• Hannah Schaapkens

The Career Identity Crisis

A loss of identity has become a pandemic in itself during the times of COVID-19.


With so many people losing their jobs or being put on furlough it is making people feel lost and as if their identity has been taken.


Why is this?


We are brought up from a young age to plan our future in relation to our career. You are studying to get your perfect job, you are planning the career successes you will have, you are taking exams and various qualifications for years of your life to reach the career success everyone told you is waiting there for you if you tick all these boxes.


You aren’t being taught how to consider what makes you truly happy and how many other parts of your life you could consider successful.


What happens when your career ends abruptly?


You feel lost. EVERYTHING you had been working for is no more. You stopped hobbies to make time for the career you had dreamed about and when people thought of you they thought “there is that successful – enter career here-“ and it was awesome.


But what do they think now that the career is on hold or gone with no light yet visible at the end of the tunnel? What do you do now you actually have time?


You consider what makes YOU happy.


Ask yourself these questions:

1 What are my values as a Human?


Much like a company has their own values that guide the projects they take on, you should know your own values to guide you on what you do with your life. What words spring to mind? What words would you like others to have spring to mind when they think of you? Try and think of at least 4 core values.


2 How do these values fit in with my career?


It is important to sit and consider how these values align with your work. It should fulfil at least one core value of yours. If not, think about what other roles in that company could help fulfil a value of yours? If you are currently looking for new work then make sure you are applying to jobs that match some of your values.


3 How can I fit my values into my day?


If you can find things to do outside of your career that fulfil all your values, you are onto a winner. How else can you incorporate them into your day, week or month? Making them a regular part of your life will ensure you are doing activities that truly matter to you but also, should a pandemic hit, you are still covering a lot of the values that lead to your happiness.


4 When I am happiest?


Consider when you have felt truly happy. Who was around? What were you doing? Then look at how you can replicate that into your schedule. Keep tabs on when these feelings come up and what is happening around you when it does. It doesn’t need to jump around ecstatic happy either. That serene, calm feeling that can wash over when you feel content counts too and is one of my favourite feelings in the whole world.

Being able to align with your values outside the workplace is key.


This way when say a global pandemic hits and you are unable to work, you have other aspects of your life to work on, to keep your mood up and make you feel like you have an identity.


Engineer Your Mind is a large part of my external identity that aligns with my values. I studied Engineering as a way to help people, to create a world that would allow us to live better. Engineer Your Mind is another way I get to fulfil this value of mine. I can support all of you through my services and blogs.



It brings me so much joy even when I am having a rough day.


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