Separating Your Job from Your Identity

In this post featuring Brianna Westbrooks, you will have the opportunity to explore your career identity and ways to balance multiple identities for a more fulfilled life.

“Many people attach their job with who they are and make it their fundamental identity as a person. I am focused right now on the idea that my job is what I do, but it’s not who I am. I do this work, but that’s only one component of who Brianna is. That’s just one facet of me.  When you attach your personal identity with your job then everything becomes personal when it comes to your work. This is what I get paid to do. I enjoy what I get paid to do. But at the end of the day I’m still Bri. I am being more intentional about separating my professional identity from my complete identity.”

– Brianna Westbrooks, Government Relations Associate

My job is what I do, but it’s not who I am.

How many of us have felt like our work defines us? In a world where Instagram bios showcase job titles and LinkedIn is like a virtual CV, it’s no wonder we get caught up in our professional identities. We’re stuck between the desire to climb the career ladder and the need to keep our true selves intact. Society paints this picture where job success equals life success, and we fall for it.

Brianna’s words aren’t just wise; they’re liberating. Think about it: you’re not just a “sales manager” or a “freelancer.” You’re also the person who dances shamelessly in the kitchen, loves hiking on weekends, and binge-watches way too much reality TV. Embracing these non-work facets of your identity is like taking a deep breath of fresh air.

Why It Matters

Letting your job define your identity is like giving it way too much power. You’re not just what you do to pay the bills; you’re a mix of experiences, dreams, quirks, and passions. When you learn to see yourself beyond your job, you bring a more genuine version of you to everything – from your work projects to your coffee dates.

How to Make It Happen

  • Set boundaries: When work is over, let it be over. Use that time to explore new hobbies, spend time with friends or family, catch a yoga class, or relax on the couch.
  • Passion Projects: Explore the things that really light you up outside of your work. Maybe it’s learning to play the guitar, or taking a hike in nature. By giving yourself time to explore your passions, you can fill your soul’s cup.
  • No Inbox Zero: It’s okay to step away from emails and spreadsheets. You’re not defined by your inbox. The work will be there tomorrow.
  • Seeking Balance: Balance your work with hanging out with friends, getting lost in a book, or trying out a new recipe. For some, it sounds more like integration instead of balance- and that’s OK! You do you, girlfriend!
  • You Are More Than Your Paycheck: Sure, work pays the bills, but it doesn’t pay for your dreams, your laugh, or your favorite song that always puts you in a good mood. Remember that.


Brianna’s insight serves as a powerful reminder that while our jobs are a part of our lives, they don’t define our entirety. By intentionally separating our professional identity from our complete identity, we create space for personal growth, fulfillment, and genuine authenticity. Embracing who we are allows us to live more balanced, meaningful lives that extend beyond the confines of our job descriptions.

Need Some Help with Balance?

If you find it hard to find balance, or would like to explore your multiple identities, perhaps coaching is for you. Click here to schedule a 30-minute consultation call with me to learn more about life and leadership coaching to get you closer to a life you love.

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Click below to schedule a free consultation call to begin your journey of discovering who you are at your core, what you want out of life, and where to spend your time and attention to live your best and most fulfilled life.

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Hi, I’m Jessi

I created Habituelle Life and Leadership Coaching so that ambitious women can see that finding fulfillment in their personal and professional lives is possible. Redefining success in my own life has allowed me to help others do the same.

I’m here to support you in this journey of evolving identities, inner criticisms, and competing societal messages. We aren’t meant to do this life alone.