African Americans/White Americans: Don’t Let Your Job Define You.




( When a police officer puts on a shield and forgets who he is, the job has defined him. When a U.S. soldier comes home with PTSD, nightmares and violent or abusive behavior, he (or she) has let the job define him. When a minister comes down from the pulpit and won’t be corrected by the truth because he is “the pastor”, he has let the job (not a calling) define him. When a doctor is more bound by oath and profession than truth and a goal to heal (or cure), the medical industry has defined and determined that doctor’s identity. What point am I making? Don’t let your job define you.

The pandemic did a number on people whose identities were wrapped up in their jobs or careers. Those of you who lost or quit those jobs found yourself lost, wandering and lacking personal self-discipline. Why? Because the job kept you on schedule, on track and focused. That 8 hours or so determined the path for your day, every day. And even on the weekends or your days off, your job was the scheduler of how much time you had. Then preparing to go back to work the next week. And these are some of the biggest reasons most of you would never succeed as successful entrepreneurs. Not that every person should be one, so don’t miss the point here. Because you are so accustomed to someone else mapping out your path, you don’t know how to do it yourself. You don’t know how or you have forgotten.

American Workers

Your approach to life is floating down the river instead of driving the motorboat upstream. You wait to see what happens then try to handle it instead of making things happen. You wait for others to guide you, motivate you, keep you on track. But every day you take that approach is a day you lose more and more of your personal self-discipline, self-determination and what should define you.




Excuses are not your friends, they are your enemies. False justifications in your mind to “excuse” what you should have done, could have done, but failed to do. And what used to be valid reasons can quickly become excuses once complacency sets in.

So the big question is what are you going to do about getting yourself back on track and keeping yourself there? Have you even thought about that? Do you have a plan? Or will you wait until something happens then try to use hindsight instead of the insight you could have used before it happened?

Your employer expects certain things of you and your job or career demands certain things of you. To be on time. To stay on schedule. To focus on the tasks at hand. To be disciplined within the framework of the rules they set on attire, conversation and behavior. To park where they say. To go to lunch when they say. To clock out or sign out when they say. To complete a certain amount of work in being productive. The employer sets your standards for 8-9 hours a day, and more than that if you consider travel time. Which even dictates what time you have to wake up, get up and go to bed. You didn’t realize the employer was such a big part of your life, did you? But when the job is not there to parent those things in your life, many of you become lost, disoriented, off track, confused, off schedule and undisciplined. And that is how you know the job has been defining you.

I am a huge fan of Iron Man, but a bigger fan of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). Why more so Tony Stark than Iron Man when Iron Man is the superhero who goes to work to stop the bad guys? In one movie Captain America said “what are you without the suit”? Tony’s answer? Billionaire, playboy, genius, philanthropist. My point? The superhero of Iron Man did not make Tony Stark. Tony Stark made Iron Man spectacular. So which identity was more powerful and who was the real super hero?

Keep this in mind. The biggest reason the employer wants you to see yourself and the job as one is so you will be loyal to that job and productive for the employer. But you are not the job. And you don’t have to be one with the job to be good at what you do. Never strive to achieve for a job more than you strive to achieve for yourself. If you do, you will get lost in the job or career. But if you strive for you first, you can meet the employer’s standards AND have plenty of yourself left.



Finish story here; African Americans/White Americans: Don’t Let Your Job Define You.