Reality Check:

Is your identity tied to who you are as a  person or what you do for a living?

It’s great to love your work especially when so many employees don’t. And whether you love what you do or you don’t at some point you may become so tied to the work you do you lose your identity to your job. You and the job become one. You are the job and the job is you. You become so identified with what you do rather than who you are as a person. So what’s the real danger in losing your identity to the job you do? If your job were to be eliminated tomorrow, what would happen to you? If you lost your title, status, perks and salary, who would you be? If your job were to become downsized, would you have the transferable skills necessary to make the transition? How well prepared are you to make whatever career changes are necessary to adapt to the uncertainty of today’s workplace realities?

If you can answer yes to the majority of these statements you may already be over identified or too tied to your job.

  • You can’t carry on a conversation about anything other than your job
  • Most of your time is spent working or thinking about your job
  • You wouldn’t know what do with yourself or your time if your job was eliminated
  • You have made numerous personal sacrifices for the job
  • The majority of your social life involves workplace colleagues or workplace functions
  • You no longer have friends outside the workplace

If any of the above resonates with you, you might want to consider some of the following tips for getting back in touch with who you are rather than what you do, before what you do becomes redundant:

1.    Take stock of where you are right now

  • What’s going on in every area of your life right now? (Career, Relationships, Family, Health & Fitness, Money & Finances, Personal Growth & Development, Spirituality)
  • How satisfied are you with each of these areas of your life? Rate them on a scale of  1 to 10
  • Consider what complete satisfaction would look like for each of these areas

2.    Clarify what’s most important to you

  • Make a list of what’s most important to you in your life right now
  • This is a good time to look at what you’ve given up along the way for the job
  • You may find Career or your job comes out on top and you may also find other areas of your life that have been neglected that are more important to you than the job

3.    Make a list of what you love or loved about your job

  • List all the things that are important to you in a career or a job
  • Rank everything on the list from 1 to 20 (or whatever number of items you listed)
  • Now take a really close look at the top 5 items on your list, these are your most important values around career or work, these become your criteria for finding the next job or career

4.    Identify your strengths and development areas

  • How are you staying current in your job and/or industry
  • Take courses or read books to broaden your perspectives and your range of skills

5.    Find positive ways to release any negative emotions

  • Whether you have lost your job or worried about losing your job, you are probably holding onto some negative emotions – find constructive, positive ways to reenergize
  • Regular exercise, proper diet, journaling, meditation & relaxation are terrific ongoing routines
  • Spending time with friends or meeting new people provides an emotional and/or mental outlet
  • Reconnect with a hobby or passion

6.    Develop a list of your goals and dreams

  • When was the last time you thought about your goals, dreams or aspirations?
  • Take some time to reflect on what you want in life
  • Keep a dream or goals journal and make sure you identify goals and dreams for each area of your life, not just your career

7.    Hire a Life Coach

  • A life coach can support you by working with you in determining and creating your ideal life
  • A life coach can move you forward by helping you make purposeful career or life choices to enhance the quality of your life

Interested in coaching with Linda? Contact Linda at

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