Expanding Beyond the Career Box

One of the challenges of working as an adult compared with being an achievement-oriented student is that of having many talents and abilities that go unnoticed.

In school, if you are a good learner or a good thinker, your teachers often praise you for it and/or you get good grades. For me, getting this praise and good grades gave me a heightened sense of self. One could argue that having one’s ego inflated by academic achievements is psychologically not so healthy. Actually, one should argue that. For a healthy sense of self comes from an intrinsic feeling of self-worth and is not reliant on external factors.

To be sure, there is the other side of the coin where academic difficulties in school can negatively impact self-esteem; I agree with this wholeheartedly. But, as I said, even having academic success can impair one’s self-esteem if one overly identifies with it.

But alas, I digress. What I wanted to relate here is that today, for the first time in a very long time, I feel that my unique talents have been appreciated at my job. I stepped out of my career box and was appreciated for non-nutrition related contributions.

Yesterday I attended an important meeting at the clinic. Since not all staff were able to attend, I took notes for them. As I am apt to do, these notes were very detailed – I jotted down everything that was said during this hour-long meeting. This morning the clinic manager to whom I sent the notes lauded me for capturing all the details of the meeting. She even shared my notes with several other staff members. They were so grateful and she asked me to go to future meetings.

I am a whole person. And I think that working in a full-time job I often forget that. I dedicate my energies to fit my job description. But I am more than that. We are all more than that.

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