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Working Identity    Unconventional strategies for      reinventing your career        Professor Herminia Ibarra      INSEA...
Three examples  • Harris Roberts  • Susan Fontaine  • Dan McIvy
Defining career reinvention   • Change of context   • Change of content   • Subjective perceptions of changing paths
About the Study• 39 in-depth, multiple-point interviews• 65% men; 36% women• Mean age 41 (range: 32-52)• US, UK, France• M...
Key Findings•How career transitions unfold•What increases the likelihood of a successful reinvention
How career transitions unfoldTake two to three yearsNot a linear processRarely driven by a clear objectiveConfluence of “t...
Identities in transitionHow the Reinventing Process Unfolds                                    Exploring Possible Selves  ...
Tools for reinvention• New activities (experiments)• New networks, role models and  communities of practice (relationships...
Identities in PracticeActions That Promote Successful Change    Aspects of Working Identity                   Strategies f...
When people consider a career change• After a merger or acquisition, when the old social  structures are disrupted and the...
Working Identity                        Exploring Possible Selves                        Asking « Whom might I become »?  ...
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Unconventional Strategies For Reinventing Your Career - INSEAD

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A helpful framework for navigating ambiguity during career transitions. The flow chart on the last slide is especially helpful.
Credit due to Hermania Ibarra of INSEAD Business School.

Published in: Career

Unconventional Strategies For Reinventing Your Career - INSEAD

  1. 1. Working Identity Unconventional strategies for reinventing your career Professor Herminia Ibarra INSEAD Alumni Reunion 2003
  2. 2. Three examples • Harris Roberts • Susan Fontaine • Dan McIvy
  3. 3. Defining career reinvention • Change of context • Change of content • Subjective perceptions of changing paths
  4. 4. About the Study• 39 in-depth, multiple-point interviews• 65% men; 36% women• Mean age 41 (range: 32-52)• US, UK, France• Managers and professionals• Highly educated: 75% have at least a masters
  5. 5. Key Findings•How career transitions unfold•What increases the likelihood of a successful reinvention
  6. 6. How career transitions unfoldTake two to three yearsNot a linear processRarely driven by a clear objectiveConfluence of “things”Sensitive to life eventsProcess by which the old becomes less appealing while the new gains contourGradual escalation of commitment to investments outside one’s companyMomentum based
  7. 7. Identities in transitionHow the Reinventing Process Unfolds Exploring Possible Selves Asking Whom might I become? What are the possibilities? Grounding a Lingering Deep Change Between Identities Updating priorities, Testing possible selves, assumptions, and both old and new self-conceptions Outcomes External change: Changing careers Internal change: Greater congruence between who we are and what we do
  8. 8. Tools for reinvention• New activities (experiments)• New networks, role models and communities of practice (relationships)• Significant events (and the window of opportunity they offer for stepping back to reflect & reframe)
  9. 9. Identities in PracticeActions That Promote Successful Change Aspects of Working Identity Strategies for Reworking Identity Working identity is defined by what Crafting Experiments: Trying out new we do, the professional activities that activities and professional roles on a small engage us scale before making a major commitment to a different path Shifting Connections: Developing contacts Working identity is defined by the company who can open doors to new worlds; finding we keep, our working relationships and the role models and new references groups to professional groups to which we belong guide and bench-mark our progress Working identity is defined by the Making Sense: Finding or creating formative events in our lives and the story catalysts and triggers for change and using that links who we have been and who we them as occasions to rework our story will become
  10. 10. When people consider a career change• After a merger or acquisition, when the old social structures are disrupted and the new context seems excessively political• After executive program, if there is no new challenge or stretch assignment on the horizon• At a life inflection point, such as getting married, having a child, turning forty or getting divorced• After a professional failure, disappointment or negative review
  11. 11. Working Identity Exploring Possible Selves Asking « Whom might I become »? Testing the possibilities Refining the questions Identity in Practice Grounding Deep Lingering between Change Crafting experiments Identities Acheiving small wins Shifting connections Becoming an « ex » Exposing hidden Making sense Trying on new foundations identities Living the Updating goals contradictions assumptions, and self-conceptions Outcomes Becoming Yourself Changing careers Attaining congruence between who we are and what we do

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