Am I my job or is my job me?


Transitioning from one job to another can be an existential threat.  If I define myself by the job I had, then I’m undefined when it’s gone and only redefined by the next one.

A long time ago, Leonard Nimoy published an autobiography titled I Am Not Spock.  After he thought about that for a few more years, he wrote another book called I Am Spock.  I’ve been thinking about that in the context of my own search to figure out what it is I really want to do.  What does the tagline “strategic information technology management” really mean?

Lately, I’ve been paying attention to what makes me happy work-wise.  Being a trained behaviorist, I operationalize that to be the times when I’m “in the zone”. When I’m in the zone, I “see” problems, paths, tools, and strategies the way I assume a musician “sees” music. The zone is all-absorbing.  When I float back to the surface, I have a strong sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

What do I want to do?  I want to play my “music”, for an appreciative audience, and make things a little better than I found them.  What do I want to be when I grow up?  Sometime, when I wasn’t looking, I grew up and started being it.  Am I my job or is my job me?  That’s a false choice.

I need to rework my elevator speech. “I bring strategic thinking, problem analysis, and hands-on skills to small organizations to make information technology a strategic and value-creating business function.  And it will make both you and me happy.”

As a result, we live long and prosper.

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