you aren’t where you work

I recently changed jobs. Doing so required a lot of reflection on exactly where I am in my career and where I want to go. I learned a lot through the process but it wasn’t until yesterday that I came to the realization that I, like many other people, place a lot of emphasis on WHERE I’ve worked and not what I have been able to accomplish.

Think about it. When someone asks you, “What do you do?”, most people respond with their job title and what company they work for. This infers that your skills, capabilities and accomplishments are somehow only relevant when couched with the reputation of a company.

Don’t get me wrong, working for a highly successful company may be worth bragging about, but does that define who you are and what you are capable of? My experience indicates that employers seldom know or understand how to capitalize on the expertise of their people.

I’ve had 5 job titles throughout my career: Educational Technologist, Manager of Emerging Technologies, Associate Director of Emerging Technologies, Director of Business Development, and Business Analyst. You can infer a lot from those job titles. But what are you missing by making assumptions about me?

How are you representing yourself? Are you more than just a job title with a company branded to your forehead? What sets you apart from others? How are answering the question, “What do you do”?

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