🐚 The Salty Shell: It's What You Do, Not Who You Are

Published about 1 month ago • 5 min read

We need to talk. Last week we went over how to audit your mental health and create your personal wellness strategy and this week, I need you to know: Your career doesn’t define you. Your profession is not your personality. At least it shouldn’t be.

🧂 Salty Insights: A Profession is not a Personality

It’s easy to find value and purpose through our work. It’s even easier to get so immersed in our careers especially as marketers and social media professionals with the internet, email, work chat, and social media always within reach. It’s innate to analyze marketing campaigns, posts, and communities as we come across them.

Overidentifying with your job contributes to workaholism – making it difficult to psychologically detach or refrain from thinking about work once you’ve “clocked out.” It also generates a lot of eye rolls – online and off. Quick side note – what may work for one person may not work for you. Don’t let those people on LinkedIn make you feel less than – you’re nothing like them.

Overworking is unproductive. If you’re waking up earlier, staying up longer and taking on more than others, you’re not getting ahead – you’re getting burnt out. Hustling isn’t a flex and we literally need sleep to be productive.

There’s no problem loving your job and many of us have a passion for it as creators or solopreneurs, but your work should only be an extension of you.

Signs you have become your job:

• Obsessive thoughts about work even during downtime

• Social isolation – your social life revolves entirely around work or colleagues

• Stress, anxiety or depression about your performance

• All of your goals are tied to your career

• You take work home

• You internalize criticism at work easily

• Do you remember when your last sick day or vacation day was?

• Your personal relationships are suffering

• You find it hard to relate to others

• You can’t imagine life without doing your job

• You can’t switch off on nights and weekends

If your job becomes your identity:

• You’re on the fast track to burnout

• You have a limited perspective

• You risk losing it ALL

You can enjoy purpose-filled work without losing yourself in the process.

⚓️ Anchor Your Success: Reclaim Your Identity

Narcissus fell in love not with himself but with the image of himself. We learn to love the image of our successful selves, not ourselves as we truly are.

Reclaiming your identity requires intentional steps toward balance and self-discovery:

Explore Your Passions

What are your hobbies outside of work? What did they used to be or what do you wish they were? Anything that brings you joy and fulfillment can help you broaden your sense of self. You may not have a clue what you like or would like so take time to experiment and discover.

Prioritize Self Care

Beyond reclaiming your identity, you need to prioritize self-care to maintain balance and wellness in your life. Self-care is non-negotiable. Invest time in what fuels your mind, body and soul.

Set Boundaries

Set boundaries with yourself and your colleagues – learn to say no to excessive demands and create time for relaxation. Taking time for yourself can look like little breaks throughout the day or a few unplugged hours at night. Own your time and use it to recharge. Read my full newsletter on setting and maintaining boundaries here.

Prioritize Relationships

Proactively surrounding yourself with friends and family – anyone who sees you for more than your job title helps remind you of your inherent worth. Having deep, meaningful connections outside of work will energize you. You can be authentic and share your dreams, goals and vulnerabilities with those who love you for YOU. Just like we preach in marketing all day – life is nothing without genuine human connection.

Embrace Yourself

Be comfortable with who you are. Admit your passions, quirks, frustrations, and aspirations with yourself – those are what make you unique. Your worth is not defined by your job title or achievements but the depth of who you are and the authenticity of your spirit.

Your job is what you do not who you are. Do you want to be lying on your deathbed thinking about all the things you missed out on because of a client? I sure as hell don’t, and I’ve had that thought before – at one point I thought that’s all I’d have to think about.

🌊 Use Your Brain Waves


Who are you? Write down your go-to introduction for yourself – it’s probably similar to the bio you use on social or in the meet the team part of decks and websites.

I’m cheating – I’m copy and pasting the last bio I used in a deck. I have many varying versions, as should you, to fit the client/pitch/event/whatever.

An award-winning social media strategist with 15+ years’ experience, yielding 25+ agency partners and 150+ clients. A dynamic marketer who could give two shits about memes and trends. With a firm belief that social media can’t survive without a solid social media foundation and strategy, Chelsea crafts strategic narratives and executes impactful campaigns and is obsessed with transforming challenges into opportunities. Community is everything. Posting and ghosting isn’t welcomed here. If that’s not enough, I’m also a photographer, editor, copywriter, audience builder, community manager, speaker, educator, whale and baseball-obsessed mom.

Now introduce yourself without the tags of your school name, college name, company name, spouse name, kids name or job.

I’m Chelsea – I’m unapologetically authentic, not afraid to challenge the status quo or say what everyone else is thinking, and have deep introspection and a profound sense of freedom that comes from embracing my true self.

I have a unique perspective of the world and an innate ability to recognize and understand human dynamics, allowing me to see opportunities where others see challenges.

Being innovative and creating impactful change energizes me.

I’m the happiest when I’m creating memories, getting tattooed, listening to rock music, at a Padres game, and especially when I’m on my boat (Sea Pear) on the Pacific Ocean spending time with and photographing whales, sharks, and dolphins extremely up close.

Always being where land and water meet resonates with my need for stability and fluidity and the ability to navigate between different environments and energies with ease. I grew up in Michigan and have lived in Southern California since I graduated college, with a 3-year involuntary detour in Virginia Beach.

I’m empathetic, driven by meaningful connections, and prioritize creating spaces of inclusivity and understanding because everyone is going through shit we’ll never know about.

Instead of the “allow me to reintroduce myself” posts on LinkedIn (🙄), introduce yourself with the last version you just wrote – keeping everything that’s NOT YOU out of it.

Take the vacation.

Chelsea

This issue was voted on by my followers on X & LinkedIn. Next week’s is up to you:

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