There are volumes of articles, blogs, and books that theorize, dissect and pontificate about how work defines us and becomes our identity. There are also countless studies about how when professionals lose their jobs they lose their identity. And I contend that jobs in and of themselves should not define us. Though I know it is easier said then done.
After 20 years of counseling professionals in transition I have seen an odd phenomenon take place. Job seekers take on the identity of well, job seekers. They let their circumstance of being in transition define them. They introduce themselves as “in transition”. They lead and dominate conversations with job search related updates and upsets. They seemingly have lose the gift of gab, the ability to hold conversations about relevant topics or world events. Job seekers consciously or unconsciously let their circumstance of job search become their identity. And ironically it makes them less attractive as a candidate.
Whether you are in transition or contemplating a career move or change, it is a great time to do some self discovery work around who you are not just professionally but also personally. Get clear about who you are and want to be as a person overall, then as a professional regardless of job, title, or circumstance.