Right now I am an Executive and Leadership Coach. In my previous role as a consultant psychologist, the one element that came up consistently in therapy sessions was loss. Sometimes loss would be the reason for referral such as loss of a loved one. Other times loss would be part of the win such as losing an addiction. Often learning to let go was what is was all about. At the end of therapy, there was the letting-go-of-my-therapist experience.
When I ended a 9-year career as a consulting psychologist at one hospital, I was all too acutely aware of “letting go”. Different clients expressed their experiences in different ways, but all too often I was aware that letting-go was a dichotomy where the pain was matched with the relieve or freedom.
My expansion into Executive and Leadership Coaching has let me down the path of adding Lego®SeriousPlay® (LSP) to my toolkit, and I find myself explaining the world in terms of bricks. I now think of my professional skill-set as little coloured Lego bricks that I have acquired over the years. Bricks of self-awareness, confidence, communication, listening, anger management, how to deal with anxiety, and so forth. Until now, those bricks have been assembled to build “A Psychologist” and the way it was structured was vetted by regulatory bodies to declare that indeed, I was “A Psychologist”.
Moving into my new role and expanding that title, I had to break down some of that “Psychologist” structure. I discovered that I could use those same bricks in different ways to build my new Identity. Breaking it down was a challenging process as I experienced some loss of identity, loss of my relationship with the healthcare world and my former patients and colleagues, and even the loss a predictable career path.
However, as anyone who has successfully changed roles or careers will know, with the right support, skill and vision, and possibly the addition of some more bricks, it is possibly to build a new professional identity. I used the same “skill-bricks” to become an Executive and Leadership Coach. My professional identity is no longer cast in the mould of “A Psychologist” but is becoming more fluid and adapted to the business world.
My experience of changing careers proves to be resonating with many of my coachee Executives and Leaders when they go through their own experiences of change. Could you change and “Lego”?