How would you define yourself?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I’m sure at school you can remember being asked; “what would you like to be when you’re older?” And the answer would no-doubt be some form of career; an astronaut, a footballer, a police officer. Though, wouldn’t answers like; “happy”, “caring”, “an all-round good person” be more suitable?

From a young age we’re programmed to define ourselves by a job — either the job we currently do, or the one we aspire to. But surely, how we define ourselves should have far greater meaning than what it says on our business cards or email signatures?

You’re not a job

As we grow up, and get more and more used to initial meetings and introductions, our career becomes the default response to the question “what do you do?”

It’s almost like a we feel people can gauge more about us from a job title than any other characteristic. But, people are not jobs. We’re people. We’re all unique.

If you’re an accountant, you’re different to EVERY single other accountant out there. If you’re a waiter, you’re different to EVERY other waiter. And so on…

Sure, in some cases (CVs, business websites, business meetings, etc), we need to talk about what we do, and how we earn our living, take, but not all the time. A job shouldn’t be a defining characteristic.

We all have something to offer the world that no-one else ever will. Maybe, more often than not, we should define ourselves by who we are, rather than what we do.

If you had to define yourself without a reference to work or your career, what would you say?