The best things in life aren’t things! Here’s why MBO Partners’ CEO says your career shouldn’t be your identity! [Fridays: Mindfulness by Miles]
Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.
A Note from Miles Everson:
Welcome to today’s edition of “Mindfulness by Miles!”
Every Friday, we talk about a topic that I find useful in my life. Our hope is that these shared insights will help you become a better individual in your personal life and career.
In this article, we’re sharing with you my experience in moving from one company to another.
Continue reading below. We’re highlighting some of the lessons I learned throughout my 30+ years in the industry and the importance of knowing one’s worth as a person.
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute
Mindfulness by Miles
—the internal sense of being good enough and being worthy of love and belonging from others.
According to an article published by the University of North Carolina Wilmington, many people often confuse self-worth with self-esteem, which relies on external factors such as successes and achievements to define worth.
While these external factors are essential to boost one’s confidence, it’s also important that a person has a solid understanding of his or her personal strengths, weaknesses, and areas for growth. This enables him or her to feel good enough even if things in life do not work out as planned.
How would you describe your self-worth right now?
Photo from Happify
According to Miles Everson, CEO of MBO Partners, transitioning from a job at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to MBO Partners made him realize an important aspect of self-worth.
He says after taking on a leadership role at a new firm, he began paying attention to how people introduce themselves to one another.
Here’s what he observed: Most people, no matter what social setting they’re in, tend to identify themselves only by their names AND occupations.
This is no surprise for Everson because it has been embedded in the society’s system that adults would constantly ask children:
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Then those children, as innocent as they are, would respond with:
“I want to be a/an (insert job title).”
… and when those children became full-blown adults, that statement turned into:
“I am a/an (insert job title).”
That’s why for Everson, it’s no wonder that upon first-time introductions, lots of people commonly say:
“Hi, my name is (insert name). I am a/an (insert job title).”
According to Everson, this shows how lots of people tie a central part of their identity or worth to their jobs.
Self-worth ≠ Career
Everson says it’s interesting that the first aspect many people want others to know or think about them is their jobs. He is aware of this because he grew up at a time when much of a person’s self-worth was tied to what he or she became or what his or her job was.
He states in many ways, people look at someone’s work on a rankability scale.
For example: If one says he or she is a college graduate with a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and another one says he or she is simply a dog walker, people commonly regard these individuals with different levels of respect and esteem.
According to Everson, this is the kind of mindset that causes major errors and problems in society.
That’s why he believes this topic is important and ponder-worthy. In a world where many individuals are working hard to prove something or make someone recognize their value, it’s easy to misinterpret self-worth.
…and while there is nothing wrong with working hard, Everson says everyone must be careful to not put too much of their identity in their careers.
Below are Everson’s top 2 reasons why he thinks a career shouldn’t define your identity:
- Jobs are provisional.
Everson believes that jobs are not life sentences. You will not hold the same job title or even be at the same company for the rest of your life. Especially with the growing trend of individuals changing jobs every 3 years nowadays (based on MBO Partner’s 2021 State of Independence in America report), having a job as your defining identity trait can cause major self-worth issues.
You have to understand that life is filled with uncertainties. Whether you like it or not, you will never have complete control over all your circumstances; you can only control how you react to them.
… and while you may identify yourself as a hard working 9-to-5 business professional today, in 4 years, you may be someone running your own company or someone who quit the corporate world altogether and chose to work with nonprofits.
This shows that you never know what kind of experiences you may go through in the future, what opportunities may come knocking at your door, and how you’ll develop and change your self-worth over a year.
So, Everson says it’s best to remember that nothing in the world is permanent, and a job is something you can redefine at any moment.
- Values outweigh titles.
For Everson, job titles are not always what they seem. He states he has known many people who work hard, sacrificing so much of their sanity and self-care to achieve a certain rank or title.
However, when they got it, it only took months or weeks to realize it was not what they actually wanted. They soon became obsessed with another job title and continued down a path of self-neglect.
He says he struggled with taking care of his health when he was just starting his career. He let his values of self-care, exercising, and doing fun activities with loved ones slip away, all for the sake of his job. Thankfully, he had people who helped him get back on track with his values.
Looking back on that experience, Everson cautions you to remember that your identity should be defined not by your job title but by what you love to do, what you value, and those you cherish.
Your friends and family don’t care much about what kind of job you have or how much you make. What they truly care about is your happiness and spending time with you.
Everson is not saying you should stop working excellently. All he’s saying is you should know your priorities and that the best things in life are not simply found in having the best career or ranking.
Everson believes these lessons are important for EVERYONE. He only realized these when he transitioned from his job at PwC to MBO Partners. He states if someone told him a few years before he left PwC that he’d be at MBO, he would have laughed and thought that person was crazy.
However, as new doors opened for him, he realized his identity was changing. He had to come to terms with the fact that he was becoming a different person.
This feeling made him pause and think about how he viewed his identity for a long time and how he has come to understand it more in the past few years. Through the transition of a job change, he learned his career doesn’t define his identity because the only approval he needs is his own.
You should come to terms with these learnings too! Everson adds you must always remember that your self-love and identity are worth more than your current paycheck or job title.
We hope you find today’s article insightful!
Everson says if you like to share your experiences, you may connect with and talk to him through his LinkedIn account.
Advance happy weekend!
(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Fridays: Mindfulness by Miles”
High-performance businesses are run by people who think and act differently.
In other words, these are people who are high-performing individuals.
Companies and individuals of this kind have found ways to escape the grind of commoditization and competition by focusing on the RIGHT goals.
High-performing businesses and individuals are also “return driven” businesses and “career driven” individuals. They conscientiously develop unique capabilities and resources that allow them to deliver offerings in ways no other firm or individual can.
Every Friday, we’ll publish tips and insights from MBO Partners and The I Institute’s “The Business Builder Daily” newsletter.
These will help you gain knowledge on the things that Miles Everson, the CEO of MBO Partners, often talks about regarding the future of the workforce.
We’ll also highlight other mindfulness advice on how you can be a high-performing individual both in your career and personal life.
Hope you’ve found this week’s insight interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Friday’s “Mindfulness by Miles!”
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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