Your Job Title: Does it Define You?

arleenYears ago I lost my job.  It wasn’t just any job; I was working for my church.  The church my family had been involved in for 100 years.  I lost not only my job; I also lost where I went to church; the support system of people I had shared my faith with; the place where I socialized and many friends.  For various reasons, the members went to all different parishes.  It was a lot to lose for one person. I lost the place, activities and people I would go to in times of trouble.  But it was gone.  Not only did I have to look for a new job but I had to find a new parish and start assembling faith sharing group.

 Who am I?

However, I had lost my identity.  I had been a Director of Religious Education (DRE) at Sacred Heart Parish in Lawrence, Massachusetts.  I had a title that described what I did, what I believed and where I did it.  If I were no longer the DRE at Sacred Heart, who was I?  My skills didn’t seem to translate into the secular world.

 What do I do?

The chances of repeating my role as a DRE in the Archdiocese of Boston didn’t looking promising as 80 parishes were closed at that time.  I had tightly woven my identity, my job and my church together.  I had poured my heart and soul into the job and parish; it had become who I was.  After the church closed, I didn’t know who I was, where I belonged or what I wanted to do.  People asked me what I kind of work I wanted but I didn’t know.   I looked for something in a haystack but didn’t know what.

 What I do.

After taking different jobs doing various tasks, I realized who I was. I was a people person.  I enjoy helping people.  Now when I think about who I am, I no longer think of myself as a particular title.  I am happiest when I can help people get what they want; whether it’s a job, a skill, a connection or a listening ear.  That is what I do best.  Anything I can do that uses this talent is my job.

 Who I am.

 I am someone who can help you.  I am proud of my ability to assist people in their needs.  Sometimes I am a career coach.  Other times I am a neighbor who helps out in difficult situations.  I am a member of a committee doing what I am assigned to do.  Other times I am a daughter who will take her mother where she wants to go.  I am not just one thing.  I enjoy being resourceful and capable.  I am not defined by job title.

I have found that I am more than a job title because I have transferable skills that I can use wherever they are needed.   I am open to  all possibilities as they are made known to me.  And more importantly, ,hen the inevitable changes come, I am able to adjust to meet the new challenges.

 How are you defining yourself?

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