I have blogged a lot about personal branding, and depression in the job search.
I have said that when I lost my job I lost my identity. I used to be “Jason Alba the General Manager,” but when I became unemployed I was “Jason Alba the … I have no idea who I am.”
It might sound weird to someone who hasn’t gone through it. If you told me I would think that way I would have thought you were crazy.
Alas, that’s really what happened.
Perhaps our identity should not be so tied up in our job title, or position within a company. But it is. And you don’t realize it until it is taken away.
How does our brand impact this issue?
People ask what to put in the current title on LinkedIn if they are unemployed. I suggest they could put something like “Interested in ______,” “passionate about _______,” Experienced _________” where each of the blanks are job titles (or something similar).
I heard a speaker say a carpenter who loses his wood and hammer is still a carpenter. Isn’t that so true?
When we lose our title we feel like we can’t say we are that thing… but we are. Even though our temporary status changes, we are still that thing!
I was inspired to share this with you today after reading Donna Sweidan’s post: Finding Dignity, Finding Hope. Giving Job Seekers Permission to Reclaim their Professional Identity
In that post she talks about what Michael, someone from her workshop, wrote. It is very, very powerful. Please go check it out.
And remember, just because you lose sight of what your identity is does not mean you have lost your identity.