One of the principles of service that my organization embraces reads “Employment is a fundamental part of adult life.” We settled on this because so often, we define ourselves by what we do. When someone asks you the question “What do you?” it would be safe in saying that you, like me, frequently answer with either a job title or some description of what we do or what we would like to do (for those too many who are seeking new opportunities.) While this approach is neither right nor wrong, I do wonder where we are going as a society when that becomes the primary self-defining facet to us as people. If one were to sit down and think of all the possible titles in our life, are the work related ones the most important? If they are, then I would argue that life has gotten seriously out of balance.
There are people who are defined by their titles, but these are truly few and far between; the Queen of England comes to mind as someone truly defined by a title. I’m not even sure that the President of the United States would fall in this category as there are other titles that seem befitting. Some are nice, others, well, not so much!
Now I’m not advocating that titles be given up. I have heard of some organizations that have banished titles so that everyone is equal. We know not everyone is equal and even in the socialist republics of a previous era, the collective wasn’t as advertised since some people had more than other so called equal people. What I am advocating is that we, as individuals, look to define ourselves. If you want to be defined as the Chief Mukamuck of ABC Company and the powers that be ok it, so be it. Although I am the Senior Director of Human Resources and Corporate Compliance Officer for my company and hold other illustrious titles in my various volunteer organizations, I much prefer to be “Daddy” or “husband of the best wife in the world.” These are the titles that I want to be defined as the most important in my life.
How about it – what title(s) should best define you?