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Recently it dawned on me that I rely too heavily on my job for happiness and self-fulfillment. But is this really the right course to take?

I found several articles, including this one, that argue against expecting our jobs to define who we are and seeing them as the key to a happier life:


I think the author is in over his head, though. Let's face it -- deep down we all want our jobs to define us, at least to a certain degree. And many people out there -- especially single folks, divorcees, and the child-free -- typically do look for more enjoyment in their work.

Do you think jobs truly fulfill us?
 

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I don't think it has to be one or the other. I've heard of cases where people are really fulfilled by the work they do and other cases where people aren't fulfilled by their jobs but they do more fulfilling work on the side (as a kind of hobby).

I think the issue is in relying on a job for happiness - because happiness is so variable and no job is constantly going to make you happy. But I do believe that, for the sake of our health, we should try to do work that excites, challenges, and gives us purpose, when possible. That's a much more realistic standard to fulfill than "happiness" and happiness is kind of ancillary to excitement anyway.

And yet, just like with anything, I don't think we should crutch on our jobs alone for purpose and fulfillment. Even if our work does do that, I still think it's healthy to expand and find numerous things outside of your work that do something for you. You don't want to be that person who loses the ability to do his one "thing" and subsequently feels like a worthless person.
 
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I think it a pity when people introduce themselves according to their occupation. I suppose it is a common thing as the idea has been drilled into our heads since conception. I prefer to explore the person based on their hopes and dreams, and not on what said individual does for a living.

I think, for the time being, that it is best not to put all your eggs in one basket.
 

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When someone spends at least 6-12 hours of their day working, I imagine it would be dreadful if they don't enjoy it.
Not all people care about making careers though, which is fine. My mom for example worked as an accountant, was very good at it and was offered to be promoted to a supervisor but she didn't want to because she liked working for 8 hours set and not have extra responsibilities and then do whatever she liked the rest of the day. I don't think she loved her work but she didn't feel bad about it either. She's ISTJ so it probably plays a part in that decision. For me it's kinda weird that she didn't pursue her dream to be an elementary school teacher but she was happy I suppose so that's that.

For me, I think I'd want to enjoy my work and feel I offer something, which is why I'm becoming a healthcare worker (dietitian). However, small jobs here and there are fine, as long as they are not permanent I suppose.
 

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Recently it dawned on me that I rely too heavily on my job for happiness and self-fulfillment. But is this really the right course to take?

I found several articles, including this one, that argue against expecting our jobs to define who we are and seeing them as the key to a happier life:


I think the author is in over his head, though. Let's face it -- deep down we all want our jobs to define us, at least to a certain degree. And many people out there -- especially single folks, divorcees, and the child-free -- typically do look for more enjoyment in their work.

Do you think jobs truly fulfill us?
I take a lot of pride in my job yes very much so. I take pride in that I work hard and make a difference in peoples lives, and exercise many of my skills.

But I do not define myself by my job really at all.

I happen to be good at my job, and actually feel fulfilled with certain aspects of it based on the part on making a difference in peoples lives daily. But actually it really just evolved from my needing a job, doing well at it, and being promoted. Although I happen to do well at it as I have an innate need to do my best. It really is not my direct calling I just adapt to what my job calls for. Its actually very very physically and mentally draining and requires a lot of mental draining and I am not that fond of how much of a toll it takes on my peace of mind. And as I said its really not in my direct human nature and disposition calling. My being good at it from adapting to the job needs does not really fulfill me alone. I am much more of a freelancing type of person, but I have children that depend on me and I am divorcee as you listed so I require it.

I don't hunk my job defines much of my core or value, but I take pride in how hard I work and the difference I make in peoples lives.
 

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Lol I have a difficult time doing this.

I am a goal-driven person by nature.
I honestly think it depends on the person. There are some people who are more ambitious than others and they need to have some accomplishments in their jobs or careers in order to feel happy in life.
 

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Let's face it -- deep down we all want our jobs to define us,
No, we don't. Society just does that. That is already how it is. We are defined by what we do. How we contribute to the operation of the world.

That's my main problem with the world. Everybody's doing something, but nobody's doing anything. It is simple maintenance. Keeping the world turning. But there is no larger goal... We are continuing just for the sake of continuing it. Then society expects me to be a cog in a purposeless machine. We are maintaining the world, so other people can live in it. We are no different than bees, or any other creature. What is humanity trying to accomplish, exactly?

What is the purpose of this world, we are constantly breaking our backs to maintain? Other animals, don't need purpose. It is instinct. I need a reason to work on the hive.
 
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