourselves and others by what’s printed on our payslips. We know better, and yet.

The other day, my British father-in-law told me that when he graduated from teacher’s college, he immediately landed his dream job at a fancy school near his hometown in the north of England. He was told that if he performed well, the job could be his for as long as he wanted it. And he did perform well, but life had other plans. On a cruise to Italy, he met my mother-in-law. He decided to chuck away his dream job and move to London for a shot at something bigger.

His storytelling — the way he framed it all — focused on the work aspect. He never found a job he enjoyed more than that one, but he wasn’t complaining, as he recognized that he’d done just fine for himself in the long term. He was just saying. And in the classic British avoidance way, he then steered the conversation in another direction, and off we went. However, when I got home, it occurred to me that there was an obvious bigger picture here, one I’d been masterfully distracted from. His keeping or not…

--

--

Carly J Hallman

Just another 30-something writing about the internet, nostalgia, culture, entertainment, and life. Author, screenwriter, copywriter. www.carlyjhallman.com