Work vs. a Career -or – Have You Developed Amnesia at Work?

Who are you?

For that matter, who am I?

No, I don’t have amnesia, but you may – and you wouldn’t even realize it.

So my question was a serious one…  Who are you?  Because many people have forgotten who they are.

On two separate occasions I was working on making processes much more efficient.  To do this, I had to gather information about how they worked now.

As I was probing, one person said, “Oh, you aren’t going to take that part away from me, are you?  That accounts for half of my work.” Although I didn’t say it out loud, the response in my head was, “Why, yes, and it will save millions of dollars and allow you to do more important work.”

Another person said, “You can’t change this.  This is who I am.  This is what I do.” She defined her work self by the activities she did.  It is as if she walked in the doors and had work amnesia of who she really was.

These two people had a job, not a career. Do you see how dangerous that is?

Rather than being focused on the longer term, they were focused on their task so that when an improvement came along they were not able to adapt.

If you understand what you are trying to accomplish, when change comes you can still head in the same direction.  Change won’t derail you, it will only make you stronger.

So my question to you is, “Who are you?”  Do you focus on your job or on your career?  Do you have work amnesia?  Hopefully you will be able to say NO because you know why you do what you do and your job does not define you.

This is one reason why I don’t let my children talk about “dad’s job.”  Rather I make them refer to it as “dad’s work.”  What you do should be bigger than your job, it should be your work.  Your job may change, but what you work toward will be your driving force for what you do.