#69 Job Worth and Self-Worth: Drawing the Line

job worth and self-worth

LinkedIn posted a recent article that caught my attention. It sparked an urge for me to differentiate between job worth and self-worth, a critical skill for the working professional’s wellbeing!


More than 47 million Americans quit their jobs in 2021. These Great Reshuffle participants are starting to untangle their sense of self from their careers” per LinkedIn’s Quit your job, find yourself. This begs a few questions around the idea of job worth and self-worth and how they play out in our lives.

The article subtlety pointed out that many people self-identify with their jobs. I will take this concept a step further. 

A consequence of self-identifying with your job means you take things personally. It might mean your feelings get hurt when you don’t receive the raise, promotion, or recognition. Often, your emotional attachment to the job spills over into your personal life. Emotional job attachment, or career attachment as I call it, refers to an emotional dependency on job outcomes. 

Thus, when the job is good, life is good. But when the job goes south, life can turn into one miserable experience.

Nobody wants this, nor do they deserve it! Help yourself by drawing the line between job worth and self-worth!


Most likely, your job is worth a paycheck and health insurance. Your job is probably worth a sense of contribution toward a good cause, or a strong sense of accomplishment.

Sometimes, we unknowingly link job identity to self-identity simply by our choice of words. For example, it is common to tell people, “I am an engineer, I am a lawyer, I am a so-and-so.

Interesting how we say “I am a” instead of “I work as a so-and-so.” Do these semantics matter?

They most certainly can. When we reinforce a job title as being our identity and sense of self, we become attached. We cling to it, as if we need it. Therefore, when job disaster strikes or if the unexpected happens, it easily catches us off guard. When we confine self-identities to a career box, we become vulnerable to the ups and downs of the workplace. Not fun!

Your job is worth some things, no doubt. But it not worth compromising your humanness, your spirit, or your sense of self. 

You do not have to confine your identity to the career box. It is very possible for you to detach and liberate yourself while contributing as a productive employee.

Your Real Job

Thanks to covid and the Great Resignation, employees have taken the opportunity to pause and zoom out of their lives. People are starting to understand that there is a massive differences between job worth and self-worth. Taking time to mentally step outside of your life and assess recent behaviors can result in:

  • Recognition of decisions you have made
  • Learning from past mistakes
  • Coming to terms with and taking ownership of your life

As a consequence of zooming out, people are standing up to employers and asking for things they truly value. And I very much applaud this! Thanks to covid, employees are realizing there is much more to themselves than their job. 

In fact, It is our duty to practice self-awareness and self-care. It is everyone’s human job to treat themselves with grace and kindness for the purpose of sharing our unique gifts. We must determine what those gifts look like and how we can utilize them for humanity’s sake.

It is impossible to share your authentic strengths and abilities when you feel tired, defeated or burned out… something career attachment can enable.

Your job title is simply a part of your human expeirnece. Jobs are fluid, unpredictable and unstable. Your self-worth, however, is priceless. Discover what it takes to thrive as both a human and employee by clicking on my replay of Career Purpose: When Work Isn’t Working for You!

If you enjoy this content, I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and ask me about free strategy sessions for your career!