Your Job Is Not Who You Are: Trust The Journey

August 3, 2020

You are a human being a multifaceted, incredible human being. And your job is not who you are.”

Today’s episode about how your job is not who you are, and how to learn to start trusting the journey and trusting the process, especially if you aren’t happy with where you currently are.

I’ll be sharing a little bit of a deeper history into my past work experience and how I got to where I am today, plus;

  • How to differentiate between you as a person and the job that you do daily, friend, they are NOT the same thing!
  • Trusting the journey and yourself; no decision is the “WRONG” decision, they are all setting you up for the next part of your journey.
  • How to keep moving forward even when it feels like you’re moving backwards
  • And so much more!

I’m hoping this episode will be helpful for you, especially if you aren’t happy with where you are right now! It could actually give you some hope, make you feel a little bit better or help you start to understand that just because you aren’t happy with where you are right now, it doesn’t mean that you won’t still end up where you want to go.

Are you ready? Get listening right away by clicking the link above, or if you’re more in the mood to read today keep scrolling for the full transcription of today’s episode! Let’s do this!

Hey, welcome back to the Room To Grow podcast Emily here and today we’re going to be talking a little bit about how your job is not who you are, and how to learn to start trusting the journey and trusting the process, especially if you aren’t happy with where you currently are. What I’m going to be diving into in this episode is actually going to be giving you a little bit of a glimpse into my very, very eclectic and super random work history. I also have like some kind of random educational history as well, but I’m still sometimes mildly confused about how I ended up where I am today. So we’re gonna get into that a little bit because I realized I don’t actually usually share my overall history very often. I’ll talk about how I used to do nutrition and fitness and stuff like that, but I don’t usually give any more details than that other than the fact that I was in the corporate world. So I’m going to give you more to go off of today, because I’m hoping that it will be helpful for you that if you aren’t happy with where you are right now, that it will actually maybe give you some hope or make you feel a little bit better or make you kind of start to understand that just because you aren’t happy with where you are right now, it doesn’t mean that you won’t still end up where you want to go. Or, in my case anyway, that you will end up taking a completely different road than the one that you originally planned on but it ends up being the exact right one for you, too. So there’s all kinds of ways that and twists and turns that your journey can take and you just don’t know it until it actually happens. But I want to encourage you to keep going and to trust it a little bit and to keep taking the action. Okay, there’s two main points that I want you to take away from this episode. And I really want you to keep this in mind as I’m sharing some of my stories. Well, number one is that your job is not who you are, your job is what you do. It is not who you are. Okay? And the second thing I want you to remember is to trust your own journey, not look at somebody else’s journey and think that that’s the exact one that you need to take. You need to trust your journey. 


