The Attitude of the World

I ran across this on Pinterest just now. Someone commented, “So if you’re unemployed, you’re nothing?” That’s how it feels a lot of the time. It’s one of the first questions we ask when we meet someone new: what do you do? We don’t mean, “What do you enjoy?” or “In what activities do you partake?” We mean, “What career fulfills your life?”

Tying one’s career so closely to one’s worth and one’s identity is unfair and unwise. When someone asks you who you are, do you answer with your job title first? Or do you say you’re a parent? Or an amateur juggler? Or that you’re a Tarantino aficionado? Why do we conflate our job status with our abilities as human beings?

I think it sucks. The fact that so many people repinned this image and that so many people commented positively makes me sad. It’s awesome if you love your job; seriously, props to you! You are so lucky, and I hope you realize it. If you don’t love your job, or if you don’t have one, realize that there is so much more about you than your job status. You are fantastic, unless you’re a serial killer or something. (Stop that.)

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3 comments

  1. psst……I hate my job….and I hate that it defines me! ..right before Andy lost his job I was primed to have it be my turn to do something that had meaning….and even if Andy was still employed it wouldn’t matter as nothing has struck me as meaningful as of yet….

  2. I never really thought about that, but you’re right. When someone asks us what we do, I think the default instinct is to talk about our job. I think for me, in my mind, it corresponds to the small talk I make with people I don’t know, and that’s partially because the job talk is “safe.” I don’t have to really open up to people until I’m ready to let them know who I really am.

    I think people just repin and say things on a whim. From what I’ve read of your blogs and Twitter and all that, you’re definitely more than your employment status, as are most people. Best answer when someone asks you what you do: “I work at maintaining my awesomeness.”

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