Your job title could be the most dangerous label you have

Yes, it gives you cachet and a tangible identity but here's why you need to beware and how to foolproof your life against loss.

Without you knowing it, your job title could be the most dangerous label you can have.

So much of people's identity is tied to their job. 

It’s often the first thing asked when we meet someone: “So, what do you do for work?”

Most people spend the majority of their lives at work, thinking about work and talking about work. 

We get a tremendous amount of significance from our jobs and job title. If you have worked your arse off to make it to general manager, director or CEO you are going to be very proud. 

When a job becomes someone's whole life, it doesn't happen intentionally. It happens because the more money they earn, the more time they exchange for it. There are more responsibilities, more expectations and demands on them. 

Driven to provide a great life and prove our worth to ourselves and our employer, we put our whole identity into work.

Meanwhile, all this extra work takes people away from what is truly important to them—partner, family, health, fitness, hobbies. All of the areas of our lives that light us up and contribute to our significance. 

But if all of our focus is on work and delivering on what we feel is expected, then we can’t get importance from doing the things we used to love that light us up. 

Eventually, the things that made us who were were begin to fade. And therein lies the danger.

Because what happens if you lose your job?

Danger of job title Daniel Burgess

I work with so many job seekers who had an excellent job for twenty years. It cost them everything, and then they got made redundant.

When they couldn't get another job, they felt worthless, defeated and as if they'd lost their identity. They simply didn’t know who they were anymore. They had forgotten what was important to them and what skills and abilities that made them successful in the first place.

I had to spend months with them to rediscover who they were and that they did have amazing qualities to offer this world and the people around them. They found out why your job title could be the most dangerous label.

So, here's how to never find out why your job title could be the most dangerous label you can have.

Future proof your life by strengthening these five areas.

  1. Your health and mindset—priority number one. We never arrive at health and fitness. Play the long game, incorporate training that makes you stronger, so you look stronger and feel stronger. It is doing something for yourself daily, taking care of your body as it’s the vehicle for the soul. Look after your mindset by reflecting and quiet time. This could be meditation, time in nature. 
  1.   Your network—Expand your network outside your current job and group of friends. Go to different events, functions or personal development workshops to surround yourself with other people committed to growth and progress. Work on building your brand through LinkedIn and social meda, so you are attractive to the market place. You don’t want to rely on being a big fish in a small pond at your current job.
  1.   Your family unit —You can work 24/7 easily. There is always something to do, but at what cost? Even when you are not working, work still consumes your thoughts. Get the system working for you: put things in place so you can do some school pickups, cook dinner for your partner, do your sport. Saying you can’t because of work tells me you don’t value yourself enough.
  1.   Your ability to adapt—Life can make us content, keep us safe, money is coming in, work is cruising long, and we don’t want to rock the boat. Change is hard, so we avoid, but change is only hard because we are not used to it. Change is like any other skill we have to work on it daily to build the muscle. Adaptability Quotient is a new measure like IQ and EQ, our ability to adapt. Start to bring new ideas into your life, question the story you tell yourself, learn new skills, meet new people and ask yourself how could you reinvent your life.
  1.   Your interests—What you loved to do before life got in the way. Don’t give me the excuse of, "I am told old or unfit for that" or "That ship has sailed." There are plenty of stories of people finding their passion at 50. Reignite your love for that hobby or sport or try something you never thought you could do. Yeah, you might suck badly at the start and it could be embarrassing, but stick with it long enough, and you will master it.

Don’t wait for the three Ds, which are the last part of the cycle of why your job title could be the most dangerous label you have.




Don’t lose your identity because of your job. 

Nothing is guaranteed in your life.

The only thing you can be sure of is that everything changes and it's changing at an exponential speed. Your learning and adaptability quotient must exponentially increase ahead of the curve.

Then you—not a corporate restructure—are in control of your destiny. 

If and when your role changes and you have significance in all areas of your life, you can rely on those other resources to pull you through.

Daniel Burgess is a Pro Coach mentor at The Coaching Institute, and a speaker and coach. Working one-on-one, he has helped hundreds of people  develop self-belief and overcome their biggest challenges. He has coached thousands of people to rewrite their stories and chase their dreams.
There were times in Dan's life where he had to fight to survive. He has suffered horrific injuries, been jobless and homeless and had to rebuild more than once. His story is a reminder anyone can turn their life around and why he is so committed to the power of being defiant.
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Daniel BurgessThe Coaching Institute