Sunday, 16 October 2011

Working Identity

One of the frustrating aspects of career change can be knowing that you don't want to continue in the work path you are on but not knowing which path to take forward. There's a lot of talk about finding your unique purpose, and I suspect many career changers spend a fair bit of time in introspection, trying to dig out this imagined gold that must be in there somewhere. Of course a degree of self awareness is useful and valid. The best book I have read on career change, however, takes a different tack and I have found it useful where conventional approaches have failed miserably. The book is called 'Working Identity' by Herminia Ibarra, a Professor of Organisational Behaviour who has taught at both INSEAD and Harvard Business School.
The quote below is from the chapter 'becoming yourself'
"If we knew from the start what it means to be fully ourselves, finding a new career would be so much easier. But because we are growing and changing all the time, the oft-cited key to a better working life, "knowing yourself", turns out to be the prize at the end of the journey rather than the light at its beginning.....We don't find ourselves in a blinding flash of insight, and neither do we change overnight. We learn by doing, and each new experience is part answer and part question".
This is what I am trying to do. Learn by doing.

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