View Full Version : Scale of one to ten.....

6-24-11, 4:16pm
How much does what you do for a living define who you are as a person? I will go first.....Color me a three (but on a good day more like two). I am very curious to see other's responses on this.....One thing I like about living simpler is indeed breaking personal identity apart from what I do for money, that concept DEFINITELY works for me. Rob

6-24-11, 4:48pm
I'd say I'm pretty high.... but then I was a programmer before I started making money programming. And, if I wasn't working for money, I'd still write programs for little hobby things.

The niece and nephew are amazed that I used to write my own video games to play. Of course, that was a much simpler time... I was 11 and dad bought a TI 99/4a

6-24-11, 5:10pm
OK, the market researcher in me is asking is one low and ten high? I'm assuming 10 is high.

Very interesting question. I backed into this career solely for breadwinning purposes, but because I have an assortment of skills from here and there (that are kind of part of my identity) I have done pretty well with it for the past 14 years.

So, does market research define me as a person? No way! In fact, sometimes I get mad at my clients, and mad at myself for being part of the whole consumer machine.

But, frankly, I love what I do! Does that make sense? I love interviewing people, I love having to figure out strategic solutions, I love writing reports where you have to make all the data fit into a story for the client, I love coming up with creative ways to present the data, I love standing up in front of a bunch of marketing geeks and having the nod their heads as I present the results.

So, my JOB gets a 2, but my skills get an 8.

6-24-11, 5:20pm
I'll admit that I used to be a pretty high 9, almost a 10 in terms of my job defining who I was. What I did for a living totally consumed my life (70 hour weeks) and I "lived" the job. Then I realized "the job" was killing me. It took about three years of planning to get out of it, but I did. Now, I have a host of different part-time jobs and many fun hobbies and activities, charities, and the like. My jobs now define me to a level of, oh, probably a 2 or a 3. I do so many different things that there's no one part of my life that any longer encompasses my "whole."

6-24-11, 6:26pm
I imagine I'm sort of a special case, because while I do a regular 'job,' (web work) I only do it for people that are trying to do great things in the world (social entrepreneurs, nonprofits, counselors/coaches, etc.) and I'm really picky about who I work for.

So the action itself (web work) would be low, say a 2, but the part of my job where I'm part of a lot of terrific things happening would be much higher, maybe a 9. I don't define myself by my programming skills, but by the people I choose to associate with, and by cranking out good ideas that I think will help the world in some small way. If that makes any sense?

iris lily
6-24-11, 9:26pm
In my career girl days it was an 8+, but now that I'm mentally leaving this job though I'll be here for some years, it's more like a 5 - 6.

Zoe Girl
6-24-11, 11:19pm
Hmm, an 8. I work supervising after school care paid for with grants, in the summer I have one site of day camp through an excellent school district program. So working with kids, supervising adults (developing, training and all that) and still getting time to bring out my Dr Seuss reading corner is pretty cool. It would be hard to imagine one career however that would cover all of me since I have so many facets of what I am interested in doing. this job does take a good variety of my skills (like stopping a serious nose bleed without scaring the child) while in a field I feel great about.

6-25-11, 7:52am
About a 3 or 4. Really quite low. But I don't know too many people who say that working in insurance makes them who they are. It's not one of those types of careers.

6-25-11, 8:03am
Hmmm...there is a high overlap between what I find interesting in "real life" and what I find interesting in work life, but who I am isn't defined by my job. I like to discover new patterns, and find discrepancies between what people say and what people do, and I like to find out how things work. I get to do all these things as a software tester and manager of software testers, but I could have applied those likes to a number of different fields. And at home, I like to do this too by learning new crafts, or cuisines of different areas and figuring out the underlying principles.

I like being able to do this in software development and get paid good money for it. If I was independently wealthy though, I likely wouldn't do this, but I would engage my brain in some sort of learning activities.

Anne Lee
6-25-11, 8:10am
Since I work in environmental education, I would say that my job expresses who I am rather than defines it.

