Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Identity through Vocation

Ever since I got into the beer industry I have been obsessed with it. There is an intense satisfaction that comes from working hard to make a product that I love and getting to share it with friends and strangers. And I get paid to do it! With the vast amount of styles and innovative things I can do with beer I will never get tired of it.

This love for making my favorite drink easily seeps into everyday life outside of the hours I get paid to do my job. While at first it might be easy to separate work life and outside life, over time the line becomes blurred, and instead of life feeling like work, work feels like life. This sort of attachment has several ups and downs.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I don't think this one is actually worth that much.

The positive aspects of this is summed up nicely in the common phrase, "If you love what you do you never work a day in your life." The negatives come from the way issues that may arise from work affect my personal life in a more profound way. When the issues were ones I knew I could deal with the stress levels were actually kind of nice. It brought a sense of progress and hard work to my everyday life. Alternatively, when the issues were out of my hands and I had trouble affecting the outcome for the better the negative impact on my personal life was very great. These issues were generally not that I couldn't do the job but that someone wouldn't let me do the job, which is common in larger companies and government/education jobs. When a co-worker leaves the company or industry it's almost like they don't want to be friends with me anymore. I know this isn't true but a connection is being severed and it's easy to take it personally.

So when an industry like the one I'm in has treated me so well, has been optimistic and taken risks with me (which I think have paid off), and has seemingly set standards for knowledge, sharing, and overall camaraderie doesn't meet those standards, it almost feels like a betrayal. And my reaction can be unpredictable.

So maybe the solution to this problem is to ultimately separate work from personal life. But as a person who is passionate about everything I do, I'm not sure if it's possible. Maybe only if I get let down again will I be able to achieve that. But at that point I think I would try to find a new love.

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