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Laurie Berenson

Megan, you have written a very powerful post. It is unfortunately all too easy to listen to all the internal chatter and avoid making a move. Both change and pain are a part of life, as you state. Holding on to a job title is a real struggle for many people, but one that can be overcome to achieve true career satisfaction. Great post!

Megan Fitzgerald

Thanks Laurie!

I think it is our mindset and beliefs that can really hold us back when it comes to changing careers. The journey can be difficult enough as it is. I believe there are new ways to explore defining value and roles that are much more empowering to the career changer and might actually help them put their best foot forward.

It's great to be a part of the career collective with you!


Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter (@ValueIntoWords)

Hi Megan,
I don't know where to begin, so I won't. I'll just cherry pick a couple of my fave takeaways from your passionate and compelling post!

First, I couldn't agree more: we are 'not' our titles, and we should be defining our own unique value (defining and owning our own labels - yes!). I also agree with the idea that self-definition of a person's professional value can lead to more freedom - and companies understanding people's 'value and potential impact' is key, indeed.

Moreover, 'fluidity of value' is such important language, because our value proposition is ever evolving. Finally, what REALLY resonated for me was the emphasis you placed on difficult-to-directly-measure traits of empathy, patience and a joyful nature. I DO try to map those traits to indirect bottom-line impact when I'm writing for my clients, but, as you say, in and of themselves, these traits often are not measured by companies.

I could comment on each and every paragraph in your rich post, but then I'd be writing a second post! Bottom line: LOVE this meaty message, the insights you've shared and the questions you've posed.

Many thanks for your excellent Career Collective contribution! You clearly put a lot of thought and soul into it.



Indeed an interesting post. Returning to North America and the job market after many years away, I'm struck by two things. On the one hand, the number of people writing about "personal branding," and the importance of defining who you are and as you say, your own unique value. On the other hand, I see employers looking to hire candidates with very rigid skill sets and precise experience doing exactly the same job. In other words there seems to be major disconnect between what employers are asking for and what candidates are being urged to offer. Is this just a function of the current economy? I suspect it's been building longer than that.

Walter Akana

Hi Megan!

This is a rich and thought provoking post. You have certainly made a powerful case for not over-attaching oneself to one’s job title!

For the longest time, claiming identity in terms of what one does has been so habitual that it seems natural. And yet, as our work in personal branding shows focusing on one’s title is not a way to stand out and succeed. The next step in the evolving dynamics of career success is, in fact, self-definition in terms of the unique bundle of competencies that result in the value one brings. And beyond that it means having a supporting backstory that authenticates that value.

At the organizational level, it also seems natural to think in terms of job titles and descriptions. Yet, I think that is evolving as well. Ultimately, I think that organizations that want to be more adept at managing talent will see this and become more receptive to evaluating candidates by looking beyond the lines that create a job spec. Indeed, in the more dynamic marketplace we’ve seen evolving, it will take more fluidity to achieve results!

Miriam Salpeter, Keppie Careers

Megan - Excellent advice and insights. I agree job seekers and everyone hoping to "drive their own career bus" must take charge of every aspect of their professional life. Being confined by job titles administered by someone who does not have your professional interests at heart isn't a good first step. From a practical perspective, I often encourage clients to include "descriptive" titles in their LinkedIn profiles, in particular, because it is useful for search. (Although, we do this carefully, maintaining the "official" title as well!)

You share an important message to job seekers and career changers about self-definition!

Thanks for your contribution!

Megan Fitzgerald

@Walter - thanks for your comments! Indeed, I believe that companies need to look under their hood and see what is needed not just from a skills perspective, but the qualities that would contribute to success on all fronts. I believe that personal branding has opened that door but we are a long way from seeing it translated into how employers recruit. We shall see!

@Jacqui - I am humbled by your kind words. It is a rich subject and one that I have more thoughts to share on - I shall do in future posts. I see the struggle day after day of clients trying to convey things because the conversation is just not taking place. I help clients build their brands from inside out - not to fit a mold for sure. I am working on way to help people express that fluidity more powerfully. It's an interesting process and one in which I am taking great pleasure in.

@Judy - Thanks for sharing your thoughts Judy. The challenge then for the job seeker be able to convey the value of who they are in language that the employer resonates with - just the way that you would do with skills. Its the value based conversation that I teach my clients to have that can make the difference. This is why the assistance of a coach can be so valuable. Understanding your value and including it on a resume or CV is just the first step. And now with the CV or resume no longer being the defacto tool for communicating qualifications its critical that we have the right words in various forms to help us. Its a new game and those equipped with clarity and communication tools and skills will be the ones who win out.

Thanks again to all of you for your comments!



This has made my day. I wish all postnigs were this good.

Megan Fitzgerald

Hi Turk,
I'm glad I could bring a little light to your day!
We are not our job titles - we are so much more.
My best,


This is what i was looking for long time.Thanks for posting and sharing with all of us.This is definitely going to help many of us.
current job opening

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • Megan Fitzgerald
    Expat & International
    Career Coach

    Welcome. Benvenuto. 欢迎. I'm Megan Fitzgerald (More about Megan here), expat & international career coach, personal branding expert and founder of Career By Choice.

    In this blog I provide success tips (sign up for success tips on the right) for those interested in becoming highly visible, sought-after and landing work in today's dynamic and digital global marketplace.

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