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Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career


Whether as a daydream or a spoken desire, nearly all of us have entertained the notion of reinventing ourselves. Feeling unfulfilled, burned out, or just plain unhappy with what we’re doing, we long to make that leap into the unknown. But we also hold on, white-knuckled, to the years of time and effort we’ve invested in our current profession.

Through engrossing stories—from a literature professor turned stockbroker to an investment banker turned novelist—Ibarra reveals a set of guidelines that all successful reinventions share. She explores specific ways that hopeful career changers of any background can:

  • Explore possible selves
  • Craft and execute “identity experiments”
  • Create “small wins” that keep momentum going
  • Survive the rocky period between career identities
  • Connect with role models and mentors who can ease the transition
  • Make time for reflection—without missing out on windows of opportunity
  • Arrange new events into a coherent story of who we are becoming

About the Author

Herminia Ibarra is Professor of Organizational Behavior of INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.

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