‘So, what do you do?’

Your happiness can be affected by how closely you identify with what you do for a living

By Paul Glen
June 14, 2017

There's nothing wrong with accepting this variety of work. In fact, it can be a great joy to mix both high- and low-profile work. I know quite a few people who have managed groups of hundreds of developers who are now quite happy writing code. Careers need not, and often don't, follow the 1950s model of climbing the corporate ladder.

The problem is that too often we allow the work we do to govern how we judge ourselves. When high-profile work comes along, we feel validated and happy with who we are. But when that work dries up or the market turns down, we allow ourselves to feel worthless or undervalued.

To protect your own happiness, think carefully about how you answer the question, "What do you do?" The more you decouple who you are from what you do, the more likely you are to have a happy life and a flexible and fulfilling career.

Previous Page  1  2