I have lots of ideas for books I could write. Not in an “I’m the best and everyone should listen to me” kind of way, but in an “I wish these things were said more often” kind of way. One of the things I wish was talked about more and a possible working title for a book (because I can get on a soapbox about this) is “Career is a Construct.”
It really is.
We (society) have just made up this concept of something you get up every day and do to make money. And then we take it a step further and say that what you do is somehow who you are.
But for myself in the past, and I suspect for many others, my work or career path was just something I did and not really a reflection of the true me.That didn’t stop me from trying to adopt it as an identity though. Because that’s what we’re taught to do. And who I really am, or what I like or really want for my life never seemed to enter the picture. I just tried my best to mold myself to fit this job/career. And my self-worth was all wrapped up in how “successful” I was at it. I was pretty miserable.
Does this sound familiar to you?
The thing is that the notion that your work is who you are is an idea MADE UP by society. And when seen in this light, that we attach our identity or our worth to our work is just not logical. Your work/career/professional achievements — ex. you professional title, how many promotions or awards you get, how many big clients/contracts/deals you’ve signed, how big your company is, how big your salary is — are not who you are. And they certainly don’t mean that you are worth more or less than the next person.
But, if we do live in this world at the moment where we have to spend some of our time doing something that makes money, then what do we want to do? Although our work/career is not who we are, there is the opportunity to choose work that feels right for us. Wouldn’t it feel good to do something that actually is aligned with and is a reflection of who we are?
So, who are you? Hum, possibly the deepest question of all. But, worth trying to answer.
Because that’s how we find out what you — this unique little critter on the planet — likes and dislikes. That’s how we find your special gifts, talents, and ultimately your desires for how you want to spend your time here.
Then, once we have clarity on you, who you are and what you want for your life, you can take steps to move your life in that direction. And build a “career” around you. Not the other way around. All while keeping in mind that your “success” in the sandbox we call work/career is untethered to your worth in this world. And the funny thing is that once you take this approach the success you may be seeking will likely be a lot easier to get.
This is how I coach. I help you find you first, career second. Your career can be a reflection of who you are, but is not who you are. ❤