Sometimes you should be a chameleon in your professional life….sometimes

What do a schoolteacher and a psychotherapist have in common? On the surface, nothing. Upon further inspection a lot. Teachers educate. They inspire. They help students to improve their grades and academic achievements. They counsel people.

article-0-0604D929000005DC-149_468x412Psychotherapists do a lot of the same things. They educate. They try to inspire. They help people to repair things in their lives that suck. They counsel people. Sometimes there’s more of a divide yet there are still commonalities. Here’s an article in Psychology Today about how to reinvent yourself.

I am still reinventing myself however since there are significant differences in my role as teacher and my interest in psychotherapy. The same is true of people who hold down two jobs to make ends meet. Or who are both salaried employees and entrepreneurs. On the surface it seems like the two have nothing in common and sometimes it’s good to keep a divide between the two.  As a sales rep for instance you don’t go into your work as a heath worker and discuss your sales business. You discuss your patients or your research work in medicine or what have you. It’s very necessary sometimes to keep the two separate.

There is an exception. Sometimes being a professional chameleon is the answer.When your two separate interests and career interests dovetail why not work them both at the same time? For instance, if you are an independent consultant as a computer analyst and you’re also a grad student in archeology and there are problems with the technology in your classroom, you can save the day by using your tech skills during class. Someone may catch onto that skill and mention she could use your help with her computer at home, or in her private business. Voila! An instant client or at least someone new in your network.

You know what they say about killing two birds with one stone. (Ouch – I’m an animal lover so even metaphors hurt). Pick up your own stone whenever you can and know when to use it.

 

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