We’ve put everything into our jobs, literally everything. We’ve worked around the clock, moved across the country away from family and friends to achieve our dreams. But for what? How do you define yourself outside of your job description?
I’m specifically talking about sports journalists, but I’m sure many other occupations can relate. So many of us define ourselves by our jobs and the success we have at the workplace — myself included. But what if your career was taken away in an instant, then who would you be? How would you define yourself?
There are so many lessons to be learned from former FOX Sports reporter, Emily Austen’s cautionary tale. I encourage EVERYONE, especially reporters and people in the media business to listen to her recent podcast with Sports Spectrum. Not only does she speak about the mistake she made and how it cost her her career at the time, but she talks about her value and purpose.
Austen spoke about how, no matter what job she took, no matter how much her career grew, something was always missing. That something many of us search for is our place in God’s plan, but for some of us it can start in a much simpler place.
For many of us, our career journey takes us away from our friends and family at some point, or maybe even forever. We find ourselves working around the clock — sometimes seven days a week — on nights and weekends away from social activities. Many times, those sacrifices lead us to the game of the week, to the sideline anyone would be envious to stand on or to the broadcast studio many would dream to work in. We love it, and couldn’t imagine doing anything else, but sometimes we allow that to become everything that we are.
You see, our friends introduce us as the “PGA girl” or “my friend on TV”, our social media accounts describe us as such and our lives revolve around it, but we have to allow ourselves to be so much more — or we will always feel like something is missing, we will begin to take for granted the fun opportunities we get and our lives will become just one big workday.
This is something I’ve struggled with in my career and my journey as a person. And it’s a set of feelings I thought would be important to share with my fellow journalists and those getting started in this business. We give up a lot to achieve our dreams, but we are so much more than our career aspirations.
Don’t forget to also search for who you are outside of your job. For me, I’m a daughter, a friend, a godmother, a fiance, a book nerd, an outdoor adventurer, foodie, wino, yogi, etc. I’m beginning to figure out how I can help others through the Alzheimer’s Association in honor of my late grandfather. I’m excited to speak at their upcoming walk in Jacksonville, FL, on November 4th!
So I encourage all of you to remember you are so much more than your career. Would you be ok if it was all taken away from you in an instant? As important as our careers may seem — and they are very important — your purpose on this earth is so much more than that.