All waiting for you – compelling you – to fit in.
Architect. Engineer. Doctor. Writer. Teacher. Pre-packaged job descriptions, with pre-ordained responsibilities.
Pick a role. Conform.
Someone else has decided your identity, your role, your title.
The legacy business world waits for you, with its already-defined boxes and labels and roles. The structures are all there, if you want to sell your soul to fit into someone else’s plan for your life. Just step right up, into the machine (cue a bit of Pink Floyd).
Or, you can join the rebellion. Who says this is your destiny? Do you HAVE to run someone else’s race? Can you define your own role?
Yes, you can.
We often operate under the false assumption that the work world, as historically understood, and as presented to us, is some immutable and fixed set of rules. Nobody consulted you when all these structures were built. And it’s likely they won’t ask for your input to change them. The cold truth is: organizations exist for themselves and their own goals, not for yours.
If you fill the role assigned to you, you’re welcome to stay. Until you’re not.
It may well be that, for a time, as your skills develop and your business acumen grows, you will find your career path inside a pre-existing organization with its titles and hierarchies and roles. I certainly did, and most of us do. But after a while, you realize that you’re a cog in a machine. If your work is to be built around you, then only one person can make that happen.
Here’s the first step: stand back and question what you see. Realize that every organization, every role, was created and defined for some past need. It may not be appropriate for present (let alone future) needs, and it may not be designed to fulfill you and maximize your effectiveness.
Disengage your mind from every assumed work structure around you and say, “Maybe this or that is good. Or maybe it’s not. For me.”
Don’t start with the past. Don’t start with someone else’s existing boxes. All of those assumed structures, titles, hierarchies, definitions, career tracks – they didn’t come from you, did they? They weren’t expressly designed for you, were they?
Start with your own declaration of independence. I’m going to role my own. Even if I have to work in someone else’s company for a season, I’m going to design my professional career around me, what I believe, and what I have to offer. Whatever that means.
Be a rebel. Think in terms of a me-based business (or role). No-one’s going to do a better job looking out for your interests than you.