When you are a leader, redefining your professional self is something you will have to do over the course of your career and personal life.
6 different ways of redefining your professional self
The dictionary defines reinventing oneself as taking up a new way of life or creating something completely new. It is therefore more than a minor change; it is a complete, radical turnaround. Redefining oneself can be done in different ways.
- Another way it can be done is with a change of lifestyle. It could mean delegating more in order to spend less hours at work, outsourcing some functions or even taking a leave of absence to rest or take up other pursuits.
- The change could also be about credentials. You could decide to pursue academic credentials whether it is at a high level like a Master’s or Doctorate degree or a short industry seminar or workshop.
- A change involving health. The way most people redefine themselves when it comes to health is with a change of diet and embarking on a fitness routine to get healthier and fitter.
- Change can also take the form of image. You may be a classic dresser or a more flamboyant or bold one but a leader must always look the part. The change can include a new hair style and a whole new wardrobe that completely revamps your image.
- Redefinition could also mean going into a whole other position in another company or even venturing out to start a new business.
- Another way to redefine yourself professionally is by changing the whole direction of your organisation. It could be a review and change of mission statement, core values and principles. It could involve changing policies and regulations as relates to staff and operations.
Why redefining your professional self is important
Perhaps you are comfortable with the way things are and do not feel like you want or need to make radical changes. Or perhaps you have come to the decision that you need to make changes because of a feeling of growing discontent with the way things are.
In following a script laid out by well-meaning parents, teachers and other authority figures, you may have followed the straight line of finishing school, pursuing an honorable career such as teaching, practicing law or medicine, getting married and settling down to raise a family. Perhaps you set yourself a time frame within which you will have done it all, such as by the time you are 30 years old.
Maybe you did it and are at the top of your career and have a family that you live with in a lovely home. Despite this, a feeling of dissatisfaction is gnawing at you, regardless of everything you have achieved. Others find themselves in a scenario where they did not achieve all they set out to achieve and feel unfulfilled.
It’s important to pay attention to these feelings of discontent and perhaps even resentment. Whether you decide to change your career, take time off, pursue further studies or do things differently where you are, acknowledging and getting to the root of these feelings is the staring point of redefining your professional self.
When you face the fact that you went into a particular career or company to fulfill other people’s expectations or that you have a problem with how things are done where you work, you can make decisions.