So, first to give you a general idea as to the wide variety of educational background I have along with some of the jobs I have worked, have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and public policy as well as psychology. Yes, I know criminology, people always hear that they’re like what? I am also a certified personal trainer and a fitness instructor. Although I let those certifications lapse in the last couple of years because I don’t do them anymore. I have no interest in doing those anymore. And I also went to school part time every single Friday night for two years to become a holistic nutritionist while I was working my corporate 9 to 5 job. Okay, so that’s kind of my educational background. Obviously there’s online courses and stuff that I’ve taken as well but those are sort of like the big, big ones, the more official letters after my name/official certifications. In terms of jobs, in no particular order, I have worked as a bartender in pubs and nightclubs. I have worked as a legal assistant, I have managed automotive corporate sales accounts, my corporate job was actually in the automotive industry and I worked in a couple different capacities within the same company and within the same industry for 11 years, but that was the biggest chunk of my corporate role was managing automotive corporate sales accounts. I did admin work at a pole dance studio. I was a fitness instructor and personal trainer, I taught bootcamp classes. I was the beer cart girl at a golf course for a few years, I have been a holistic nutritionist for several years. I did shipping and receiving at a warehouse. I’ve been a customer service rep. Those are just a few of the things that I have done for jobs. I’ve done very wide ranging, sometimes almost weird sounding, jobs and yet all of that led me to podcasting and business coaching. Sometimes you have to trust the process a little bit and trust the journey and keep taking action while understanding that if you continue to show up and choose to do the work, the answers will usually reveal themselves. And the other point that I really want to make with that is not to get so attached to the outcome that you’ve created in your head, that you miss the obvious outcomes taking shape right in front of you, that could be better than you ever imagined. I had this realization when I was doing holistic nutrition, I thought that that was my thing, I had quit my corporate job. Finally, after 11 years, I had worked all this time to get to the point of being a full time holistic nutritionist. And I was like, this is the thing. This is the thing that I’ve been waiting for. This is what I have been waiting to do, this is it, and then I realized I wasn’t happy and I couldn’t figure out why. I think I spent more time beating myself up as to why I wasn’t happy when I had worked so hard to get to this point, then actually just taking a little bit of a step back to try and look at the bigger picture. It wasn’t until I’ve talked about this a little bit before that people kept coming to me over and over again, asking me for help with creating a podcast, podcasting, business coaching. And I lit up when I would talk about it and people were like, why aren’t you talking about this? Like, why aren’t you teaching this as a job? And it just seems so ridiculous to me because I’m like, Well, I didn’t go to school for it. I don’t have letters after my name to go with it. I don’t have a certification to be a podcasting coach. Fuck your certifications! No, you don’t need a certification to do something like that. I would never tell that to somebody who was going to be a doctor. If you’re going to a doctor, who is supposed to be an actual doctor who did not go to med school, you’re probably potentially barking up the wrong tree. Maybe not the best plan. So yes, of course, there are exceptions with certain jobs, and careers but sometimes we get way too wrapped up in that and it stops us from ever taking a step forward and forever moving forward down a different path. I had this realization that I was being led down a different path from the one that I had planned and once I accepted that instead of fighting it, everything shifted. Everything shifted. I finally felt like I was in full alignment with exactly what I was supposed to be doing. I was like, THIS is the feeling that I thought that I would have with nutrition and it never came. It never came. I just always felt like I was struggling and swimming upstream and everything felt so hard with nutrition. Even though I had all this knowledge, I still have all that knowledge. And I draw on that in my own everyday life. And I’m so glad that I did it. By the way, I don’t consider it a waste. I never consider any education a waste. I never really experience any waste, because as long as you take something from it, and you learn from it, there’s value in that and that’s part of what makes you unique. That’s part of what makes your story unique. And it’s all part of your story. It’s all part of it. So another job that I had that actually I think I forgot to mention in the original list. I told you that was just like to name a few there are other jobs I’ll do that I didn’t even get into, but one part of my story and one of my previous jobs I have actively avoided and purposely sidestepped sharing almost entirely for many, many years up until now, even with close friends, there are people who have known me for 10 or 12 years who don’t even know that I have ever held this job. When I was a teenager, I was scouted in a mall. Listen, when you’re six feet tall by 14, you would like everywhere you go. It’s super weird. It’s a privilege. It’s a gift and I’m so appreciative of it, but it was, it’s a little bit of an odd experience. Anyway, I was scouted in a mall, and I joined a couple different modeling agencies over the next three to four years. So I was actually professionally trained to walk a runway in four inch heels by the age of 15. Let’s face it, this giraffe always needed help learning how to walk without tipping over anyway, heels or no heels. So it was probably more beneficial than I even realized. And school was always the priority. And I also have an additional job working customer service at Walmart at the time when I was a teenager while I was in high school, but in between school being the priority and then my other job which was like my other job was at Walmart was the one that was kind of bringing in more money. It both of those meant that I turned down a lot of the modeling jobs that were offered. Which I was fine with because to be perfectly honest, I never took modeling seriously as a profession for myself to begin with. I always just kind of looked at it as a ‘Yeah, whatever’. Like it’s fine. I’ll do it for a couple of years just because I can but I never viewed it as a career path just for me personally, for people who choose to make that a career path, amazing. I just always knew that it wasn’t for me even at a very young age. With that said it was a really eye opening experience in a variety of ways too, but my bigger point with even telling you about this Is you know what? why have I avoided discussing this for so long? Because people will actually ask me sometimes both because of my height and sometimes almost the way I walk sometimes like my gait almost sounds ridiculous. It almost looks a little bit of a swagger once in a while, and I don’t it’s not conscious. It’s like muscle memory sometimes. I’ve had people sometimes ask me, because I’m also taller, like, have you ever modeled and I always kind of try to sidestep the question because I don’t really want to talk about it, mostly because I consider it to be the least interesting and accomplished thing about me. By some random act of nature, I happen to be born with genetics that granted me the height and general body type that somebody once arbitrarily decided was ideal for a particular type of job. And if I’m being really honest, I have found that some people can have a somewhat limited and stereotypical view of anyone with that sort of job on their resume. So it’s always been easier to simply omit it entirely from my history and kind of like, erase it. So why am I telling you now? I thought long and hard about sharing this, before I came to the conclusion that I almost felt obligated to share because I want to remind you that your job does not define you. Your job does not define you. And, again, I’m going to go back to my original point. This is why I made this point in the very beginning that your job is not who you are. Any job that you have held in the past does not define who you are as a human being. This also applies to things like if you’re not making the money that you wanted to have, a launch that does not make you a failure. Not booking all the clients you plan doesn’t mean that you should give up. Not having the career or the job that you set out to and not being as far along by now as you think that you so called should be is not a reason to beat yourself up. There is something to learn from every single experience and we all wear all kinds of different hats. You as a human do not fit into a single box or category and attaching your self worth to the way you get paid is not a realistic way to live. Your job is something that you do, it’s not the entirety of who you are. Your sense of self worth has to come from something outside of your work. My amazing friend Jess Rodriguez actually got into this a lot back in Episode 114 on the podcast all about attaching self worth to work. And she did a really beautiful job at explaining that and that’s a great one to check out if you’re interested in learning more about that. Sometimes we sort of identify with these particular labels because something about us humans, we like to have label everything, we went up labels for everything, it almost gives us this false sense of security somehow maybe makes us feel like we’re part of a team or a category. I don’t know what it is. But we seem to really like labels. But you don’t identify with labels, that’s also a choice. You don’t have to do that. You are a multifaceted, incredible human being. And your job is not who you are. But at the same time, I also and this was again, one of the big reasons why I finally decided to open up a little bit more about some of my work history, including that one aspect that I have typically swept under the rug for a really long time. Because I think it’s really important to own all of the parts of you and your story, including your past, the good, the bad, the ugly and the parts that few may know about you. It doesn’t mean sharing publicly, by the way, but rather if you catch yourself purposely avoiding a particular aspect of your life ask yourself why? I have bent over backwards to avoid sharing anything about some modeling work for a brief period of time in my life. But what I realized more recently, as I was kind of doing some deep diving into myself and some of my inner workings, I realized that it didn’t really help anyone for me to feel borderline ashamed of it and fearing judgment, so I decided it was time to be just a little bit more open about it. By the way, it was also my least well paid job by a longshot, and I mean, any job I’ve ever worked, it was by far the least well paid job I have ever worked. So in case you think that modeling is like all glamour or whatever, you might be looking at the supermodels that are at the top of their game, they’re very well paid. Most models, you know, your average model is not typically well paid at all. So please don’t think that there’s glamour that you see, it’s not real. It’s not real, I just need to make that very clear, okay? But I don’t want you to deny where you have been. And that was my biggest part of finally kind of opening up about this a little bit because I don’t want you to deny where you’ve been, because it has contributed to where you are today and where you will end up in the future. And these journeys that we’re all on and we’re each on our own journey, they’re going to have some random ass backroads that won’t make any sense in the moment sometimes, but trusting the journey doesn’t mean that you stop taking action. It means that you show the fuck up in whatever capacity you possibly can, and you keep taking baby steps towards your bigger goals. And there’s going to be bumps along the way and the road to get to where you’re going is going to take some very unexpected terms. I would never in a million years, I would never have believed you If you had told me that I would end up doing podcasting in business. Never in a million years, I would have been like, what’s a podcast? Like, even if you told me I was going to have a podcast, once you would explain to me what that even meant, I would have thought you had lost your damn mind. And yet, so often when we look back on our journeys, we see the pieces of the puzzle like falling into place and fitting together in ways that we didn’t even recognize in the moment. Then there’s sort of this other part of trusting yourself, and trusting that you can’t make the so called wrong decision. I’ve talked to a couple friends about this recently. And I think that it’s really important to bring this up, because so often we’ll be presented with these decisions where all we can think of is what if I make the wrong choice, like what is the wrong move? But ultimately, you know, I don’t know that there are many wrong moves. I think that there’s just decisions. There’s just decisions. There’s choices. And trust yourself enough to make the decisions that feel right to you. And part of that trust means trusting yourself enough to figure it out if things go awry. And I’ve got a couple examples of this. 

