By Editor Morten B. Reitoft
It's 9:30 in the morning, and the 'house' is still sleeping—the first day in 2022. The minor hangovers from yesterday's celebration washed away in the hot shower, and already irritated by the headlines and the first articles read in my daily newspaper. It is, however, January 1st, and despite all the above, I want to share a few considerations I find important.
One of the articles I read was a column by a Danish columnist, Anne Sophia Hermansen. I don't read her columns often, to be honest - I don't like her much! When I read today's column, it's about how we identify ourselves through our work and how the number of hours we work is a value in itself. Or, to be more precise, she is asking whether this is changing and why we continue to identify ourselves through our work.We DO identify ourselves through our work, but we also identify ourselves through so many other things. Suppose you read papers and follow Social Media. In that case, there is no question that some people identify themselves by their sexuality, religion, origin, or what they eat, so saying we only identify ourselves through our work is stereotyped and wrong.
I spoke to my wife, Nina, about this today, and it was a great talk since we agreed that we often present ourselves through our work. We also agreed that identifying ourselves is sometimes different from presenting ourselves. We spoke about how we identify friends and colleagues through the words of others - in this case, my wife - and how biased that impression can become.Why is how we define ourselves at all important thinking about? Well, I can't help thinking of a film we did with Richard Askam on INKISH about being a member of a tribe. Humans are social beings, and being part of a group gives us identity, defining us. If you create a new brand, sell a new product, become something in other people's minds, the first people appreciating one of the above are first-movers. It becomes mainstream and famous at some point, and finally, we see a degrading value as other things take over. It's like a company life-cycle, and to keep your momentum, we either follow our tribe or redefine ourselves into the roles that define the next you!
Therefore, we are not only identifying ourselves via our job - it's way more complex. Of course!So who are we? Some people play very different roles depending on which tribe they are with! Maybe you are very different at the job, compared to when you are with family? Maybe you are very different when you are hanging out with your friends, or perhaps you are more or less the same all the time. The roles we play have a purpose. In almost all human constellations, we want to achieve something, and though it may sound very calculating, it can be the small things - recognition from your friends, reaching your budgets to impress your superior - and so forth!
The other day I wrote about the importance of having a network, but how do we present ourselves? How are you being recognized by people you ask to endorse you? We are not lying, but we all have more facets!Is this at all important?