6-25-11, 8:26am
It took me 3 years to find my real self identity after I retired in 2004 so I would have been a 9-10 but now it is so far in my past that I am just glad to enjoy life.

It was interesting to meet at a class reunion 45 years after graduation and see how many others did so strongly identify with what they did as an occupation and quite a few did but most had retired and found a new sense of self as I did.

6-25-11, 2:13pm
8, and i am lucky to have this situation in my life, where there is a lot of congruence between my work and myself.

6-28-11, 5:51am
Going to go with 7-8. Not because I even enjoy the work, cause I don't. It is because it has gotten so stressful at my workplace that it spills over to my real life.

6-28-11, 6:05am
Zero. I have been waiting for four months for a transfer to another department. In another month it should finally come through. I can't wait to do something that should have a higher number on the scale.

6-29-11, 12:57pm
In my working days - especially when I was in the Coast Guard - I was definetly a 10 plus! ALL I cared about was doing my job (and the adventurous life it let me live) and I was wholly defined by it. I would have done the job for free - and probably would still do that kind of work voluntarily. But now that I'm retired, it's a big fat zero! But I've been the happiest and most fulfilled in my life during my working years in the Coast Guard and would choose that lifestyle and job again before anything else.

What defines me now would probably be the activities and personal challenges I take part in. I'm divorced and childless with really no family except a sister my age, so family and relationships don't really define me.

6-29-11, 11:12pm
I would say it doesnt define me at all, although I have worked jobs in the fields I love and I can express who I am in those situations. I've worked awful jobs that I went to simply for the paycheck. Even in those situations, miserable though they were, I learned some things. I learned I am not defined by others expectations for me and there is always someone I can help in some way. This is my calling, helping others. I've worked with economically disadvanted families and this I love. I can really be "me" in this because i do love it.

6-30-11, 9:45pm
I feel the same as Anna Lee. I am a librarian; it is a calling as much as a career, and whatever I am doing - gardening, writing, socializing - I do it like a librarian. I think I would have to say that my career is defined by who I am, rather than the other way around.

Mangano's Gold
6-30-11, 10:14pm
Semantics aside, I'd say a 7 or 8. I spend 40(+) hours a week working. When I'm not working I spend time thinking about it. On vacations, I bring reading material. My work has brought me to many states and a couple different countries. I approach it both practically and as an intellectual pursuit.

There is even spillover into non-work areas. For example, I want to set an example of discipline and dedication for my kids. And even though my wife is a SAHM, when we met were both Marriott Platinum members, which means we both had spent hundreds of nights in Marriott-related hotels in the previous few years.

There is no way to separate that from who I am.

But all that said, I don't think I'd have any problem transitioning to retirement if I had the stash. I'd just do something else, or nothing at all. And then that stuff would partially define me.

6-30-11, 11:31pm
About a 2. Really. It's a decently interesting job and it pays the bills. I do it well, which the boss agrees with, but it doesn't define me. I have a full, rich life and a variety of interests outside of it. My coworkers, on the other hand, are all wrapped up in work and from the way they talk, their focus outside of work is the TV and their kids/grandkids. No hobbies, aside from one woman sewing a bit occasionally - I find the no hobby thing kinda sad.

ETA: Now, when I was a reporter, on my college newspaper and after for about 16 months, I was consumed by it. But the hours were weird and the pay beneath poverty level. I really like having regular weekday hours and no weekends or nights.

7-1-11, 3:34pm
Hmm, on reflection, I think I answered wrong.

My passion and skills (programming) define my career, but what I actually do to get paid never define me

7-4-11, 11:12pm
Maybe about a 5. I think I really was a born scientist, and I clearly remember doing various "experiments" even at a young age, just to see what would happen. For example, I was purposely being very late to kindergarten to see 1) what would happen and 2) what went on in the world while I was at school. I found out 1) my mom and teacher got mad and I got grounded and 2) nothing much. Lesson learned, I was never late to school again except medical or weather issues. That's part of who I am but not the whole person: I'm a cook and a swimmer and a mountaineer and a dog owner, and a (sort of) landscaper, and a money manager in my private life.