The first example was when I was in university, I was working multiple jobs to pay the bills. So I was trying to keep my student loans as low as possible and was working 4 at one point, I was working 4 different jobs, while also being a full time university student. I was working at a clothing store, I was working a warehouse job, I was bartending and once in a while, I was also modeling. And I was so sleep deprived. By the way my schoolwork was also suffering through this, like I’d always been a really good student and I was having a little bit of a hard time with a couple of my classes because I was so sleep deprived and had no time for schoolwork, which defeats the purpose right of like trying to pay off school when you can’t even do schoolwork. But I was so sleep deprived. I was driving back to my hometown from school, they’re about 45 minutes apart. So I was living where my school was, but I had jobs in both cities. So I had jobs in my university city and I had jobs in my hometown city as well. And it was a sunny autumn afternoon. This is like a really defining moment for me like I remember it so vividly. It was this gorgeous, gorgeous sunny fall afternoon. And it was beautiful. It was like I remembered all the colors and everything. And I was driving and I was probably only about, by this point only about, 15 minutes away from away from home and I fell asleep at the wheel of my car. Luckily, I didn’t kill someone or myself in an accident, but when I fell asleep, it was kind of a country road, but it was a busy country road. And I then went off the road onto the gravel side part. And that woke me up. And then I overcorrected with the wheel so hard to try and yank myself back onto the road that I spun out. And my car ended up facing the opposite direction and blocking both lanes of traffic. And there was traffic coming both ways. And by some pure miracle,everybody got stopped in time. Every single car got stopped in time, and I didn’t hit anyone and nobody hit me. And it still absolutely shocked me that I didn’t smoke anyone. The very next day, I quit 2 out of my 4 jobs. And it was really scary financially to let go of that extra income but I also recognized that it wasn’t worth it. Like it won’t matter. I won’t ever be getting any schoolwork done and I won’t be going to any jobs if I end up accidentally killing myself in a car accident because I’m so sleep deprived that I can’t even drive down the road. So that was a really big moment. And I had to trust myself enough to figure out the financial piece because I just knew that that wasn’t sustainable. That was a really defining moment for me. 

