The Fake You And The Real You

I'm guessing there's a very good chance that, in your career you're not quite "yourself."  You've got a lot of things you do to get through the day, a lot you put up with, a lot you do or don't do that you dislike.  My guess is you do these things to protect the "real you."

You know what I'm talking about.  You're not taking that initiative at work because you don't want to make waves.  You're not relocating to that place you want because it takes too long to plan.  You're not taking that class you want to take because you want to be in the "right frame of mind."  You don't speak your mind to people because people won't get the real you.

Know what?  You've got a Fake You defending the Real You.  You're probably busy protecting the Real You right now so some day that Real You can get out and do its things.  Except you've got it backwards.

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Don’t Let Employment Define Your Identity

I remember my first layoff in 1996.

It was weird and traumatic.  I'd been let go before, I'd had temp assignments run out, but this was a case of everything just ended.  The company I worked for was gone, my co-workers scattered to the four winds, and I was out of a job.

I'd like to say that immunized me against future layoffs.  It didn't.  There's really something about your job just ending, and not because of anything you did – but because a company collapses, or runs out of money, or just decides to cut staff.  Your job is just gone.

In some cases, it feels like you're gone too.  You're not making money, not doing anything, and you don't feel like anyone.  Like it or not, we define a lot of ourselves by our jobs.

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