From that moment we’re asked this question, early in many Americans’ childhood, our identity becomes inseparably tied to the thing we do to make money. Whether we actually fulfill those wild dreams is beside the point; we’re conditioned to tie our core identity to a profession.
As we grow into that mind-set, we embrace that a career is a singular force pushing our lives forward, and if we’re lucky enough to be good at what we do, it can be difficult to have perspective, said Alison Green, the founder of the advice blog Ask a Manager and the author of a book of the same name.
“If you’re conscientious and you like what you do, it’s very easy to get your identity all tied up with your job,” she said. “And not just the job itself, but the idea of yourself as someone who’s really good at what you do. That’s a very powerful thing.”
She added: “There is this dark side to it that you don’t really spot until it’s no longer a force for good in your life.”