What defines you?

Crochet StripesI had an interesting conversation with some coworkers the other day. We were discussing the fact that Americans typically answer the question “what do you do?” the same: with their occupation. But think about it. That’s what you do less than half of the time (if you’re working a typical 40-hour week). If you absolutely love your job, maybe what you do and what your occupation is are the same. However, for many Milennials that isn’t the case.

What would you say if you weren’t expected to share your occupation? Or better yet, what would you do if you did not have a job or have to work?

We need to start considering what truly defines us. For example, I might say that I’d like to crochet all the time, or make coffee, or raise rabbits. None of these things are particularly profitable, but they are hobbies that I hold important and that make me happy.

Don’t think any of your hobbies are silly. Contemplate them and consider them investments in your future–in fact, get really, really good at them and you might just be able to make them into your occupation. That’s the goal, right? I’ve noted time and time again that if I ended up pouring great coffee for people for the rest of my life, I’d probably be satisfied.

Don’t let your occupation define you, especially if you are unhappy in your job. If you identify yourself by your miserable, woe-is-me job, you’ll actually push yourself backwards. Focus on your most productive, enjoyable habits and hobbies, and look to those when you’re feeling the need for a pick-me-up. Define yourself, and you won’t have to assign your life and your worth to a dollar amount or a ranking within the corporate machine.

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