- You are not a résumé.
- You are not a job title.
- You are not the numbers on the scale, or in a bank account.
- You are not a rejection or the win. Not the best day or the worst day. You are not any day or event you’ve lived.
- You are more than a child, sibling, partner, parent, or friend. You are more than any label you wear—metaphorically or physically.
- You aren’t any of the stuff around you.
When I lost my job, I found myself questioning my identity. I had been my job for far too long. Now, I wasn’t even sure how to get out of bed without it.
I had measured my success and self-worth by titles & roles. When those disappeared, I was lost & desperate.
I clung on to this mantra:
“She didn’t know what she wanted to be when she grew up. She discovered it…one step at a time. Begin.”
Every day I worked on myself. I slowly got stronger. I slowly put together the dots of my scattered life, and began to find my identity.
About that time, I learned desperation repels.
I chose to invest in myself through self & relationship development. Not only was I happier, but I also eventually found the pathway to opportunity.
The recruiting industry is a broken system still measuring talent by antiquated paper résumés & soulless application systems. It’s a where days are full of rejection, isolation and self-doubt.
It’s no place to find your identity.
Don’t play that game. Invest in your knowledge & network. Spend this time elevating both. It’s time to do a deep dive into your identity – past, current, future.
Who did you enjoy working with in the past?
Former peers, managers, vendors, customers—Get on their calendars now. Show up with gratitude & vision. Catch up with former advocate. Learn where they are, what they’re doing, why they enjoyed working with you.
Who are you now?
Do the hard work now while you have the time. Connect the scattered dots of your life. Organize them into knowledge & relationships. What do only you know? Who can only you serve?
Seek to serve those who are traveling down familiar roads. Lend them your roadmap. Bask in the rewards of impact.
Who would you love to work with?
Find them. Get on their radar through appreciation. Boldly & respectfully ask for fifteen minutes of their time. Show up with humility & gratitude. Ask how they got good at what they do.
Leave. Follow their recommendations. Report back the results. Show up with humility and then gratitude.
Identity work is important to job seekers. It’s the difference between hiring a résumé writer to package you for the next “least objectionable position”, and finding work that truly fits your identity.