Identity Versus Career – Rolling Stone

for many people Separating our identity from our career and vice versa is difficult. I often hear people say, “I’m an accountant,” “I’m a plumber,” “I’m a police officer.” Either you’re passionate about it, you make a living at it, or you do both.

We need to shift our perspective so that our identities are not confused with our careers. This is a very common conundrum in the United States and other parts of the world.

what you do vs. Who You Are

How do you answer when someone asks, “Who are you?” For most of us, the first answer that comes to mind is “I am ___________”. This is a blank that conveniently fills in whatever your job title happens to be. Of course, it is neither a question nor an answer.

Yet the two are often confused and confuse us and the people we are talking to. So how do we know who we really are?

The journey of self-discovery may take some time and certainly some commitment, but in the end: We are a combination of standards, ideals, values ​​and beliefs. What we do is not who we are.

Almost all of us are performance-driven to some degree. “What we do”, along with our achievements in our chosen field, is wrapped up in a lot of positive attention, which is why it gives us value. I feel out of balance. Because we are always looking for the next success and the accolade leaves little time for ourselves and our personal lives.

On the other hand, ‘who we are’ focuses on our principles rather than ‘what we do’. When we are principled, we see life differently. We focus on using our talents together with our values ​​and allowing our principles to define us. Principle-oriented individuals also have a strong work ethic, but they lead balanced lives and have the boundaries they need to protect themselves and their relationships.

No more pigeonholes (know when to shift)

Changing your identity and career perspective is difficult, but not impossible.

We can say no to categorization, for moving in the direction of our true identities, passions and principles. It starts with mindfulness, being present. That requires focusing on our values ​​and principles. Finally, we need to reflect on our goals and consider how our actions align with what is most important to us. , you can live a fulfilling and satisfying life.

How many of you have worked in a job or career for decades and suddenly realized it wasn’t yours anymore?

Once realized, moving to something new seems huge and almost impossible. Still, you can find freedom in career changes that promise greater job satisfaction once you take the step towards change.

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Positive shift (escape from the trap)

One way to get out of the trap and bring about positive change is by identifying what fills your cup, discovering your general disposition, and acting accordingly. Create a personal inventory by identifying your skills, values, and interests, whether or not they are relevant to your current role. List your successes in your current career, volunteering, family, etc. From our inventory, patterns emerge and you can find another position that could be a perfect fit.

For example, early on you might have said, “I want to be a graphic designer,” but now I realize I am a creative person who enjoys collaborating, working remotely, and owning projects. Knowing that, interiors that allow him to be creative while collaborating, owning projects, and (most of the time) working remotely can make the simple move of becoming a designer. What you do may change, but who you are remains the same and is constantly evolving.

Create an action plan for making change. You may need to rebrand yourself with a strong personal statement. That may mean developing new skills and education. Before taking action, consider shadowing, volunteering, or internship in your area of ​​interest to determine how it fits with your values, ideals, and beliefs. Remember the goal is a positive shift to a position that meets your needs and nourishes the true you!

Career freedom (do what you want without losing your identity)

The heart of what you love and contribute to the world is how you do it. You have the freedom to move freely in your career and shift whenever you want without ruining everything you’ve achieved so far.


Remember that your career is part of your identity, not everything. After all, you don’t just say, “I’m a mom,” and leave it at that. What you do in your position is part of a larger whole: your character, your values, your personality. For example, if you’re outgoing, outgoing, creative, and enjoy a major project, you might become a film director, but later decide to open a cafe. , extroverted, sociable, and can be creative. When lead the project.

When you change your perspective, your goal is to move your territory without compromising your principles and character, even if you choose to do something very different.

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