I’ve long preached — or nagged — that people should craft busy, active lives outside the workforce. Too many people tie their entire self worth to their job. They care about their careers and little else.
Well, that attitude can be dangerous in the best of times. When even the hardest working, most talented people can lose their jobs at any moment, connecting your sense of self completely to your career is a sure path to low self esteem.
The Wall Street Journal wrote a good story about this. It starts with a look at a former investigative reporter who recently was forced to take a buyout from the Kansas City Star newspaper. For 30 years, this man worked as a reporter. It was how he identified himself.
When he didn’t have that job, he had no idea what he was.
That’s the danger we all risk when we let work take over our lives. Think about it: Do you think of yourself as an accountant, a writer, a CEO? Or do you think of yourself as a great wife, a loving husband, a terrific father or a supportive friend? Maybe it’s time we all began to think of ourselves as those latter choices.