More than just a job.

Jane Doe: Loving wife, mother and Project Manager for some tech company in London.

When we meet someone new we often get asked the familiar set of questions: what’s your name? Where do you live? What do you do? Our job becomes part of who we are whether we like it or not.

A job title often has a high amount of ego attached to it, that is if you enjoy your job. On the flip side, those in attractive or jobs where declaring it, is followed by an onslaught of questions or prejudgement, might be reluctant to mention their title.

I know doctors whose field of expertise has intimated dates, even though they are the same fun-loving person as anyone else.

Or there are people whose job helps them live the life they want. It may not be their ideal career but if it means they can love their life once the clock hits 5pm, then it works. Think about the people would rather you ask ‘what makes you, you?’ Rather than ‘What do you do?’

As humans, we are expected to spend over 90,000 hours working, so what should you do if you’re having thoughts about your career?

Is it you?

What is meant by is it you simply means, could you define yourself by it? Does it form part of your identity, do you want your career to be your identity? If the answer is yes, then finding the career that drives you must be at the forefront. Maybe it is time for a change.

Is it a steppingstone?

Ok, so your career isn’t making you as happy as you want, but is it creating a pathway to where you want to be? In the hit ABC series, Ugly Betty, Betty dreamed of being a writer for a magazine. But she worked for years as an assistant before she got her shot. From removing carrot strips from coleslaw to riding a motorbike into jelly, she endured a lot as an assistant, but the series (SPOILER) culminated with landing her dream job in London. Hard work and making the right choices can pay off.

What we are saying, is think of the big picture. Is this job going to be that puzzle piece you need?

Does it enable you to enjoy life?

Perspective is key. They say, find a job you love and never work a day, but that isn’t always easy. Try this: find a job that lets you enjoy life.

If your job is low stress but a little boring, then take that as a win. Can you fit your hours around your life? Perhaps you’re able to log off and pick your children up from school, have dinner with them and do their homework without having email anxiety. Flexibility another job might not give you. Or maybe, it pays for your lifestyle, so you never have to think that you can’t afford that extra meal out.

Think about the positives your job gives you in your personal life and switch your perspective.

Are you happy?

Fundamentality you have to be happy. If your manager is making you miserable, then it’s not worth it. Does commuting to work feel like a job in itself? Then maybe it is time for a change.

At the end of the day, work is only a small portion of our identity, you’ve never seen a headstone that reads:

Jane Doe: Loving wife, mother and Project Manager for some tech company in London.

Images courtesy of Unsplash.