Among the many teachings the writer Toni Morrison gave us, in the wake of her recent passing in August, wisdom she shared on work-life balance began making its rounds on social media.
“Whatever the work is, do it well — not for your boss, but for yourself,” the much-circulated post reads. “You make the job; it doesn’t make you. Your real life is with us, your family. You are not the work you do; you are the person you are.”
If your involvement with your work has led you to question the validity of any of the above statements, it’s possible your job has begun to steal your identity. And, in a hyper-capitalist society that tends to value production over all else, you wouldn’t be alone in experiencing this loss. Below, here are the 19 signs your job is consuming way too much of your identity.
Even worse: They've stopped inviting you to certain events and activities, because they know you'll say you "have to work."
And/or the quality of your sleep is decreasing, too.
Eat lunch away from your desk? People do that?
You know that you're working a ton, but when you compare it against what you feel you've actually accomplished, there's a disconnect.
What for some people is a joking expression feels oh-so real to you.
There are few to no activities you can do "just for fun" without thoughts of "that one thing" you still need to do for work creeping up.
And people expect it of you, too.
"Hopping back online" for a couple hours — or any amount of time at all — has become far too-regular a part of your nighttime routine.
And you have push notifications enabled, too.
But actually — no clue when the last time was that this happened.
The goals you're supposed to be hitting for work, on the other hand, you can recite in a heartbeat.
You know the rough time that most of your coworkers get to and leave the office, because you're always there to witness it.
You realize that you've begun to become a generally snappier person, which feels untrue to who you are.
You'll pick back up Hobbies A and B again soon, though, "when there's time."
Headaches and tense or sore muscles have become a daily reality.
Your use of time has become so oriented around work that conceiving of a day without it is difficult.
And that anxiety drives your need to produce even more for your company.
L.O.L. Yeah, sure you'll make it to that sporting event that starts while the sun is still up.
"Circling back" and "ROI" have begun to worm their way into your conversations with friends — who also know every last detail about your boss, that project you're working on, and the latest annoying thing Coworker X did.