It's not often that I read a career book and find myself compelled to highlight it from cover to cover, but that's exactly what I did with Herminia Ibarra's excellent book Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career. I highly recommend it.
The basic idea behind the book is that the standard model of self-exploration, deciding where you want to go, and establishing a plan to make it happen simply isn't in line with how we really work as human beings.
The reality, according to Ibarra, is that our awareness and understanding of where we need to go is an iterative process. She says:
"We learn who we are - in practice, not in theory - by testing reality, not by looking inside. We discover the true possibilities by doing - trying out new activities, reaching out to new groups, finding new role models, and reworking our story as we tell it to those around us. What we want clarifies with experience and validation from others along the way.
...To launch ourselves anew, we need to get out of our heads. We need to act.
While I don't agree with her minimization of the role of self-exploration - I think it's a crucial step - I completely agree with her notion that often that the full picture can only come from ongoing action and exploration.
I'll be posting more thoughts from Ibarra's book in days to come.
Passion Catalyst SM