Have you ever thought about your life as a novel that is constantly unfolding around you? You are the lead character, the protagonist on the hero’s journey to accomplish meaningful goals and live the good life. Over the course of your adulthood, the plot thickens and grows as you meet new people and start new adventures. The small stories of your daily life shape who you are and combine into larger stories that give you identities like “leader” and “parent.”
Lately people have been telling me that they are looking around at the stories unfolding in their career and they wonder how we got there. It’s like finding yourself in the middle of scene, playing a role that doesn’t seem to fit. When there is a gap between how you see your identity and the realities of your daily work life, it creates an internal tension and a state of disconnect.
One of the keys to getting out of a bad chapter in your career is to cast yourself as the author of your novel as well as the protagonist. As a coach, the work I do with career transitions clients is informed by narrative identity, an approach that believes we construct our identities through the stories that we tell ourselves and others about the experiences we have in our lives. In this model, your identity is not fixed, but open to change and reconstruction based on the choices you make and the stories you want to be able to tell. Just like the protagonist in the novel, many things about you stay the same as you travel through life, but many changes will happen as well. Becoming the author of those changes puts you in the position to write the story you want to live.
The New Year has become a symbolic time when we reassess our lives and make commitments or resolutions. This practice is narrative identity work in action – we are saying “I want something new in the story of my life.” If your resolution for 2014 is to write the next chapter in your career story, consider Foresight Coaching's new career transitions program that incorporates narrative identity and positive psychology. The eight week program includes weekly one-on-one coaching and activities that guide you through:
· Identifying your natural strengths, motivations, and values
· Creating a personal career biography
· Articulating how you can serve yourself and others through your work
· Removing barriers to living your story – within yourself and your environment
· Getting started writing and living your next chapter
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a complimentary 30 minute phone call to learn more about the program and writing your next career chapter in 2014.