Professional Identity QUIZ
How strong is your Professional Identity?
Are you an expert? Do you define your career (even your self-esteem) in terms of experience, know-how or skill? If so, there are growing reasons to pay fresh attention to your identity in the professional marketplace.
By uncovering how strong your professional identity is rooted in self-worth, you are becoming more aware of how precisely you can be of value, i.e. the insights and impact you can bring – rather than the positive assessments you are trying to collect.
Take the quiz to understand where your ‘professional blind spots’ are and remember that even if you have a low score, that doesn’t mean anything about you! It is an invitation to explore and connect with whom you really are.
The benefits of a clear professional identity:
There are many benefits associated with a clear professional identity: not least, that any professional branding you do afterwards is more likely to be successful! Here are the four cardinal benefits I observe with my clients all the time:
- Energy: the most immediate benefit of a clear identity is the energy it gives from day to day. Even in the midst of uncertainty and/or setbacks, you know what you are about. This provides sustainable energy for all kinds of development work… even those tasks you don’t want to do!
- Opportunity: if it’s well constructed (and not just another “Me Story”) a professional identity enables others to be supporters / ambassadors for what you do. This applies just as much within organisations as in the wider market. For example, might Gemma (above) be able to find in-house opportunities alongside her wider ambitions? Might there be less of a disconnect between her present and her future?
- Value: When we are clear about what we stand for, we know what to say Yes and No to. In practice, this is a strong foundation for higher remuneration for whatever we do. We behave as the client’s partner, rather than their servant and we eschew servitude relationships. Again, self-worth in action.
- Leading others: Whether as manager or mentor, professionals who are clear about their own identity are in a better position to develop others. As one of my clients put it, “Once I became clear about what I was about, it enabled others to trust me with their issues”.
A clear professional identity is a great asset for mental health: as long as it’s rooted in unconditional self-worth. It’s an anchor in times of uncertainty, a rallying point when suffering from setbacks, a compass to help with difficult decision-making.
When we know who we are, other people’s opinions matter less. We can find joy even in prosaic tasks because we know why we are doing them.