New skills, new experiences can give boost to who we are

The fear of losing one's identity upon the loss of one's job arises when a person lives his life around his career (Job insecurity hits at one's identity - and can push people to extremism; Feb 23).

But many of us fail to realise that jobs do not define who we are or represent our purpose. Who we are - our identity - does not have to be a part of our career, and losing a job does not equate the loss of our identity.

Identity is a concept that is developed over the course of life. It is our passion, our personality, the way we see ourselves and how others view us.

It is inevitable that losing our job results in a negative perception of our ability, especially if one is the breadwinner in a family.

Yet, this fear and stress can be translated into motivation to improve ourselves.

Careers are uncertain. Thus, it is essential for us to continually develop ourselves by learning new skills and gaining new experiences.

This can dispel the issue of depleted self-esteem and prepare us for changes.

We should strike a balance between who we are and what we do for a living.

Focusing solely on our jobs will result in overlooking many vital aspects of life, such as our mental and physical well-being.

A career may contribute to our identity, but it does not define who we are or our purpose in life.

We can, and surely must, pursue other interests.

Phua Shyn Wei (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 27, 2017, with the headline 'New skills, new experiences can give boost to who we are'. Print Edition | Subscribe