If you want to find your identity beyond your career, you may find the self-discovery process of learning about yourself a valuable and fun exercise.
And YOU being more you is exactly what this world needs right now.
We are in the middle of what has been dubbed a she-cession — an economic recession that has put mostly women out of work.
In December alone, according to CNN, “employers cut 140,000 jobs in December, signaling that the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is backtracking. Digging deeper into the data also reveals a shocking gender gap: Women accounted for all the job losses, losing 156,000 jobs, while men gained 16,000.”
And, the data shows that white women and men gained jobs during that time frame — which means black and Latinx women lost most of those jobs.
And, we also know that, additionally, last September, roughly 865,000 women dropped out of the workforce, compared to 216,000 men. These women were most likely choosing to stay home and care for young children who could not go to school to learn or were too afraid to send their children to child care as it doesn’t feel safe enough.
And the rest? They are juggling work and home — creating a whole new identity crisis in and of itself. It’s hard to be a parent one minute AND show up in a serious business meeting the next without missing a beat.
This means that a lot of women feel out of alignment and scattered about their future and their identity.
Even if you are one of the lucky ones who has a job you are content with, it’s common to feel like you have wrapped your entire career up into your identity and struggle to know who you are beyond what you do for a living.
It can be hard to find your identity beyond your career if you have always defined yourself by what you do for a living.
As a coach who works closely with rising women leaders and changemakers who want to stand out and shine more I believe strongly that you have to know who YOU are in order to lead with courage and authenticity.
That’s why the work I do with my clients is all about helping you figure out who you are and what you are about so that you can shine more brightly in this world. When you find your identity beyond your career you are more likely to lead more bravely and more boldly.
You are You — so be more of that.
When I opted out of the workforce when my twin daughters were 10 months old to become a freelance writer for national magazines, and a stay-at-home mom, I struggled to find my own identity.
Once I unearthed my own superpowers, I was able to really start shining and making a name for myself as a leader and a coach.
But for a while, I felt lost.
I absolutely struggled with being a highly ambitious woman to a mom at home wiping butts and faces and spending lots of my time waiting around.
To say it was hard, was an understatement. I didn’t set out to be at home. I always pictured myself working.
But, it was the best thing I ever did for myself because it allowed me to truly find my authentic path.
Life is a series of choices and decisions and goal-chasing that defines your life path. Finding your identity beyond your career really is work that women should be doing early on before they get caught up in the life path system of … College. Employment. Marriage. House. Family.
Suddenly, when you do not have a job or a title or a position to define you, just who are you?
When people ask you what you do for a living, what do you say?
You are not your Job or Your Business
In our working lives, we easily belittle ourselves down to a few characteristics.
Our job title or position.
And where we live.
But the heart of you — the WHOLE of you — is much more than your career or even the business you run.
You contain multitudes.
You are a universe of beautiful parts that make up your whole.
Instead of defining yourself by what you do and how you earn a living, it’s time to define yourself by who you truly are in your heart and soul.
In my private SoulShine Coaching, we dig deep to unearth your many parts so you finally feel like a whole person.
This sweet spot is where your courage and authenticity to be fully YOU — without apology — are found.
This is the inner wisdom within you that makes space for you to live your life in full soul alignment — space to finally say a Brave Yes to living out loud and being you.
How to Find Your Identity Beyond Your Career
It’s my passion to help women like you unearth your identity, your dreams and your inner courage to finally create the ideal life that gives you freedom and wholeness.
To do this, though, you’ll have to think beyond your career and your addiction to achievements.
If you are no longer employed you will have to redefine your relationship to productivity and achievement.
Instead, start doing the inner discovery work to find out who you are as a human being at your soul level. Focus on what makes you YOU.
Here’s How to Find Your Identity Beyond Your Career:
FOCUS ON YOUR STRENGTHS
In my Rise Stronger 7-Day Challenge, the very first lesson is to focus on your strengths.
The reason is that we all have them but most women tend to downplay their strengths.
The same strengths you use in your career are the same strengths you can use if you are suddenly at home helping children through virtual learning or job hunting or starting a business.
Your strengths are what I call you Superpower Showcase. And you have many of them.
Start identifying yourself from a place of your strengths rather than a title or an achievement. These strengths are also great details to add to your resume if you are job searching.
FOCUS ON YOUR VALUES
One of my favorite coaching sessions is one where we spend the whole session working on defining your values because your values are what truly make you, you.
I am a values-driven woman and have been my whole life.
This means that I don’t make any choice — not even shopping or eating out — without consulting my values.
If you ask me to tell you about me, I’m going to share with you the parts of me that define my values. And then I’ll tell you that I am a life and leadership coach for rising leaders and changemakers.
You can easily use these values to help you decide on your future career path.
FOCUS ON YOUR CREATIVITY AND PASSIONS
Beyond your career, you are a woman with ideas, passions and creativity.
Whether you want to sit back and pause for now or if you want to start your own business or find a new career, your passions and your creativity are going to help you get to your next point in your life.
That’s why this is a beautiful focus area as you are trying to establish an identity. Before I became a full-time coach for women around the world, I was working 9-5 in government — the least creative job possible.
As a creative soul and spirit, I realized pretty quickly that I need to create space to write and create things.
My job title was one of prestige and power but the real me is a freespirit creative soul who wants to empower women and girls to shine brighter in this world.
I had to figure out what didn’t work for me before I could figure out what would.
FOCUS ON YOUR BIG PICTURE GOALS
The real struggle with finding your identity beyond your career is feeling trapped from a lack of momentum or movement in your life.
Being “stuck in place” can feel like a set back. But often that kind of creative or productivity inertia is simply a feeling of not making progress.
So if you are trying to figure out who you are and what makes you you beyond your career, this is a great time to work on focusing on who you are as a person and who you want to be.
Here are a few suggestions:
As you can see, finding your identity beyond your caeer is more about who you are as a person than what you do. And if you are struggling with knowing who you are as a person, we should chat. I work with women who are ready to dig out of the rubble of their ordinary lives to step onto your extraordinary path and start shining.