How to Maintain Your Identity in Your Career

Balancing your personal and professional identities can seem like a hard task. However it's something that's worthwhile doing in order to maximise your enjoyment and often your output at work.

Here are a few ways to make sure you still feel like yourself, even in unfamiliar territory.

Don’t overcompensate

It’s easy to think that because you’ve started a new job, you need to make a huge impression right from the start. It’s understandable you want to prove your abilities but start with the basics first. Learn as much as possible and then aim to keep improving over time.

It’s unlikely you would have been hired if your new employers didn’t think you were capable. Keep a cool head and don't attempt to run before you can walk. Try too hard and you risk alienating yourself immediately.

Be honest

It’s a quality often overlooked however being honest in your dealings with your work colleagues can go a long way to earning you a trusted place in the team. It's also worth remembering that your honesty must be dished out in a respectful manner too.

Establishing this trust early on will help everyone involved understand that if there is a problem, they can always talk openly to you about it.

Dress in a way you feel confident

Perhaps one of the hardest things to do is dress appropriately. Not every job requires you to wear a suit.

It may be worth giving your new office a call to find out what they expect you to wear. If you feel out of place in more formal attire, why not spend some time searching for shirts, shoes, skirts or trousers that have a little bit of subtle flair to express your personality. Even if you only wear these items on dress down Friday, it helps you feel more like yourself.

Don’t over share

It’s virtually impossible to talk work constantly. At some point the conversation will turn to more personal topics. There's no problem with sharing information about your life outside of work – just know where to draw the line.

It’s also important to remember other people won’t necessarily share your beliefs about politics, religion, sport or even food. Make sure you always treat other peoples’ viewpoints with respect.

Take it slowly

Unveiling your personality takes a little time. Assuming that everyone will take to your quirks can be a risky strategy. Spend time getting to know your co-workers; this will help you to understand them far better on both a professional and personal level.

Taking the time to do this demonstrates respect and it will help you avoid any potentially embarrassing or career ruining pitfalls.