Losing our Professional Identity
Each of us maintains a variety of identities Some are defined by our gender, our national origin, our marital status, and more. Our professional identity is a major one: I’m an accountant; I’m a developer; I’m a teacher; I’m a homemaker. Our professional identity defines how we view our world of work.
Unfortunately, we lose our professional identity fairly quickly when we lose our job. We find ourselves at parties and someone asks “What do you do for a living?”. If you answer “I’m an accountant.” or “I’m a business developer”, you have sustained your professional identity.
Nature abhors a vacuum. So, when we lose our professional identity, it tries to fill the void. It fills it with the Job Seeker Identity. For example, if you are at the party and asked what you do for a living; and you hesitate, then answer “I’m in-between jobs” or “I’m transitioning to something new”, then you have adopted The Job Seeker Identify
Adopting the Job Seeker Identity
The problem: the Job Seeker Identity maintains a distorted vision of how the world of work functions. People who have adopted the Job Seeker Identity perceive that:
- You find good jobs on the Internet boards versus
- Finding people who need something done and showing you can do it for them.
- A printed job description prepares you adequately for a $500K ($100K salary x 5 years) versus
- Doing your due diligence to find the true priorities, needs, and goals of the organization
- Your focus in meetings in on yourself, what you say, how you come across, and what you want; versus
- Focusing on giving the decision maker enough facts to make a good decision.