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Projects vs. Careers vs. Role Identities

July 13, 2014

The other day I read a very long blog (long enough that I’m not going to include the link), that suggested that rather than thinking about our lives as a series of careers/jobs we should think about it in terms of projects.  This bloggers basically said that our job title rarely reflect that actual things we have accomplished in those roles, and that rather we should reflect on all the various projects that were initiated and completed (or perhaps passed off) during those years.

I’m taking that idea a step further.  In addition to not thinking about your life in terms of the job titles you have held, don’t think about it only in terms of the social role identities you have (wife, parent, friend, etc..).  While I think considering ones various social roles as important, when we think only of the roles we can overlook the many “projects” or events that were part of those roles.  This might include: seeing a child through their teenage years, teaching your 5 year old to ride a two wheeler, supporting  a friend through grief, renovating your kitchen, coordinating the annual camping trip, knitting a sky scarf for a year.  The list of projects or life events is endless.

We can limit ourselves and our memories to just the job titles and the role labels, we neglect many of the important details, activities and contributions we have made to the world.

Take a minute to think about the projects (at work and at home) and events (at work and at home) you have been a part of over the past few years.  You are an important part of the lives of those around you.  I don’t know what the future has in store for you, they ways you make a difference are endless, and to quote the original blogger “What an opportunity each of us now has to create a project worth making.”

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