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  • Claire Deacon

Navigating The Changing Roles of Men in a Modern World


In the realm of career coaching, trends often mirror the evolving landscapes of society. Recently, a poignant shift has emerged, with an increasing number of male clients grappling with issues of identity. This trend sheds light on the profound impact societal expectations and changing dynamics within relationships can have on an individual's sense of self. In this blog post, we explore the challenges faced by men as they navigate the evolving roles and expectations placed upon them, and the powerful journey of rediscovering one's identity.


For generations, societal norms dictated that men should be the providers, the hunters and gatherers of the family. This traditional role often served as a cornerstone of male identity, shaping their sense of purpose and self-worth. However, as we progress into an era of increased equality and shifting relationship dynamics, the very foundations of these roles are undergoing transformation.


With the advent of equality, relationships are becoming more balanced, challenging traditional gender norms. Men are finding themselves in uncharted territory, where the lines between provider and nurturer blur. This shift, while positive for overall societal progress, can be a source of internal conflict for those who have long identified with the more traditional role.


In the coaching realm, there's a growing number of male clients expressing a sense of disconnection from their true selves. The responsibilities of marriage, parenthood, and the pressure to conform to societal expectations have led many to bury their own dreams and aspirations beneath the weight of responsibility. The resistance to revisit a time before these obligations is palpable, as if acknowledging a life before responsibility is a betrayal of their current roles.


As career coaches, it is crucial to approach these challenges with empathy. Understanding the psychological impact of this identity crisis is key to helping clients navigate this complex terrain. These men are not just seeking career advice; they are embarking on a profound journey of self-discovery.


One powerful question emerges from these sessions: "Who was I before?" Encouraging clients to give themselves permission to ask this question is a crucial step toward unlocking a wealth of untapped potential. It requires a delicate balance of acknowledging the responsibilities they carry while gently peeling back the layers to reveal the person they were, and still are, beneath the surface.


Working through the answers to this question with a coach or mentor can be transformative. It allows these men to reconnect with their passions, interests, and dreams that may have been dormant for too long. Rediscovering one's identity is not an act of abandoning responsibilities; rather, it is a process of aligning personal aspirations with the roles one plays in their family and society.



In a world where roles and expectations are in a constant state of flux, men are finding the courage to ask themselves, "Who was I before?" This powerful question is an invitation to explore the depths of one's identity, offering a pathway to self-discovery, fulfilment, and a renewed sense of purpose. As career coaches, embracing the evolving narratives of our clients and guiding them through this journey is a testament to our commitment to their holistic growth.

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