I am not what I do-Seperating My Job from My Identity

Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment

Does your career define your identity?

Poll ended at Mon May 16, 2011 9:35 pm

not sure
Total votes: 9

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I am not what I do-Seperating My Job from My Identity

Postby sparklek » Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:35 pm

I just listened to an amazing speaker tape of Perry Ross talking about AA and the confusion we often have about who we are versus what we do for a living. This really struck me as I find myself displaced at this moment from my career. Does anyone have any experience, stength and hope to share on this topic?

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Postby Bensober » Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:20 am

Absolutely Krystal,
For me to start with…it’s important for you to enjoy your down time. Chances are (and I don’t know your specific skill sets) but you will be back to work probably quicker than needed. And if you think about it…especially if this is a concern for you.

Roles that I fell into in the past both in one of the fields I’m currently in and the fields prior to the beginning of my recovery were ego driven, grandiose, “leadershipâ€

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Postby sunlight » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:03 am

Don't think I've ever identified what I do for a living with who I am, because who I am is a radiant being of light (sunlight! duh! ), and no job can contain that! :lol:


I have a new Employer now, and He has given me certain talents and abilities so that I may be a useful, contributing member of this planet. If I employ these gifts to further His work, I find that I'm effective in what I do and I enjoy myself almost obscenely!!! :lol:

What I do expresses who I am.

To thine own self be true. :wink:
Last edited by sunlight on Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Dallas » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:01 pm

I'll try to keep it simple... :lol:

No. What you do and what you have done -- and what you are doing now -- do not identify you. You are not what you do and you are not what you have done. :wink:

A simple question to explain this is:

Changing your clothes -- is something I assume that you do. :lol:

1. 'Who' were you and what were you -- before you changed your clothes?
2. 'Who' are you and what are you -- with the clothes that you now have on? (Assuming you have clothes on). :lol:
3. Now... take your clothes off and get naked... and now that you are naked, ask yourself 'if' who you are and what you are -- is the same -- as who you were and what you were -- before you got naked?
4. Now... get dressed again -- but, get dressed in different clothes than the one's you took off. And, ask yourself -- "is who and what I am now, with these clothes on -- the same as 'who and what' I was when I was naked? And, ask...
5. Is 'who I am' and 'what I am' the same -- or different -- in these clothes that I now have on -- or am I someone else, and something else, because I changed clothes?

You need to answer those questions to prepare yourself for the final question -- which is the 'defining' question that will answer your original question:

The question is: "who were you -- and what were you" -- WHILE -- you were changing clothes? Is 'who you are -- and what you are' while you were changing your clothes -- different -- than who and what you are now that you're no longer changing clothes? :lol:

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Postby sparklek » Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:20 pm

Great reading this forum guys! Thanks a lot. I still have a lot of old ideas and I am grateful for this process and people like you all to help me through my changes. :)

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Postby RichC » Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:01 pm

For me I would say I defined my career.
I enjoy my career and have changed fields a few times in my 32 years of actual "Career".
It has been in the aviation field, but my job type has changed slightly.
But I always wanted this type of work since I was a child.
I have more progressed through the changes from a learning to doing to teaching progression.
I guess it is the way you look at it whether you defined or were defined by...
I would suggest that you get into something you really want when you are young and can make those changes more easily.
You can get locked in before you know it.

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