You are not your job title
When we meet someone new, the first thing we tend to say is: “Hey! Nice to meet you. What do you do?”
I hate that question.
It makes my stomach churn.
Firstly, because I do a lot of different things and it’s really hard to explain my job.
When someone asks me this question, I usually try to shrug it off and say “oh, a few different things, what about you?’ Or I start to ramble… “copywriting, blogging, Instagram stuff, things online, study, it’s kinda hard to explain.”
I’m usually met with a blank stare or an “oh, that’s interesting.”
And I try to turn the conversation back on the other person ASAP.
I get it. The old “what do you do” question is how we make small talk and get to know someone.
But apart from the fact that it’s kinda hard to explain what I do on a daily basis, there’s another reason why I don’t like this question.
We easily stereotype and make assumptions about people when we learn about someone’s job title.
But the truth is that we are all so much more than our job titles.
I am more than my job.
I am more than a paycheck.
I am more than what I study.
And you are too.
But so often it feels like that’s who we are.
We box ourselves in by the labels and descriptions we stick on each other.
And then when something doesn’t work out - we lose a job, we change our university degree, we switch careers, we’re promoted or demoted, our relationship status changes, or we become a new mum, we simultaneously feel like we’re losing a part of our identity.
I faced this identity crisis in 2014. I was studying journalism and taking on internships to eventually land a job as a TV news reporter. While doing this, I felt God was closing the door on this career path. It was as if I didn’t have any peace, and the feeling only became stronger and stronger as I went from one internship to another.
It got to a point where I had to say no to more internships and experience, because I knew deep down that God had another plan for me.
All the while, I continued my studies and started a job in communications as a media consultant. But all the while, I would see my friends post on Facebook that they’d landed their dream reporting jobs, or that they were travelling to far flung exotic places to work.
I felt gutted. Like I’d studied a journalism degree for nothing. I felt like I’d come so far to completely miss the mark of my own expectations and the expectations others had of me - to be a journalist. My identity was lost, while others fulfiled the dream I once had.
It was in that time that I felt God ask me: “Do you trust me?”
God reminded me that He had a plan for my life, and that it wasn’t necessarily the plan that I had for my life. I had one choice - to trust God and in the unknown, or to take the reigns and try to make something happen in my own strength. I chose to trust Him.
I was 20-year-old Elise, wading through the unknown, trusting in God.
But being in the unknown didn’t leave me identity-less. Because my identity was never truly in a degree or a job title or in pursuit of some fancy career. My identity was in Jesus Christ. He is the one who valued me so much that He gave up His own life for me.
Today, my work looks a little different than I thought it would. But I love the journey that I’m on.
I wouldn’t trade that tricky, unknown season for the world. Because it was then that I learned the biggest lesson of my life.
No matter what the future holds, I know that my identity is wholly in Jesus.
And the truth is that life with God isn’t one dimensional. He doesn’t categorise us by our job titles.
In fact, He calls us sons and daughters.
And He created us all so uniquely - with dreams, passions, skills, and more.
When God sees you, He looks beneath the surface.
He doesn’t just see a nurse in a hospital or a mother at home with her baby. He sees all of you - your dreams, hopes, fears, and more.
While we may not be able to see each other completely as God sees us, we sure can try.
And so, instead of asking the old “what do you do?'“ question when we meet someone, I’d like to propose two new questions:
“Who are you? What do you love?”
I’m Elise. A follower of Christ. A wife. A sister. A friend. I’m a girl with big dreams and a heart for seeing others live out their purpose. I love spending time with my husband and taking my dog for walks. I enjoy playing tennis and like going to the gym. I love writing and singing. My favourite place is the beach, and I could stay up all night talking. I value seeing the world and experiencing different cultures but I’m also very content at home with my family. There are so many more things that have shaped the person I am today. And it wouldn’t be fair to the God who created me if I were to box myself in with my job title. Because I’m multifaceted and multi-passionate, and God made me this way.
And so I’ll celebrate my identity - firmly in Jesus. And I’ll celebrate the layers upon layers of my life that He is moulding.
Now, it’s your turn to dig deep.
Who are you?
What do you love?
Comment below and tell me - I want to get to know the real you.
Oh, and before you go. Let me remind you of this.
You are more than your work. You are more than your job title. You are more than those nasty words that person spoke over you. You’re more than your failures and you’re so much more than your success.
You are a child of God and He is pleased with you.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
- Psalm 139:14
If this post was helpful to you, please share the love by pinning this post to your favorite board! I appreciate it!
I know you've probably believed some dirty rotten lies.
"I'm too much" or "I'm not enough" ring a bell? I'm busting these lies and letting you in on the truth.