After basketball legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in January, ABC’s Good Morning America played a clip from an interview in which he had discussed his life after retiring from the sport. In it, he said how important it is to recognize the “difference between doing what you do versus understanding that that is not who you are.”
That’s a crucial lesson for people in all professions. Separating our sense of identity from our job helps us not just to better ourselves, but also to build stronger businesses and be better managers and colleagues.
Unfortunately, in the United States and many advanced economies around much of the world, work is perceived “as not only providing an income, but giving social legitimacy to our lives,” Tom Fryers, professor of public mental health at the University of Leicester, wrote in a paper published by the journal Clinical Practice & Epidemiology