Who are you? You are on one level I suppose a product of your past; everything from where you were born and brought up, the schools you attended, the people who surrounded you in your earliest formative years. Yet it’s more than this or people would be very much like their brothers and sisters, and very alike their neighbours and friends. But you, you’re unique.
No one knows you better than yourself or would you disagree with this premise? There are sometimes we might say to someone, “You know me better than I know myself”, but I suspect even when we say it we’re really indicating only a certain aspect of ourselves is known well by another rather than our complete make up.
Knowing ourselves; why is that so important? What’s that remotely have to do with employment, finding a job, landing a career? If that’s what we’re after shouldn’t we just run out and get a job; any job? Some people actually do make this critical mistake – but the number is very low. Even someone who says they are looking for and will do ‘anything’ usually draws the line at some point between what they’ll really do and what they won’t – and this is a good thing!
When you know yourself well you can identify and label the things you enjoy vs. those you don’t. You have an awareness of things you can do well, others you need help completing and yes other things you haven’t mastered and perform poorly at. Put together, you’ve got a pretty good idea of your skill set. To be successful and happy, it would seem logical then to perform work that gives you pleasure and that you perform well. The more you do this kind of work, you may increase your abilities from performing well to mastering.
The amazing thing about as humans however is that we grow. We grow and change over time. We take a job and at some point early on or at a later date we evolve and look for new challenges and new stimulation. While some of us could perform the same job for years or even decades, others opt to pursue different challenges that make use of some of our other skills. We may even choose to shift our employment into occupations where we haven’t mastered skills in order to develop skills we identify as needing and wanting to grow.
We are more than an accumulation of our skills though aren’t we? Sure we are. Our thoughts, needs, wants; things we see as beautiful, desirable. Let’s not forget too the things that limit us, impede us or just make the learning or living more of a challenge. We may have a physical or mental health issue that is part of our make up; and it may or may not be visible to the naked eye.
With respect to employment, is it the case that there is but a single job in this wide world that is meant for us and it is only that one single job that we were put on this earth to do? I certainly don’t think that for a second. However to listen to some speak, they are out searching endlessly for that perfect job, the one that will give their life meaning and define who they are and give them purpose. This belief can actually be a huge hindrance in landing employment because a person that believes there is but a single job they were meant to do often turns down many jobs fearing to choose wrong.
There is, is their not a certain prestige or value that we assign to jobs and employment too. If as some do we place a low value on a particular job vs. another, it might make us feel good to pursue a job of high common value feeling that is the job we were meant to do. But then what of the person who makes pipe cleaners for a living, bubble gum wrappers or toothpicks for a living. Is it likely that they identify there work as the one purpose they were put here on this earth and they do their work with passion, finding high value in it as meaningful and fulfilling. Who is to say, perhaps they do.
When you assess yourself; likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, etc. you still don’t have the complete picture of what defines you. It’s elusive, and just when you think you’ve got it, you realize what you used to find great joy in has become somewhat stale and less than completely satisfactory; well sometimes. We evolve, grow, regress, alter, morph and every so often we note the changes. We overcome tragedies and tests of our endurance.
It is the sum of all we experience and how we interact with those experiences that defines who we are and who we become. We can shift and make different choices in life intentionally and of course much in life happens to us unexpectedly for good or bad. We get hurt, we find elation, we crawl, we fly. We are the sum of all our experiences and truly unique.
There are many kinds of work in this world that you will perform well and enjoy. With every thing you do, take stock of what you do well and what you find both enjoyable and would rather avoid in the future.
When you define yourself, you find yourself.