HBR: What Happens When Your Career Becomes Your Whole Identity


First off, we are now officially all back to real work and may each of you enjoy this year's effort and results. As they say about our industry, it's not rocket science, its a WHOLE lot more complicated than that!

THIS is a good article. Further down in it are five questions. I failed all five of them, miserably. but surprisingly, I am not miserable. just the opposite. Compared to my first career as an Air Force Officer and my second in IBM, this third stage has become my true identity, it is who I am AND the hours are great too. 

I hope you get to experience this also, to progress and to achieve only to eventually find yourself, one day, called to something that lets you reach the peak of Maslow's Hierarchy, true self-actualization of your dream. 

What Happens When Your Career Becomes Your Whole Identity
HBR: Janna Koretz, December 26, 2019

Dan, a partner at a major Boston law firm, was due at the office, but instead, he was curled on his bathroom floor, unshaven and in his pajamas, crying into a towel.

It began slowly, in a meeting with a particularly pushy client, when a thought bubbled up in his mind: “Why the hell am I even here?” From that moment, he noticed that his impatience, unhappiness, and frustration with his job grew deeper, until all at once, he realized: he didn’t find happiness or fulfillment in his work — and maybe he never had.

For someone who had built his entire idea of himself around his career, this thought sent Dan into an existential crisis. Who was he, if not a high-powered lawyer? Had he wasted so many years working for nothing? Would he have had more friends and a happier family if he hadn’t spent all those nights at the office?

Dan’s story is not uncommon. Many people with high-pressure jobs find themselves unhappy with their careers, despite working hard their whole lives to get to their current position. Hating your job is one thing — but what happens if you identify so closely with your work that hating your job means hating yourself? Read More