Another example of my journey going seemingly awry. So I was out of my corporate job for 11 years, but relatively early on. Maybe about two years in, I was offered a job as legal assistant. So I had worked that position. I worked as a legal assistant two different times for two different lawyers. And this particular time was the second time I’d been offered a job as  a legal assistant, and this one was a much bigger deal. It was for a full law firm, like a very high end lawyer. Like a proper office job, the whole thing. The first legal system job was much more casual and just sort of like a soul where this was a big deal. And I did the interview. And they were fully aware that even though I’d had this, this other job as a legal assistant, I had very little training and I was not a law student. I had a criminology background from university, but I was not a law student. And I had no real experience. They were very aware of this. I made this very clear. The owner of the company of my corporate job, was actually the one who found this legal assistant job for me through a friend of his and he knew that I was interested in pursuing law because originally, part of my journey I thought was to become a lawyer. So this legal system job kind of fell into my lap, and I took it, they offered it to me, I took the job and and so I took this legal assistant job and the people at my corporate job wished me well, they had a goodbye party there was like cake, but the whole thing, okay, the whole thing. This legal assistamt job was a fucking nightmare. It was a nightmare. The first day on the job. I walked in and they had given me a corner office. And immediately I was like, What the actual fuck is going on? What? I’m supposed to be basically like an intern? What in God’s name were they expecting of me? If they just gave me a corner office? Like what is happening? I had been very clear there had been no, I had not beefed up my resume or anything. I was very clear with them that I had basically no experience like I had this little tiny sliver of experience but next to nothing else. So they give me the corner office. Um, but they seemed to have the wrong impression,about my qualifications and I was already starting to panic, like five minutes on the job and I’m like, Oh shit, what is going on? I was basically qualified enough to do not much more than run coffee errands, okay, and had been told that I would be trained to do whatever they needed me to do. So instead I arrived at this corner office. Not only is it a corner office, it is stacked and I mean stacked to the point that I could barely find the desk, with legal files, but I had no idea what to do. And when I asked for help from multiple people, I was basically just told that I was on my own by multiple people. I cried every single day. I cried every single day in this corner office that I would sit in going, why the fuck do I have a corner office? I don’t understand. I was like, 21 years old, maybe 22 ish. 22 something like that. 22 years old, no idea what’s happening. I’m like, I am knee deep in shit. Like I don’t know what’s going on. And it was a huge responsibility. Like I didn’t want to fuck up legal documentation. They could negatively impact somebody’s life like this. This is a child’s life. So I was totally panicked. And after a couple of weeks with very clear indications that nothing was going to change, and things were getting rapidly worse. I reached out to my old boss at my corporate job, and he said he was more than happy to take me back and I have never been so goddamn grateful in my entire life. so grateful, so grateful. So I was only at that job in my corner office for three weeks, I quit after three weeks to go back to my original job, but I had my tail between my legs. I was so ashamed to be back in the corporate job that I had never planned on staying on it in the first place. And then I went on to remain there for another eight or nine years. But that whole experience contributed to why I stayed in my corporate job for so long because it’s me into not leaving the security of my corporate job again for a long time, like almost a decade. Everything I did after that was a side hustle so that I could stay at my corporate job that felt so safe and comfortable even though I didn’t enjoy it. And even though I knew I didn’t belong there, and I always say this about my corporate job, those people treated me so. So well, I cannot say enough good things about them. They were so good to me. They have continued to be like I still have friends there, they have continued to be really good to me, so supportive. It just wasn’t for me, and I knew that it wasn’t for me. But I was so ashamed to go back after that  legal assistant blow up. And yet, I was terrified of screwing something up again to end up in a position where I’d be screwed financially. So I stayed at that job for such a long time because it paid the bills. It allowed me to buy a house. It allowed me to have all these various side hustles Do these various certifications on the side as I was building things up? And I mean, when it comes down to trusting yourself, what would I have done if my corporate job hadn’t taken me back? Ultimately, I would have gotten another job. You know, and I’m so fortunate and privileged to have had a boss like that who was so good to me. But as terrified as I was, I knew that the right decision was to leave that legal assistant position and to find something else, even if that meant a whole new job. 

