When someone asks you "who are you?", the first thing that you might think to say is your title, like "I'm a doctor" or "I'm an engineer." But, is that really you? Are you your title and is your career your life?
I mean, I'm not judging. I just want to put the cards on the table. Try to think about that.
In my case, probably the answer would be YES.
I built my life around my career. I'm not sure if it's bad or not. But I did.
I made a lot of sacrifices to be where I am now. I changed everything and almost everyone around me in favor of my career. Most of these changes I did and not realized them.
My life dream was to get a degree. So when I was at university I put this goal in front of any other. No matter how hard I needed to study. I did not relax til I realized this goal. At that time, my degree was my life.
I was really focused on finishing my studies. So I stopped to going out at night, stopped seeing some friends, stopped talking with loved ones and I did not realize that.
I changed myself and my lifestyle in favor of this goal.
I really don't miss most of those things. Go to parties at night and expend my sleeping hours on that? Thanks, but not anymore.
My degree was just one step toward the main goal: my dev career.
After I got that, I had another goal: work with a hot tech and be better paid. So I started to focus on this goal, staying at home most of time and not caring about anything else.
I spent a lot of weekends building projects just to practice and getting better at that. Hang with friends? Not really. Nothing was more important than showing Captain Marvel comics using React. (I loved that project)
So I changed my weekends to achieve this, and I did.
Next goal: talk in english with confidence.
So, I changed everything around me to English: smartphone, MacBook, TV shows. If something could be in English, it is now.
I never liked to watch TV series, I always saw that as a waste of time. But I changed my mind just to study English and practice my listening skills. So again, I changed myself in favor of a goal.
It is clear for me that my career is my life, because I built and shaped it around me. Of course I had a lot of losses on that. But most were wins.
Is it dangerous to think this way? Maybe. I'm not a workaholic and no one should be. But of course to achieve some goals in life, I think you have to change yourself. In my case it has been worth it.
Now I just can't see myself only as Jeniffer.
I'm a happy and proud software engineer, and by the way my name is Jeniffer.