Updated on October 30, 2017
Do you define yourself by what you do for a living? Your work is important, but it’s not everything. A job doesn’t define you any more than job loss does. And sometimes, unemployment helps you uncover your true identity.
Unemployed? Consider the Blessing
Apart from housework, do you work at home (or away from home) to earn an income? What would happen if you lost your job today?
Or what if you quit work to raise a family, care for a parent, or support your husband’s career? What if you remained jobless for months or even years? What if you never returned to work?
Would you know yourself?
It’s easy to equate your personal identity with your professional role when society tends to do this. Without a job, your identity may feel threatened.
But if you’re unemployed, take a moment to consider the blessing of it. Yes, unemployment can be a blessing. You are not your job, and losing your job can help you see this.
Losing Your Professional Identity
But stressful though it is, unemployment can reveal important truths. For instance, it can help you uncover your true identity and purpose in life.
I worked in a small-town library for more than 20 years, and my identity became enmeshed with my work. So I felt lost when I quit my job to marry Mitch, move to the city, and start a life together.
Without a master’s degree in library science, it was hard to find library work in the city. But in time, I found a new niche in foster care.
For almost two years, I worked with therapeutic foster parents – men and women who provided care for children with complex needs.
As I settled into the job, I embraced my new role as a foster home developer. Slowly, I began to find my way back to myself. But then, my husband’s work moved us to a different city … and I had to leave my job again.
And again, I felt lost.
Embracing Your True Identity
Unemployment (even by choice) was hard for me, but it revealed so much. It showed me how I had let my work shape my identity. And it forced me to view myself from a different perspective – God’s perspective.
It can do the same for you.
A job loss may change your professional role, but it can never alter your personal identity. If you’re a believer, you’re a child of God (John 1:12).
The truth is, God wants all people to find their identity in His Son. For it is Jesus Christ who gives us our identities (1 Corinthians 6:17).
Whatever your profession, your need is the same as mine – to know who you are, and who you can be, as a child of God. You’ll learn more about yourself and your heavenly Father as you grow in your relationship with Him.
And Now, Over to You
Thank you for reading my post. Now it’s YOUR turn to chime in. Where do you find your identity? Do you define yourself by what you do – or by who you are in Christ?
I would love to hear your thoughts on personal and professional identity. Let’s fill the comments with friendly conversation. Scroll to the end to leave a reply, ask a question, or just say hello.
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