So the main takeaways that I want you to get from this are again, 1. your job is not who you are. Your job does not define you. It is not who you are, you are a human being. And your job is just one aspect of what you do, not who you are. 

The second one is to trust the journey and that means trusting yourself. No matter where you’re at right now, no matter how far away your goals seem, no matter what life looks like, in this moment, whatever you’re experiencing right now, it isn’t going to last forever. 

So I hope that you take this as a sign to keep taking action, to keep moving forward, even though I know that it can feel like you are practically moving backwards at times because it feels like it is taking so long. I know that It takes so much patience but keep believing in yourself and find at least one other person to believe in you as well. I think that’s really important. Because we all need that one person in our lives who believes in us, and that might be a friend that might be a family member, maybe a teacher, a coach, somebody, even if you have to seek them out and hire someone to believe in you. I think that every human needs at least one person, one other person to believe in us when we have those moments. Ones that are inevitable, those low days where we maybe don’t trust ourselves as much, and we’re scared, and we’re nervous, and we’re like, why is this taking so long to get to where I’m trying to go? I get it. We all need at least one person to believe in us. So if you can find somebody who can do that for you, that’s gonna be really, really powerful. I just really want you to take from this that your job is not who you are and to trust this process a little bit, because each one of us is on our own paths. We’re on our own journey. We’re having our own process and our own experience in the world and it’s going to look different for everybody. And this is this has just been a snippet that I’ve never really opened up about before about how crazy twisty random my path has been to get to where I am. I did not start out going Oh, I’m going to be a podcasting coach and business strategist. That’s not how this went down. I can’t stress enough, this has been a completely crazy, bonkers ridiculous journey. And I also just felt that not only was it important to show that a little bit, but to also open up about some parts of my journey that I have sort of tucked away, even from people close to me, just because I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I’m like, I’m just owning every every part of who I am. And that means being, you know, maybe a little bit more open about some aspects of that. And again, that doesn’t mean publicly, just in this particular instance. But I mean, you know, I’m actually all about boundaries and maintaining a huge degree of privacy. But this one I felt was important to talk about. So yeah. So let me know what you think. I would love to hear more about your journey and what it is that you are working towards. If somebody needs to hear this, I would absolutely be so grateful, seriously, I can’t tell you how much of a difference it makes for you to screenshot and share an episode. Not only does that make my day, but you can make somebody else’s day at the same time because there’s somebody out there who needs to hear this message. And you could be the person that directs them to the message that they need the exact moment that they need to hear it. And I can’t tell you how many incredible podcasts and podcasters I’ve come across because somebody else shared them on their Instagram story or on social media somewhere, and I found some really incredible people and gotten some amazing messages because of that. So please share, I’d be so grateful. tag me over @emilygoughcoach I’d love to thank you and thank you for listening. Thank you for tuning in. 


Questions?  Comments? Want to connect and chat about this episode? You can email me at, or DM me over on Instagram @emilygoughcoach or Facebook at Emily Gough Coaching.  I would absolutely love to connect with you and thank you for listening in real life and here any takeaways you had from this or other episodes!.  It makes me day to see you listening to the podcast and fills me up with pure joy. Seriously.  See you on the ‘gram!

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