Who are you by definition?

A parent, a carer, a leader, a VP, a manager, and so much more right.

Which do you hang your hat on? The one that you are most proud of? Or something else?

Tough choice, perhaps, but two that have come up frequently this year, and pretty much every person I’ve worked with fall in these two camps:

  1. Job Title – Work Life
  2. Parent/Partner/Family – Personal Life

And this is how we’ve learned to show up in life. Go to work as No. 1. Come home as No. 2.

A client earlier this year said, ‘I just need to get through the next few years so that I can retire and enjoy my personal life’.

Why do we allow our job titles to define us?

According to Merriam-Webster, define means:


a) to determine or identify the essential qualities or meaning of whatever defines us as human

b) to discover and set forth the meaning of (something, such as a word)

c) computing to create with established rules or parameters

Or to fix or mark the limits or characterise or distinguish

I love the idea of the first two above – identify the essential qualities and discover, however, the movement towards a fixed or marked out definition is where we become by definition.

The expectation from education of ‘what will you be when you grow up? to careers ‘which organisation / leader do you most admire?’ to organisations ‘you’ll be ideal for this role’ or the acceleration to a new role.

Not everything works for everyone and perhaps with the pandemic and a chaotic and uncertain world, the search for ‘more’ is amplified. Whether that’s I want to do more, I want to be more or I want more ‘balance’.

This week’s conversations have focused on a change. One leader I coached was going through a major change at work and he questioned what’s next saying ‘because I have no idea who I am outside of this organisation’.

As high achievers who become high performers, it’s a continuous upwards journey to keep on proving to an organisation, to yourself, and to your friends/family, that you can continue to achieve. My client was exhausted, frustrated, disengaged, and disappointed with himself and his organisation for many reasons. You may be thinking well why didn’t he say something? Everything was rosy, he didn’t know any different until this significant change in his life. And it was a jolt that shifted his thinking.

How do we help this jolt – the seeming gap between organisation and leader?

I don’t have a holistic answer to that as yet, but I do know that facilitating the shift in language around how we think and shape our future is a great start.

If you have an inkling that something isn’t quite right, feels a bit off, or jars a bit, in your work, business or life, don’t ignore it.

It’s possible to navigate through from a personal, career, and business perspective.

Start with my free download – Shape Your Future – Your Next Move.

Un-Define, starts in May. Book a call to see if it’s right for you.

Juliet is an award-winning executive coach, consultant, and leader. Over the next 10 years, her mission is to shape a million futures by liberating dreams, igniting possibilities, and elevating your extraordinary.

Here are 3 ways to start Shaping Your Future:

1. Book an initial call

2. Subscribe to her fortnightly newsletter called Quest, or 

3. Download her free guide to help you Shape Your Future.