Monday, November 17, 2008


This is one topic I've struggled with for a while. Only recently have I made peace with it. My career brings with it many benefits ie. self employment, freedom of schedule etc. but a hidden cost I did not bargain for relates to identity.

To be professional for me means "it is not about me". Does that make sense? When you go see someone professionally for advice, would you be thrilled to be hearing all about that person or are you there to get something done for yourself? I would think the latter.

In my business, I have seen dismal examples of professionalism, and examples where not being professional has garnered grave results. I tend to steer very close to the conservative side of the road where I do not speak about my life outside of the everyday polite conservations of how are you doing?

By practicing very professionally, I have noticed discomfort with my identity at work in that it takes an enormous amount of energy to behave in a way that only shows a 2 dimensional me. That has been a price of having my career. It has only been recently that I've accepted and am really enjoying my role at work. I no longer allow it to waste my time emotionally and mentally.

Creating this blog has served a vital role for my other identities. Of course those close to me know the "real" me. But my 2 dimensioned life at work had started to bleed into what I consider to be my "real" life sapping my energy at home. I was beginning to lose the excited me and the explorer me and the artist me. I realize that I can never be all of me at work--it isn't appropriate there. The boundary is set. So in the rest of my life, I will endeavor to be as wholly me as I can be!


  1. Hey.. I found it very interesting ...especially because I have already gone through the first stage of post-early(voluntary)retirement identity crisis. Actually, that was for about a week or two - on a little introspection, it has already become clear to me that it is not really an identity problem - rather a "title" problem. The official position in professional career gave an easy-to-identify tag to me, which is no longer there - but my "identity" as such continues to be the same - i am what I am . Of course, I agree with you that there are many "identities" of a person - should I call "facets" of identity - which can not get manifested well while one is in a full-time job. The singer me, the writer me, the sharer me, the philanthropist me, the dreamer me, the lazy me....etc. etc. have now got an opportunity for expression and that is not a bad bargain for an official tag !! I am loving it .

  2. Hi snighda!

    I absolutely agree with you that the facets you are able to explore now is much more valuable than the "professional identity tag".

    It is those other (larger and more varied) parts when combined makes you whole and 3 dimensional.

    Congratulations on your retirement! Thank you for such a wonderful insight!