Is Your Job What You Like Or Who You Are?
I’ve just watched a great Ted Talk by Career Coach Ashley Stahl, and it really got me thinking. Ashley talks about how often we disregard our identity in the search for the ideal career path. Since we are teenagers, we are thought to choose a subject, an area of interest, or better yet a passion, way before we can think about what we want to be or do in our life and career.
While it’s great to find and nurture what we are passionate about, does that always translate into a career path that will make us happy? Is that true for everyone? Ashley describes it as a dance, between finding a job that is what we like and a job that is who we are, and she invites the audience to reflect on the following 3 questions:
What am I good at?
What do people tell me I’m good at?
What’s holding me back?
These are simple questions that aim at challenging our beliefs and shift our focus from what we just like, to something deeper and more significant: our values, our character and our natural skills = our talents, essentially to who we are. Could doing something that WE ARE, more than something that WE LIKE, be the key to our success and happiness?
If you ever noticed an internal conflict between these two things, you are not alone. Many of us spend years feeling that what we do is not really who we are, that we don’t find a purpose in it, that we are not fulfilled by it, even when we work in a sector we are interested in. But how many of us ever stop to reflect on what our values are, what we are naturally good at and take the time to notice people’s feedback as a result of the way we use our natural skills?
The impact of our identity (and Personal Brand) is often overlooked following the belief that our career is separate from the way we are as individuals.
If we realise that we are compromising who we truly are and stand for in our job, but we are too scared by the beliefs and self-criticism thoughts that are holding us back, perhaps it’s time to start questioning. It’s never too late to rediscover our identity, unlock our potential and do a job that is who we are.