Career Incongruence

Paolo Giuricich, Organisation Development Consultant

Starting 2021 with a positive frame has been a tall order, given the ongoing uncertainty which we continue to navigate. Locating incongruence in our working lives, becomes critical to make better career decisions this year to set us on a more aligned career trajectory.

We have been questioning our existence in our work life after a full year of working from home, through virtual platforms. We understand we are living through a global pandemic and we are in a privileged position to have work and not have to risk our health, by being home.  However, this change to our patterns of work, has highlighted incongruence in what we seek for ourselves through the meaning that we place on work and the identity it gives us.

Man working from home at desk

this change to our patterns of work, has highlighted incongruence in what we seek for ourselves through the meaning that we place on work and the identity it gives us

This is the year and opportunity to make meaningful choices about what work we do, how we do our work and being clearer about the integration of work into our identities.  If we are able to think our way through these lenses, we will certainly become more congruent with ourselves and set ourselves up for a new or revised path.  

 Let’s consider some steps to uncover the incongruence.    First and foremost, we need to critically analyse the ‘content’ of our work and have an honest conversation as to whether we are engaged and energised by this ‘content.’  If we are, we are lucky.  If not, we need to stratify our work content into two simple categories: what I enjoy and what I don’t enjoy.  What can we or what can’t we withstand?

 Next, we need to consider the process which we follow to ‘do’ our work.  Is the way that we do our work optimal?  Could we work differently using new technologies?  Could we outsource certain aspects of our work and rid ourselves of work that we simply don’t like doing?

 Lastly, through a deeply reflective inquiry, we need to understand our identity in relation to our work.  If our identity is only our work, then the red flag is raised and we should be considering how to shift this.  Ideally, we would like to have a congruence between who we are as a person and the work we do.  

Analysing the results of our total inquiry, will provide us with powerful data to make important career choices for the year ahead and beyond the pandemic, coupled with our ability to follow and understand our intuition closely too. Whilst we have not considered fully our emotional state and wellbeing in this process, this too cannot be ignored and is a conversation we still need to have. Do this personal work this year, it is the most important thing we can do in navigating these times. 


Reflective Questions

  • What life experiences have shaped me and my career choices?
  • What are the most important things I have learnt about myself in my career thus far?
  • Have my ambitions or career goals changed? What do I now see as my long term goals?
  • In describing myself to others how do I identify with myself? How would I prefer to identify myself, and what do I need to change?
  • What patterns do I notice from this data and what do I do now?

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