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Cover Article


Discover who you are . . . and the job will follow

From the October 2001 issue of The Christian Science Journal

is the owner and operator of an outplacement firm in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. He shared some of his insights on job identity with field editor

FEAR IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE for people who find themselves in involuntary job transitions. They're afraid they won't be able to find other jobs, or at least not one of the same stature. With men, especially, but also women, the fear has a lot to do with self-esteem. Being out of work can feel like a degrading experience, especially if you're the sole or primary breadwinner for the family.

I try to get clients to understand that their job wasn't their identity. Therefore, being jobless isn't their identity either. I go through several exercises with each person, identifying the qualities he or she brings both to work and to everyday experience. Then we gather that information together and recognize it as the expression of that person's individual identity.

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