Seems like the topic of identity was important to me the passed week. Several related but very different resources drew my attention.
One was the post by Khe: “Why you should diversify (your identity)”
Diversifying identity means reducing the attachment to any specific identity of yours such as ‘an employee of a certain company’. So that once you outgrow or loose that role - you don’t become identity-less.
I took this discussion also to Twitter and Lindsey added another great definition:
Whatever your identities are, “eventually all those things fade, change... if your sense of self worth is tied to them, then what?” said Khe.
It brings me back to the post of Lauren Valdez that I read at the beginning of the year:
This paragraph really hit me. It was the moment when I started looking differently at the ‘career labels’ and realized the importance of personal branding.
I cannot believe how many identities I changed myself and how strange sometimes was the process. One of the recent and dearest identities was “an applicant for professor role at one of the best business schools in Latin America”. I was going through their selection process for solid 7 months. I did love that identity a lot and it truly became a part of who I was. The day I got notified that I did not pass to the next round, I got sick quite badly. Not very antifragile of me.
Another my strange identity - about which almost nobody knows - I am a certified and qualified cosmetologist. That sounds weird even to me. But if I give you one day unsolicited skin-related advice, please take it seriously.
I am also a trained fashion designer. That was an easy and pleasant identity, which also grew into ‘fashion studio owner’ and one of the Fashion Revolution pioneers in Mexico City.
I believe these couple examples demonstrate the point. I did change many identities and honestly the transition was mostly hard.
I am also one of these people who wants to create a new online identity for every new stage of life. However, as Dorie Clark, renown branding expert, says to HBR:
Successful rebranding doesn’t involve inventing a new persona.
The challenge is to be strategic about identifying how you wish to be perceived, developing a compelling story that explains your evolution, and then spreading that message.
And the main point:
The truth is, the vast majority of people aren’t paying much attention to you.
Yes, that is an important point.
A similar discussion came up during Coaching Session in Building a Second Brain course this week. And Tiago Forte spoke about people who create new brands for every project. However, he advised to put everything into one stream, whatever you publish or create and use your own name. “People want to follow people, not brands (…). You need to write about what you like, what you are passionate about and the people who find value in it - will find you”.
And the final identity related article was “Why You Should Have (at Least) Two Careers” in HBR. I found the author’s take on having multiple simultaneous identities quite practical:
Maybe you also dream about switching to a career that’s drastically different from your current job. But in my experience, it’s rare for such people to actually make the leap (…). But the answer isn’t to plug away in your current job, unfulfilled and slowly burning out. I think the answer is to do both. Two careers are better than one.
When you follow your curiosities, you will bring passion to your new careers, which will leave you more fulfilled. And by doing more than one job, you may end up doing all of them better.
That’s all for this week! If today’s newsletter resonated with you or you have any comments, I would love to hear from you. Just hit reply or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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