People often ask me what exactly do you do? And while most people want me to answer by talking about the work I do I don’t let my work define me. In a world where our culture often defines us by what we do instead of who we are I have chosen to focus on who I am and not the work I do. I work with a number of different companies providing my experience and expertise. I also bring in others when I need to fill the gaps for the project I am working on. I guess that one reason I can’t define what I do is because if there is something I can’t do, I have a network of resources that can help me get the project done.
When I created my first company Healthy Momma, I tied my entire identity into that business. I was Healthy Mama and when it was over I was lost, confused, and depressed. Without Healthy Mama, I didn’t know who I was. But the truth was I was still me and all the skills and tools I had gained from creating and running Healthy Mama were still a part of me and were still a part of my story. I lost Healthy Mama and at the time I lost myself. But I learned that it was just a title. I was still me and able to continue to use the skills I had learned to keep moving forward.
I have seen a lot of military members go through a similar challenge when leaving the military. They got so tied up in who they were as a service member that when they leave the military behind a part of themselves is missing. And while change has its challenges. Leaving the military does not mean you have lost the tools and resources the military has given you through your experience of service.
It may take some time to find yourself don’t let your lack of a rank lead you to believe you have nothing to offer or that you should take the first job available because it is a job. You have a lot to offer. You just need to redefine the skills military life has given you so you can show employers how you can be an asset to their business. Or if you are considering starting your own business, realize how the skills military life taught you can transfer to running your own business. And don’t forget the value of the network that you have built over your years of service. And the built in network of military veterans standing by to help you through your transition. One door may be closing when you leave the military but the open doors of opportunity are there for you.
Leaving Healthy Mama has taught me many lessons, but one of the biggest was not getting caught up in titles, roles or even the companies I work for. My superpowers are in being Flossie Hall, not the title or role people try to pin on me. I am adaptive, creative, hardworking, personable, friendly, strong, assertive, go-getter, and more. I have a lot to offer and it is not tied to a job title. It is tied into who I am as me.
Jobs come and go. But what is most important is the skills and opportunities that come from those jobs and experiences. I no longer let my title define me. I don’t need a fancy title. I just need to focus on who I am and where I am going. The title someone may choose to use to define me only limits them in seeing my full potential.