Somehow, sometimes, living in London can suck you in to the belief that your value is based on what you do all day. But your work is not your worth. Your worth is not your work.

I used to believe that some people fulfil the trope “you do what you are”, which I always found a bit more aspirational than the un-muddled-up original phrase which is intended to insinuate that you somehow reflect your professional life and little more.

I’ve never been the sort of person who wanted to be “A Somethingorother”, which at times can feel more isolating than freeing, coming from a family of teachers. And so I am not what I do, and I don’t do whatever it is that I am.

If you are happy doing what you do, you are the exception, not the rule. If you are unhappy, there is something wrong with it, and it’s easy to change because it doesn’t change the fundamental things which make you who you are.

Self worth is not defined by professional success. Your opinion of yourself shouldn’t change when you suffer a setback or a triumph.

Love people for who they are, and what they are like, not what they do. That is their value to you. Having a job to identify yourself by is not the most important way to define yourself. What you do to earn a living is not the most important thing about you.

When meeting new people for the first time, do you ask what they do quite promptly? I rarely include this in introductions. I used to try really hard to avoid that question, but now it turns out I’m generally not all that interested, actually.

The temptation is often to talk about your work as if it defines you, to ensure it gives people evidence for what sort of person you are. But why would you limit anyone to think of you in those terms?

Try it. Stop asking people. And stop thinking of yourself like that.

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