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Does your job define you?

about 5 years ago by Neha Karia

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It's an age old question that has an obvious answer: no.

For as long as I can remember, posed with the question, "Tell me about yourself?", most people respond first and foremost with their job.

Does what you do to earn a living have any bearing on who you are as a person?

I agree, an occupation can give you a certain amount of insight into someone's character in the most stereotypical sense, but does everyone fit the mould? And if you do perchance fit the stereotype of your role, isn't it more meaningful to enumerate the various characteristics you have that happen to make you good at your job rather than relying on someone's perception of that job?

Does your job title make you look better?

There will be some people who feel that their job title gives them an air of superiority and makes people regard them as more important. Whereas others feel like their title demeans them slightly, or conjures certain feelings.

For example:

If someone tells you they work in emergency services, they immediately yield a little more respect, even if only subconsciously.

If they tell you they work in an admin role, you immediately assume they're probably a little boring.

If someone tells you they work in a morgue, you'll think they’re a little creepy.

If they tell you they have a less-skilled role, they are deemed as less important or intelligent.

It's unavoidable, it's become the status quo and people have become very aware of the implications and try to mitigate any negative connotations with subsequent positive ones. So they follow something like, "I'm a bus driver", with "but before I threw out my back, I was a firefighter".

Is it fair? No, but are we all playing the game? Yes.

Tell me about yourself...

The next time you're posed with responding to this statement, consider would you rather someone judge you on their perceptions of your job, or the characteristics you choose to identify with?

Choose your words carefully...