Sunday, November 7, 2021

I've been workin', I've been workin' so hard (Van Morrison)

A friend and former colleague of mine included some notes from counsellor/presenter Aaron Ironside on her recent blogpost.  

The basic message was: I am not what I do - I am not my job

Who am I – is a different question as to What I do.  We cannot use our job to fix our view of ourselves, to upgrade our self-esteem, to make us upgrade our self-esteem – it’s not sustainable.

We need to keep our sense of self, who am I, the real me as a private concern.  Not one that is being determined or defined by work.

It’s just a job.  You are more than your job.  One day the job will be over.  Who will be left when it is all taken away?  It only muddles it if you let your work get entwined with your sense of self.

This is interesting because the lines between self and job are definitely blurred in my experience.

The way we lead/teach is an extension of our selves in many ways. Our individual style and personality and ability to form and sustain relationships is a fundamental part of how we do our job.

Our working life is a big chunk of our time - from 7.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday in my case (luckily there is no weekend sport or evening meetings like I had when Principal at Stratford High School).

I believe that our character traits affect our success or failure in life. My time at work is heavily influenced by my character traits. I am very much what I do.

Who I am and what I do are inter-dependent to a huge degree.

To an extent I do agree with that middle paragraph - there is a private me, and I do play a series of roles at school - all tangential ones - but me as teacher, as servant leader - that's who I am - to my core.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I guess what I read into these notes I took from Aaron was that while having a high powered job (Principal) shouldn't affect ones self-esteem (some people relish this position and it gives them an additional sense of esteem). But, if you were demoted tomorrow, it would be upsetting - so would it impact upon what you believe of yourself?

While we do bring our sense of self so much into our jobs, particularly in education - I don't think we can solely rely on defining who we are in relation to our job.

(possibly looking at it and thinking about it from a different perspective)