Home > Articles

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Loss of Identity

The answers to the following two questions will tell us a lot:

  1. Who were you the day before you lost your job?

  2. Who are you today?

If the answers to those two questions are not exactly the same, then you've got some work to do. If you answered the first question with something like, "The purchasing manager at ABC Company" and the second with something like, "An unemployed person from Springfield," you've lost your identity.

If, however, the answer to the first question was, "A nurse and a mother of two," and the answer to the second question was, "A nurse and a mother of two," then your self-definition is still intact. One of the things that licenses do is to enable individuals to continue to hold on to their identity when they're not working. An accountant is still an accountant as long she has her CPA license, even if she is not currently employed or doing any business as an accountant. A loan officer, however, a function that requires no licensure, might not call himself a loan officer once he is no longer employed in that activity.

We all know that many licenses don't actually qualify a person to do what they end up doing. For instance, many attorneys are not actually practicing law, but they can still refer to themselves as attorneys as long as their bar dues are paid.

Let's take a hint from this distinction and work on rewriting the answers to those two questions. When I ask you, "Who were you the day before you lost your job?" put the answer in terms of what you were doing for your employer—not the status that your employer gave you. One strategy that employers use to encourage people to be productive and stay around is to find titles that will feed their egos and give them status within the organization. If you were handed one of those titles and you bought into it, you forgot that it was a rental contract. Believing that you actually owned it will cause you to have an overall harder time dealing with the loss of your employment.

Some settings within our society have taken this to the extreme. In the military, for instance, a rank or title is carried even when the job goes away. In that setting, being stripped of your rank is many times more devastating than being stripped of your position. Think about how much emphasis you placed on your rank or title in your previous position. If it was a great deal, you'll need to make sure that you include that in your grieving process.

As you wean yourself from its importance in your life, a new title should emerge that feels even more important. Give yourself the license to be who you really are. As you find the role that you will seek to play in your next productive activity, give it a name. Tell yourself that's who you are. If you were the purchasing manager at your last employer and what you really did was design purchasing strategies, then you might call yourself a Designer of Strategic Purchasing Plans. Now you know and I know that this new status that you've picked is not going to have a license anywhere. It may, however, have some sort of professional designation attributed to it by a trade association that you might seek to achieve. If it doesn't, then it's just your own self-defined profession. Today you are still that person and you own the title.

Just because you're seeking your next customer/employer, it does not mean that you have changed who you are. This is the very first step in designing an effective job-search program. Knowing who you are and what you are good at is essential to being able to convince your next customer that they should pay you to do it for them. Instead of thinking of yourself as an employee who waits to learn what your employer has in store for you next, you become the designer of your own economic activity.

This is a concept that makes sense as you see people go out into the business world as consultants. They define their role, their title, their job, and then locate customers who can use their services. Even if you are more comfortable seeking a specific relationship as an employee, this perspective on your role in the economy is very positive. It gives you a solid sense of self-esteem that will be projected onto prospective employers or customers.

Even if you choose to take a position outside your optimal field, you will still define yourself as who you are, but as working in a different capacity at the moment. A physical therapist who takes a job as a waitress does not become a waitress. She is a physical therapist, working as a waitress. When she secures her next career position, she is a physical therapist, working as a physical therapist. She can say this with little hesitation because she has a license on the wall that says she is a physical therapist. Give yourself a license to be who you are. Let it describe you to yourself and to others. Your identity is yours alone to control. An employer cannot give that to you nor take it away.

MY BEST ADVICE

Allowing anyone else to define your identity is dangerous. Pick a definition you like and run with it. Make sure your job title is an adjective modifying your identity, not a noun defining it.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020