What You Do For a Living, Need Not Define You

image: Unsplash

image: Unsplash

The other day I was having a conversation with a future podcast guest who is creating the most amazing potluck dinners featuring retro 50's recipes(!) and she said something that was so interesting. She said, "I don't even know what some of the people I know even do for their 'regular job'..."  

As a super creative person, she surrounds herself with other super creatives, and they all have so much going on in the creative side of their lives that that is how she knows them. She doesn't know if they are a doctor, lawyer or admin assistant 9-5, she just knows them for what they are doing on the side.

So when I came across this article by Allison Hatfield on how her day job at a marketing agency isn't her identity, it got me thinking about how much pressure has been put on people today to have a job that is your primary identity. 

...your sense of purpose could come from painting or rock climbing or baking. It doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t have to come from your job.
— Allison Hatfield
 

And that if your day job doesn't equal your identity, and you are actually fulfilled by other "non-day job" things, then there is something inherently wrong with you. You must not be committed enough, or the worst... you just need to keep on looking to find that 100% fulfilling job!

Sure, some people find that all-fulfilling job early on in life - my dad did as a documentary film maker. But even he needed to find a new way to find fulfillment when his world shifted later in his life.

Many people do not find their jobs to be all-fulfilling. Many people get the fulfillment they need from side projects where they pursue ideas, interests and passions that have little do with their day job.

And you know what. That's ok. 

There is absolutely 100% nothing wrong with you if you never find a job that fulfills you like something else does. But you do owe it to yourself to make sure you're making some space to do that thing that does, on the side.

If this rings true for you, you are so not alone! And if you're feeling alone in it, you don't have to. Find some like-minded others over on Doing It On the Side, The Side Passion Project podcast!