A former supervisor of mine served on a panel regarding presidential transitions.  The portion that he covered: transitioning out.  

“Do not have your identity inextricably linked to your position or to the institution,” he wisely said.  “It is really important to have an identity separate to that.”

Keith Lovin was in the presidential role when he made his comments, but I think they apply to everyone.  If you are only what your job is, it makes it harder to have a balanced life.  It also makes it more difficult to have a rational view of how you are doing and to know when it is time to leave if so much of you is wrapped up in your job.

No matter what your position, I think it is good advice to cultivate a rich life outside of it.  Have hobbies or volunteer roles that expose you to a different set of people and pleasures beyond your work life.  Remember that you are wonderful even when your job isn’t going so well, and that you are fallible even when the work is clicking along smoothly.

Your position can be a major portion of how you see yourself and how you spend your time.  Just don’t let it be the only view you have when you look in the mirror.

— beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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