It is fun attending the Halloween party while wearing a mask to hide your identity however wearing a mask at work every single day, just to override or ignore who you really are, is not fun at all. A job that doesn’t define you, that you’re doing to please someone else or that has you denying your innate gifts can often lead you to depression as well as the loss of self-esteem.

Waseem, a graphic designer did not realize it, until the day he met a career counselor to discuss why he wasn’t happy with his job, despite good pay-scale and flexible office policies. He just couldn’t figure out why during the last two years, he hated going to work every single morning and was super excited on the weekends.

Shafia wasn’t really aware that she felt best when she used her brain to design super creative eye-popping graphics for marketing campaigns. She was taking home more salary than she’d ever imagined as the guest relations manager at a five star hotel. That’s why everyone was shocked, including her, when she quit her job one day and said she just couldn’t do it anymore.

Hashim hadn’t really put it together yet that he felt best when he was teaching the young business students. A successful business development manager who received kudos for the hard-hitting, money-making deals he negotiated. When the money he was making was dwarfed by the burnout and misery he was feeling, he knew it was time to find out why. That’s when he asked, “What am I really meant to do?”

Although Fahad, Shafia and Hashim were in different careers, companies and cities, they had one thing in common. They were in wrong jobs that had them masking who they were. These jobs weren’t aligned with their authentic purpose. Money, accolades and promotions weren’t making them feel successful. Instead they were making them feel miserable. They were missing the sense of well-being they were looking for from the 40-plus hours a week they were spending at work.

In fact it is a proven fact that career satisfaction comes from doing something you enjoy and being able to do it every day.

Do you also have to wear a mask at work?

Ask yourself! Do you feel trapped in your job, even though you’re paid well? Do you feel drained when you come home at end of day? If this is true, you’re probably masking who you are, at work.

Performing tasks that frustrate you or that you were not designed to do, would do nothing but frustrate and demotivate you. This is because you’ll be thwarted from contributing your gifts, something that would bring real meaning to your work.

Waseem realized that he needed to be working closely with people. He left his graphic design job, including all of those templates and the design ideas, behind to become a successful and happy corporate communications professional.

Shafia realized she liked playing with graphics much more than she liked attending hotel guests and resolving their issues. She’s now enjoying using her creativity at an innovative startup designing cutting-edge graphics to meet its customer’s needs.

Hashim quit job as the business development manager and started teaching to the future business graduates at a well-known university. He’s now one of the best known lecturers of business studies in the city.

Bringing it all together!

Remember, unmasking who you truly are by discovering your authentic self can lead you to a job that is fully aligned with who you are — where you can truly use your gifts and experience greater meaning, fulfillment and satisfaction from the work that you do.