As we get older and meet more people, the way we identify with others often times ties in with our occupation or what we are studying in school. I understand this way of getting to know people is part of networking, but it shouldn’t define who we are. Even when people are on a date and introducing themselves, a lot of the time people will introduce themselves and then lead the introduction on who they are with their profession.
In a sense, society set us up for this method of defining who we are. Some people still have last names that are based on the sort of work their ancestors did. This practice of labeling people based on their occupation does not correctly define who they are, it only tells us what they do for a living. Just because someone is a professor, an engineer, a doctor, or a lawyer, it doesn’t mean that is who they are, it only shows the surface of who they are. Our profession is what we thought we would be interested in working in as a means of providing for ourselves and our families. What sets each and every one of us apart from another person in our profession is our hobbies, personality, character, and opinions.
Who we are is more accurately defined by our moral character, what we believe in, and what we’re interested in. When people are asked to introduce themselves or tell someone about themselves, people seem to forget about this. In a lot of the interviews when I asked the hiring manager about themselves the resultant answer would be professional, which is understandable. But when I ask some of my friends how they see themselves, a lot of them still define themselves by what their studying or what their occupation is. To go beyond that is hard for them to communicate. In part I think it’s partly due to our lack of openness in this society and it’s why I decided to point it out in this post. By being able to define ourselves, we are more able to connect with people and build stronger relationships.
In either case, how you want others to see you is entirely up to you. In some settings you may not feel comfortable exposing too much of yourself which is fine, but when you don’t know how you see yourself, there’s a problem. If you’re one of those people who don’t know what you want, like, or who you are, then take the time to ask yourself these questions. It’ll help give you direction and allow you to pursue the things you want.
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