Are you defined by the work you do?

I was on the phone two days ago with a friend.  The discussion centered around our career choices and how what we do professionally defines us as an individual.  Her answer to that comment has resonated with me.  She simply answered, “My job doesn’t define who I am…  I am a mother, a musician, a cook and a person who enjoys life.”  (For the record, this person has a fabulous career fortunate to be doing exactly what she wants to be doing in life.)

Although I want to believe that I have always shared a similar life mantra, I cannot help but to think about all the moments over the last few years when asked a question of “So Ken, what do you do?” what my answer was.  I would immediately answer with my professional title and the company I was working with.  I wonder what kind of reaction I would have received if I answered with this … “Great question.  I am a father, a husband, a recreational golfer, a public speaker, a civic leader, an Eagle Scout, a soccer coach, a community volunteer, an entrepreneur, and a full-time employee.”  

So, what do you do?  If asked that simple question, what answer would you provide?  Do you let your “Title” define you and provide validation or do you find life’s validation in other ways?  Do you have a life outside of the professional work you do?

Last week I attended an event in North Carolina.  I was attending with a colleague who provided a presentation to a group of government leaders around the topic of managing a remote workforce.  He provided a graphic that displayed a vintage scale of justice with the words “life” on one side and “work” on the other and an interesting conversation ensued regarding how important it is to find a healthy amount of balance.  It is true that finding that balance between work and life can be difficult at times.  It appears that the younger generation of worker has a healthy grasp on balance.  To the next generation employee, work is no longer defined as a location, it is considered an activity.

So, I would pose the following question for discussion… “What do you do to help achieve a healthy work/life balance?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s