Loving your job and being proud of it. It’s really important for you to feel fulfilled and happy within your life. But like everything in life, there are limits. The line between loving what you do and getting wrapped up in your professional identity is a thin one. If you put too much of your self-worth in what do you, it can backfire on your life quality standards and mental health.
But keeping a healthy perspective on separating the two can be hard. Because we are you Career Partner for life, we are here to help through all stages of your professional life. That’s why we created this article where we will be exploring different ways you can approach his separation.
Whether they were chosen or earned, job titles qualify your work position. They distinguish your position from everyone else’s and keep the organisation’s hierarchy solid. On top of this, society tends to reinforce this and before you know it you’ve associated your full identity and self-worth with your work. This can have disastrous impact with the potential for exhaustion, high stress levels and burnout. According to a recent Gallup poll, 2/3rds of employees experience the state of chronic stress, which impacts both physical and mental health, as well as leading to detachment from work.
An interesting fact is that focusing too much on your job title, is that it might make you less successful. When you see yourself worth in your job title, you’re making yourself a commodity – an equal to everyone else that has the same job title. However, if you do separate yourself from that, you’ll be positioning yourself as a unique and valuable individual. By changing your perspective on how you view job titles and your overall self-worth regarding work, you will build resilience and protect your self-esteem from future challenges.
Here are our tips!
It is all a matter of perspective. We are conditioned, by societal norms, to assume success in money and status which may be true in some cases, but it certainly shouldn’t be the norm. Success can come in different forms, and it should be a balance of multiple things and not just one factor. By refining the meaning of success, you will shift how you view it as well as your mental health.
It’s not wrong to feel fulfilled or to derive your self-worth from your professional life. You’ve worked hard to get the role and to be the best employee you can, but it’s all about balance.
While is normal to need to vent about work problems or frustrations, make sure these conversations don’t infiltrate your peaceful evenings. Again, like we mentioned above, it’s all about balance. The key is to accept that we need to talk about our professional life but be mindful and restrict how much time we spend doing so.
This might sound cliché but creating boundaries between your personal life and your work life is essential. Although this is preached often, only a few of us create that space intentionally. This might include taking days off or holidays and not working during your down time. You can also do this by not working after hours and fully dedicating your time to yourself, your relationships and leisure. The idea is to create breathing space to help you gain perspective on other aspects in life.
Aligned with the point we made above, you must invest in other interests and in your social life outside of work. By developing non-work interests and friendships, you will fully accept and create the separation between work and your life outside of it. This is extremely beneficial because these people remind you of who you really are regardless of your professional success and failures. Once you start doing this, you will start to prioritize and see as more valuable being a good friend or learning that song on the piano as opposed to being “employee of the month” at the office.
Our values are the core of what we stand for and what we consider as important. However, we tend to lose sight of them when life and work get a bit too busy because when the stress levels get in the way, we easily forget why we do what we do.
So have a little check in with yourself once a week or once month. Ask yourself if you feel like your attachment to work has had an impact on your mental health or if it has pulled you away from your core values. If the answer is yes, reel yourself back and reassess your values. These should be the driver of your goals both professionally and personal. And always remember work you should be the meaning of your life but should add meaning to your life.
Being passionate about what you do is wonderful but your worth as a person is not tied to your job title and moderation is key. If you feel yourself being consumed by your professional identity, take a step back. Try to keep a healthy balance and a good solid perspective by distinguishing who you are from what you do.