Professional Identity

PoP’s Professional Identity Project examines how we understand our work selves and portray them to the outside world: including to (potential) colleagues and other collaborators, employers, clients, trade and affinity groups.

It is PoP’s hypothesis that a well-crafted identity, focused on the work you do—whether paid or volunteer, whether your main role or a side gig—will serve both you and the world much better than nearly any other. This is especially true for ideological, political or other tribal identities, which also are our biggest distractions from doing fulfilling work.

The rub is “well-crafted” takes effort and focus, with plenty of tempting distractions and shortcuts, some of which we’ll examine.

We’ll explore:

Credentialism: certification, education, titles, honors, entitlement

Careerism, including status, prestige, hierarchy, promotions, (un)employability

Busyness, productivity, workaholism, idleness aversion and leisure

Materialism and (in)conspicuous consumption: showing success by our spending

The ethics of particular professions

Ways of asking–and answering, “What do you do?”

Relating to the roles like artist, craftsman, entrepreneur–or “wantrepreneur”, an employee, executive… that we may crave, embrace, seek refuge in, tolerate, etc.:

What it means to identify as a member of various professions: a consultant, journalist, lawyer, business person…

Health: how professional misalignment can affect our health physically, mentally, and emotionally

This work informs our products, such as our guides