Today I’m reflecting on how many of us have been taught to define ourselves by our job description. I know so many people who think of themselves as a CPA, a doctor, a wife/husband, a parent, a marketing executive, etc. They define WHO they are by the roles they play and WHAT they do. This is fine until circumstances change and they no longer “do what they do”. If they have defined themselves by their job description, they not only lose a job, but they lose their identity.
I know several people who are planning on retiring this coming year, and a couple that have been forced by circumstances to change careers or just stop working altogether. Most of these folks are not only looking at a major job shift, but they are also dealing with an identity crisis.
For example, my client Anthony has been a CPA for over 35 years. He is planning on retiring in 2008, but he identifies so strongly with his job that he is now asking “who am I if I’m not an accountant?” He’s thinking of postponing his retirement (much to the dismay of his wife, who is ready to go travel and play) because he can’t imagine who he will be without a job title to help identify himself.
It seems to me that Anthony is still the same person he has always been. He is a smart, organized, detail-oriented, loving, funny, adventuresome, logical guy. He is loyal, a great husband, father and friend, gentle, kind, responsible, reliable, athletic, and many other wonderful things. He happens to use some of these talents in his job, but his job is not WHO he is. He can, and does, just as easily use those talents in many other areas of his life.
Anthony took some time to actually look at and write down WHO he is. He also asked his family and friends what they see in him, and was amazed at all he discovered when he let go of labels and job descriptions, and instead focused on qualities.
So, I’m wondering if you’ve taken time to really look at WHO you are. What are your talents, skills, qualities, quirks and even your failings? All together they make up the amazing person you are. You are the only one like you — you are original and unique — so isn’t it time for you to get acquainted with incredible you?
It’s something to think about.
Please comment so others can benefit from your wisdom and experience
For FREE worksheets on ways to empower yourself, see the Resources Page on our Inside Jobs Coach website.
If you’d like to bring positive changes into your life, we have the perfect thing for you. Check out The Rapid Power Pack, and begin to create the life of your dreams.