How Do You Create Yourself Outside of Your Career?

Author: Mark Danaher

How Do You Create Yourself Outside of Your Career?


According to Gallup’s Annual Work and Education Survey, 70% of Americans with a college education identify themselves with their job. Interestingly, women are a little more likely to get a sense of their identity from their jobs than men do.  It is important to ask the question “How do I separate my identity from my job?” Typically, this is the first thing that comes up in a conversation with family or at a friend’s party. With work being only a fingertip away today, it is essential that you look at other ways to define yourself.

What is your job?

How do you view your job in terms of your life and where you want to go in your career? Do you see it as the end-all opportunity, or do you see it simply as a rung on the career ladder? Each experience gives you new options and learning that will allow you to move up on the rungs of your career ladder.

Accept failure

Not everything goes well in every job or opportunity. It is important to see each setback or failure as a way to learn about yourself and who you are. What you focus on when a failure or setback happens makes a difference in your perspective of the situation. If you focus on failure and setbacks as new learning opportunities to grow as a person, you are doing well. If you are focusing on failure and setback as a true failure, then you are not growing and you are getting stuck in your job and career identity. Always look for the growth and learning that comes from each experience in your life and career.

Be where your feet are

It is essential to focus on the here and now and who you are with. Treat each day as an opportunity to learn something new about yourself and your profession. Keep a journal to show your appreciation and gratitude for what you have and to anticipate what is to come. Give yourself a pat on the back for the little victories at work and at home. Celebrate the small moments and appreciate what you have. Make the best of each event.


Set up boundaries on when you will start work and finish work each day. When you are working remotely, it is vital to do this as you tend to be on call 24/7. Make sure that you let your manager or supervisor know that you finish each at 5-6 pm. After that time, you are focusing on your family. The same could be said about when you start your day.  When you get home away from the rat race of work, focus on your family, develop yourself outside of work, learn new things, and recharge yourself.

Build your network

Just as you build your network with other like-minded individuals around your career, it is so important to do the same thing with your social circle outside of work. You need to reach out to friends and family to build a circle of people with whom you can do things and share experiences. You should have at least 3 to 5 close friends to get the highest level of satisfaction from life.

No matter what your career is, you must take time to develop the whole you. Your work may be important to provide the money you need, but it is the person inside you and what you give to your family and friends that make life worth living. Make sure to be in the moment and take time to invest in who you are and not just the job that you work at.

Set up your routine to take care of yourself and invest in yourself daily!