Your View of Self Might Be an Impediment to Your Career Makeover

There’s a Rubik’s Cube puzzle to solve when considering your “next” options in your career. Solving this puzzle requires you to think differently about yourself—something that requires thoughtful introspection and outside support.

Here’s the challenge: we have locked in our minds this image of who we are and what we do. We identify with our jobs, vocations, and often with our titles, which works against us in many ways.

We carve deep grooves in our minds about our view of self. These grooves tell us we’re an accountant or a programmer, and when thinking about doing something different in our careers, we look for ideas tied to accounting and programming. While there’s nothing wrong with looking for new ways or places to apply our bookkeeping or coding acumen, it’s limiting.

There Are Other Sides to You to Explore

We need to look at another side of our Rubik’s Cube puzzle.

What if the accountant is a prospective executive coach and the programmer is a possible baker and bakery owner?

Our brains aren’t wired to see those nonlinear options. We have to peer around the corner at a different side of the puzzle. While we might be loosely aware of our interest in these ideas, we categorize them as fantasies—exciting-sounding but impractical.

It takes work, introspection, and some outside support to drag the ideas out of the fantasy corner in our minds and at least evaluate them. (See my article: 5 Reasons Why Self-Discovery is Critical for Your Career Makeover.)

While your ideas might be terrible from a risk and financial perspective, there also might be things you can do to mitigate those risks. Perhaps you can start by taking a class, pursuing certification, or working a side-hustle to try the ideas on for size.

If those ideas don’t pan out, the challenge is to identify more ideas to evaluate. Your instinct is to return to your view of yourself as an accountant or programmer. The challenge is to uncover the many ideas out there that might draw upon your skills and put you in a position to be you at your best.

Don’t Skip Working on the Other Sides of Your Career Puzzle

One of the self-defeating behaviors I observe in some individuals is a stubborn unwillingness to work on the other sides of their career puzzles. They are stuck on what they are or were and resist the need to think differently about how they can apply their skills and accumulated wisdom.

That’s too bad. I checked the Career Rulebook, and no one said that because you’ve spent twenty years doing something, you are sentenced to more of the same. In this world where change is the only constant, it’s possible what you did and were no longer hunts. It’s time to think differently about solving your career makeover puzzle.

The Bottom-Line for Now

Give yourself permission to explore other options. Invest time in solving for the other sides of your Rubik’s Cube career puzzle.

Art's Signature


Join our webinar: Why a Career Pivot is Possible (& some tips to jump-start yours)

Interested in jump-starting your career pivot? Check out our Career Reinvent Boot Camp program for upcoming sessions. 

Check out our growing library of Career Reinvention articles.