February 23, 2022: When Professional Identity Can Derail a Career: OD’s Role in Smoothing the Process
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Professional Identities can be defined as a representation of one’s self, developed over time through cognitive, psychological and socialization processes. It is a relatively constant and unchanging set of values, attitudes, beliefs and norms. Over time, an individual begins to think, act, and feel like a professional in their field. For occupational professionals such as physicians, nurses, engineers, and teachers, their professional identity becomes stronger, as these individuals are required to participate in continuing education, obtain professional certifications, and ascribe to specific professional ethics.
Professional identities can be both an asset and a liability as they ensure specialization, expertise, and even stability, but they also create boundaries and barriers when facing career changes such as promotions, job redesign and second careers. Without sufficient individual and organizational support, the new role can leave the professional feeling incompetent, without autonomy, and demotivated, leading to lower engagement and performance.
In this presentation I will discuss how promotions, job redesign, and second careers are impacted by an employee's professional identity. We will also examine how OD practitioners and managers must employ both a micro (personal/psychological/social) and macro (organizational/structural) change management approach in helping employees navigate through career transitions which may be incompatible with their professional identity.
Nila Jennings is a second-year doctoral student at Bowling Green State University, in their Doctor of Organization Development and Change program. She is the owner and Chief Strategy Officer of Fusion Coaching and Consulting Group, Inc., a management consulting group that provides leadership and management development and training, strategic planning, executive coaching, and organization development services. She is a member of the International Coach Federation and a Professional Certified Coach, a Strategic Planning Professional, and a professional member of the National Speaker's Association. You can contact Nila at email@example.com.
Jennings, Nila, "February 23, 2022: When Professional Identity Can Derail a Career: OD’s Role in Smoothing the Process" (2022). DODC Symposiums. 7.