Career choices and professions are intrinsically aligned to identity. Therefore, when you are considering a career change, it can feel like you are changing your identity.
When I talk to my clients, it’s interesting to hear how quickly they identify their careers using ‘labels’.
They may have spent most of their careers describing themselves with a range of labels such as “Teacher”, “HR Manager”, “Broadcast Engineer”, “Communications Manager”, “Personal Assistant” and so on.
Their label becomes their identity. It’s what connects them to their purpose and how they show up in the world.
But what happens when you don’t like your label anymore?
What happens when your career leaves you feeling flat and unfulfilled? Or, when your role closes and you become redundant?
You start thinking about what other labels might be more suited to you and whether a career change could be possible.
However, trying to figure out what your label should be, can be very challenging.
Other people close to you may start suggesting new labels for example:
- “you should be a – (insert a label of their choice here)”
- “you’d be great at – (insert another label of their choice here)”
- “have you ever considered being a – (insert something they think sounds cool)”
And it goes on. Suddenly, your professional identity is called in to question.
What are you and more importantly; what do you want to be?
Often clients will contact me because they feel lost and stuck. If they don’t already know what they want to do and what label they should be looking for, how will they be able to get help to find it? It can feel overwhelming and lead to self-doubt.
So, what would happen if you didn’t look for labels?
- your career change journey was about identifying your purpose, passions and interests?
- you started looking more closely at your skills, strengths and the types of environments you thrived in first?
- you explored sectors, industries and organisations that interested and inspired you instead of job labels?
- you started with the idea of the kind of people you wanted to work with first?
Trying to identify your label first can mean you miss out on all the others opportunities out there!
That dream role could be just waiting for you to find it. It may have a completely different label.
Is it time to start seeing things differently?
If you’d like to have a chat with me about your Career, contact me via my website to arrange a free 30 minute free ‘career conversation’. Join my mailing list and check out some of the events I am running.
photo credit: brett-jordan-unsplash