From the time you learn to talk, people instill in you the importance of a career and your future. As a small child, you are constantly asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and have an understanding of the good careers to strive for based on how people react to your responses. So I am sure you can all attest to the pressure that one feels to choose the right career and do something that not only you love but most importantly, guarantees success.


So I set out to do just that. I made sure I went to the best college (Howard University) to get the best education and to secure my future and career. Then, I decided to pursue a degree in Psychology so I could become a child psychologist. I believed it would be a great career which would bring me success and happiness helping children. But I was 17 when I went to college and I wasn’t sure of who I was let alone what I wanted to be. I worked hard through school, graduated at 21 (still barely an adult), and now all of a sudden it was time to start my life.


I worked in retail throughout college. However, working in retail was never the path I dreamed of. I always vowed to never be like my managers who had bachelor’s degrees, but were still working in retail. How did I end up just like them? I worked my way up from sales to key holder, to assistant manager, and finally to store manager. I was chasing the money early having graduated from college making twice that of my peers. My job was enjoyable and I was good at it. I had it all figured out. Although I enjoyed what I was doing, I wasn’t proud of it – at all. I would sometimes avoid being around my peers from college because I feared the dreaded question. “What do you do?” I would HATE that question. For some reason, I felt that my worth was determined by my title.


So now, 10 years later, I still struggle with what I want to do with the rest of my life. I have reevaluated what determines my self worth. Being success requires your own definition. My self-worth is determined by what I deem as success. I have decided to define success as being happy, doing the things that I truly enjoy, and having the ability to provide for myself and my family. 

No longer am I ashamed by what I do because it provides me the ability to care for me and my family. But I am still searching for the career that brings me the ultimate “joy” and “success”. I will continue to follow my heart and trust in God to lead me to my purpose and not allow society’s views of success control my destination.


Surely, there are many of you out there who aren’t happy with your job, don’t have the job or career of your dreams, or don’t have the job title that you can be proud of. These are my reasons that I know my career doesn’t define me and hopefully you will  feel the same.





  • Success isn’t measured by job titles….. Focus on what makes you the most happy. What do you want to be known for once you’re gone? There is not one set answer to this question. Therefore, there can’t be one measure of success. Some people are more driven by being successful at work through constant promotions, raises, and accolades.   Then there are others, like me, who find pure happiness in spending quality time with my kids, being available to go to school events, and being there to help them navigate through life. These are the things that I sometimes have to sacrifice and miss out on due to work. I know I am doing what is necessary but it doesn’t make me happy. So my overall goal is to find a path that allows me to earn money but still enjoy the fruits of my labor.
  • Jobs are not permanent….. Nothing is permanent, including your career or job. Therefore if you are defined by them, who will you be if or when you are no longer in that career? What you do today can be taken away at any moment due to various reasons. It can be involuntary or because you no longer find passion or interest in what you do. You never know what curve balls life will throw at you.
  • You won’t be remembered by your job, but the impact you made on others….. I want to help people to see the silver lining in tough situations. I want to be a source of motivation for my kids (especially my daughter) and other young girls struggling to find and accept who they are. And most importantly, I want to be remembered for the beautiful person that I am, both on the inside and the outside. Not for what I do for work. If you focus more on bettering ourselves in whatever aspect is important to you, the happier you will be.


Do you feel that your career defines you? Why or why not? Feel free to comment below.

27 thoughts on “3 Reasons Why My Career Doesn’t Define Who I Am”

  1. Love this post! I recently uploaded a post titled defining success which agrees with what you’ve said. I don’t think your career defines you, but it definitely contributes to this. However, I feel your passion and how you pursue it says more about your character

  2. It can certainly be difficult feeling like you’re successful when your title isn’t what you want it to be. I’ve been there. Eventually I realized many of our peers had those titles but no joy, no freedom, and weren’t fulfilled. Keep paving your own way and making your own moves, you’re doing great!

    Leslie / @hautemommie /

  3. Trust me that is my focus!! Paving my own way and being a motivation for my kids! I love what you are doing and the path that you are creating for yourself!

  4. Love this post, when I was in high school I already loved make up and my teacher treated me like garbage because I did! She marked me as “stupid basic girly girl” who can say nothing but stupid things. For the longest time I believed what she said, then I went to college and I started getting good grades and compliments about my ideas, and I was so surprised, I was like: ” wait am I actually smart?!” my point is I love your post! 😀
    Love Mimi

  5. I have the degrees that I knew would lead me to success and happiness, but after law school my path was muddy and it still is. Success for me is equal to seeing my children happy, having a flourishing relationship with my husband and being able to afford a vacation. The passion projects help me cope until I’m where I want to be! I hope you come to homecoming chic.

  6. LOL at being able to afford a vacation! But so real!! You are such an inspiration to me from afar so keep doing all that you do! 😘

  7. “Jobs are not permanent….. Nothing is permanent, including your career or job.” I realllllly needed to hear this. I’m in between jobs right now and it just makes me feel better to remember that nothing is permanent. Thank you 🙂

  8. Amen sister! I just recently resigned from teaching preschool full-time to pursue being a stay-at-home mom and homeschool my children full-time. I couldn’t be happier about that decision! I went through all of the same emotions as I got older. Continuing to sacrifice myself and my ultimate dreams of happiness for what other ls determine successful, is definitely no way I’m wanting to continue living my life!

  9. Wow…. that is such a big decision.I wish I was brave enough to do the same. I would love to spend more time with my kids!

  10. Yes. Yes. Yes. I love being able to work from home since it’s not a traditional job so many people assume that I’m not doing anything. What they don’t realize is a number of hours you put into it to make it to the point you are. This is a great reminder for me to keep going!

  11. Working from home sometimes requires you to put in just as much if not more than if you went in to an actual office. Continue to do what works for you and yours! Thanks for reading!

  12. My career doesn’t define me. It is a part of me, an aspect of my life. We do have a tendency to get so caught up on our careers that we use it as a source to flaunt or downplay what we do based on what we think others may perceive it to be. Great read!

  13. So true…. Just a part of you… Careers are what we were taught as important as an adult so I can understand how it can be a definition of who you are to some.

  14. I totally agree with the post. Success isn’t determined by your net worth or your career. My definition of success is continuing enjoying life through traveling, learning different things, staying true myself and self growing. Being a great aunt to my nephew and hopefully just being happy in life and learned that I accomplish many life goals

  15. Staying true to myself and growing as a person is all I care about as well. For me and my children.

  16. There is so much more to anyone besides his or her occupation. Even though I earned an economics degree and worked in my major as an economist, I am much more than that. Success for me is growing personally and professionally, and enjoying each experience. Great article!

  17. Good for you! And you should be extremely proud of all that you have accomplished. And if that makes you happy then you are successful. Thanks for reading!

  18. One way or another, I can definitely relate to what you said in this post. I’ve been there and some days, I still get stuck there. But just like you, I decided to start seeing things in a different perspective. That sure gives a little bit more joy doing what I do now. And for all we know, there are so many people out there wanting to be where we are! So I guess appreciating where we are is really an amazing thing to do. And of course, keeping in mind that our careers do not define us – that sets us free from the pressure we’ve been trying to carry on our shoulders for some time. I’m happy to have chanced upon this post of yours. Go us!

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