Who Are You When You Leave Your Career?

Like it or not, in our society we are strongly identified by our jobs and careers. A job title tells others “who” we are. It tells them what we’re good at, what skills we have, how ambitious we are, how much money we make.  Right or wrong, there are all kinds of judgments tied to job titles and career fields.

When you decide to break free of that job title and career and begin a new journey as a business owner you lose that identity and you are now forced to find a new way to identify yourself. That can be very challenging, especially when you’re just starting up a business.

It’s hard to answer the question “what do you do?” when you haven’t really done “it” yet.

You are no longer easily defined by a job title and company name.

Now here is the really tricky part. Conscious or not, our self-esteem or self-worth is intricately tied to what we do. At some point in life what we do became who we are. Self-worth is a judgement of our personal value. A job title carries with it a perceived value, a value generally agreed upon in our society. Giving up that title mean giving up that perceived value.


Sounds so bleak and depressing…

It’s not! And it can be a very exciting time if you prepare yourself and consciously take the time and energy needed to redefine your identity to match your new mission and purpose.

This is going to sound a whole lot like branding your business. And it should, because when you first start up a new business – whether you are a freelancer, a shopkeeper, a information marketer, or a service provider – in the beginning it is just you and you must clearly define what you (and your business) do, how you do it, who you do it for and perhaps most important, why you do it . When you have done the work to clearly answer these four questions you will begin to create a new identity.

In our Go Beyond Workshops we take participants through a series of experiences to help them identify the true answers to these questions. You can get started now by answering these questions. Give them some serious thought and write down the answers. You’ll probably want to come back to this after a few days to refine and expand on the answers.

  1. What do you do? What service, product or experience do you provide?
  2. How do you deliver? What makes your product, service or experience different from all the rest?
  3. Who is your ideal client? Get really specific and include details about what’s important to them, where they live, what they like, what they don’t like, etc.
  4. Why are you doing what you’re doing? REALLY? In order to get to the real truth you need to be very honest with yourself. That means asking this question repeatedly until you get to the real truth. When you clearly understand your why you will approach your business with a new perspective and excitement.


Who are you when you leave your job? You are you! You are getting closer and closer to your true self.

  • You are not the labels that society has placed on the career you ended up in.
  • You are not title that you were given by your employer.
  • You are not the role you play in your family.
  • You are you! And now you get to let that true self shine brightly to create a new definition of YOU!


Need help getting started? This simple checklist can give you a blueprint to guide the way.

Business Start-Up Checklist