What Do You Do

When you meet someone new for the first time, do you feel the desire to find out what that person does professionally? When you are introduced to someone new for the first time, do you feel obliged to disclose what you do as a career? For some, what they do as a profession defines them, while for others, what they do to make a living is not anyone else’s business, and does not completely validate or justify their self-worth.

For those, who hold onto the equation of career accomplishment=self-worth, they have no problem wrapping their sense of self up in the same bow with their professional accomplishment. Why should they? After all, they have invested so much of their life, time, and effort into what they do as a profession. The accomplishment that they have worked hard for, in their own respective professional fields, is a representation of their tenacity, work ethics, decision-making, and discipline; all the entrepreneurial traits that all of us should be so aspired to cultivate in our own lives. Of course, after all the sweats and tears, it is only natural and understandable that people, who embrace the equation of career accomplishment=self, merge the two in one.

For individuals, who have a different perspective, and resists the temptation of equating career accomplishment with their sense of self, have their own theory.  Although they are just as proud of their career; however, they also believe firmly in the idea that what they do professionally only makes up a part of their whole existence. Life needs to be sustained by money. But, making money is not always the number one order of the day; the maximum framework, in which a life is supposed to be led and to unfold. Life is progressing far beyond the confines of an office cubicle. Though what is happening and gets realized in the cubicle is a microcosm of the life at large; however, it can never encapsulate life in its entirety.

For me, ideally, I would opt for the latter mode of thinking. That being said, I do understand that making a clear, distinctive separation between what we do as a job and our sense of self is a struggle, when the mixing and the entanglement of professional title and who we are as people are so jumbled together, and deeply ingrained in the current social culture.

Life is complicated for sure.

Published by Robbie's Blog

I am a third-culture person who's navigating his way around Hong Kong and beyond. Come join me on this rollercoaster ride.

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