Note: This is Part 1 of a 3-part series about the opportunities and challenges solopreneurs and digital nomads have in the Future of Work.
For solopreneurs and digital nomads, identity is not tied to a particular country, language, company or set of experiences. If your business is mobile and you are traveling across the globe, what, then, is your digital identity based on? How is it different from brand identity that traditional businesses use? Most importantly, how can you leverage your digital identity in the future of work?
Evolving from a Personality-based to Identity-based Approach
Many organisations use personality assessments to recognise, hire and motivate their workforce. Developed in the latter half of the 20th century, this personality-based approach is believed to be closely linked to an individual’s expected professional performance. Personalities are based on psychological and cognitive factors and regarded as permanent.
But what if, as we believe, identity not only describes who we are, but is constantly in motion. As a construct, it is made up of both non-changeable aspects as well as elements that develop as time goes on. Developed at the beginning of the digital era, an identity-based approach stems from the idea that people shape an organisation, and an individual’s identity is developed through social interaction and interpersonal relationships among other members of the organisation.
Key differences in the concepts of personality tools and identity creation:
A Digital Brand of One
As a solopreneur or digital nomad, you are ultimately responsible for defining your identity and brand.
Unconstrained by management or the personality-based assessments of the human resources department, you control your digital nomadic identity. How then, can you shape and influence it to work in your favour?
Your digital identity is dependent on a number of factors:
As an individual with a multi-faceted identity, you might have both an identity as a painter as well as a very solid foundation and high appreciation of mathematics. While you would choose to emphasise your creative side at an art gallery, you’d emphasise your mathematical identity in conversations with anyone at an exhibit about meteorology and geophysics. That might very well affect your future clients and portfolio in the near future.
A significant advantage of this identity-based approach is its ability to recognise the individual’s entire self. As the highest level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, this type of self-actualisation would stimulate higher motivation in any worker and lead to greater productivity.
Focusing on Identity for the Future of Work
Let’s first consider a few future forecasts about the freelance community:
Most importantly, with a strong, clear digital solopreneur identity, you’ll be better prepared to tap into the ever-increasing market opportunities available in the newly transformed world of work, in addition to winning new clients and retaining them. From this introduction of the identity creation concept we will be giving deeper explanations in the upcoming articles, for you to
Meanwhile, our next blog post will focus on the amount of cybercapacity essential for solopreneurs and digital nomads to work remotely.
Note: This is Part 1 of a 3-part series about the opportunities and challenges digital nomads have in the Future of Work.
Digital transformation strategist | Privacy advisor | Cyber anthropologist | Author