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Are you your job or do you have a job?

Finding more possibilities for your next job.
Do you sometimes think that you might want to find a job outside of academia? But you feel stuck- because well, I am a scientist, I am a researcher.

To get unstuck and to be able to see more possibilities for yourself starts with asking yourself the following question: are you your job or do you have a job?

Check with yourself. When people ask you at a party: what do you do? What do you say then? Do you say I am a researcher, I am a scientist? There is a good chance that you will indeed say: I AM...

Are you your job?
Nothing wrong with that. But if you actually want to do something different, this language has a big disadvantage. By constantly saying to yourself and others: I am a researcher, I am a scientist you unconsciously connect your job with who you are, your identity. That makes seeing other possibilities and taking other steps very difficult, if not impossible. In order to be able to do something different, you would have to change who you are. Changing jobs then means changing identities! And so we unconsciously and unintentionally get stuck.

That is not surprising ... because from an early age we are asked: what do you want to be when you grow up? (instead of what do you want to do later?) the image of “I am my job” crept in unnoticed from an early age.

Creating space
To be able to see new possibilities and opportunities, it is important to create space between you and your job, to consciously pay attention to the fact that you are not your job. You are so much more!

The first step to be able to see new possibilities and opportunities is to break the identification with your job.

The good news is: we don’t only keep ourselves stuck with language. By changing our language we can also create new space and see new opportunities

Changing your language = creating space

Taking the first step
Start experimenting in the coming weeks. When people ask you what you do, don't answer with "I am a scientist/researcher". Experiment with answering in a different way: I work as a researcher. I have a job as researcher. I work in academia as a researcher and teacher. This will create your first bit of distance. So you no longer equate your job with your identity. You are not your job, you have this job or you work in this job. You can also say it to yourself in your head, several times a day.

This way you create some space between you and your job. You need this first step to be able to see possibilities for alternative career paths.

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© Copyright Samula Mescher