The word 'career' has never sit well with me. It makes me really uncomfortable to be honest. I'm not very outwardly ambitious, as a natural introvert and keeper of peace, for me it doesn't make sense to step over someone in the pursuit of my 'career goals'...
When you meet new people, usually one of the first questions you're asked is "So what do you do?" And this is when we launch into our 'Position Title' & 'Job Description' to try to give ourselves some status, or to explain ourselves to the stranger. We categorise each other by our jobs, in an effort to understand who the other person is - but this leaves things open to a lot of assumptions.
This kind of thinking dates back centuries, when the structure of society was that your job really was who you were - Baker, Blacksmith, Farmer, Doctor, Minister - you chose a vocation, and did it til the day you died. However, there was also a very small group of people who were different, the inventors, the artists, the gypsies - endlessly curious people, who didn't necessarily fulfill a function within society in a structured sense, instead their function was to constantly try to improve life, with new contraptions, creating beauty, or travelling in a carnival.
I don't like to try to answer the question "What do you do?" - because I just don't see myself as fitting in any box of what can be categorised, or understood by the majority of people. Trying to answer it with "I have a business which guides people to live authentically & have confidence in the pure value of who they are", I'm sure I'd get mostly strange looks, or be labelled as a 'life coach', or 'motivational speaker', and I don't see myself this way at all.
Surprisingly as I've spoken to people about this, I've had others agree with me, it's common to not see yourself as 'Position Title' - then why do we continue to ask each other this question?
Due to our Western history, the majority of current society expects us to be one type of person -
The expert: Choose one thing to devote your life to perfecting & being the expert in, doing it everyday until you retire. They have important roles in society, because they add expertise to fundamental areas of our world - lawyers, doctors, surgeons, teachers:
'What do you want to be when you grow up?' I want to be a fireman...
This was perfectly normal in a time when choices were limited, but now we have unlimited choice, resulting in a high increase in the number of the alternative type of person - The experimenter: 'multi-passioned' people who have a number of important interests, passions/talents/skills, the experimenters, the entrepreneurs, & the dabblers. Who at an early age would be more inclined to have an answer to -
'What do you want to do when you grow up?' I want to put out fires, I want to rescue people, I want to drive a big red truck... completely open to interpretation.
I wish this was the way I had thought about my life (sorry cannot use the word Career - because this implies Work, and for me Work implies hard labour, and I don't believe hard labour would be a choice) when I was much younger, because my years of torment over what to be when I grew up would have been totally reduced.
I am a 'multi-passioned' person and every few months when I was young, I wanted to be something different, because there were (and are) so many things that I am passionate about, and want to do.
An indication that you are multi-passioned may be:
When I sat back the other day, and counted how many jobs I had in the last 16 years - I was gobsmacked to realise it was 23...!!!! Um yep, well that's me...
Many people don't understand why I change jobs so frequently, and some tell me I just must be unlucky, because I'm a smart person and there's nothing 'wrong' with me - but if I'm honest with myself - I know it's because I just do not fit into the box of being a Job Description - I have opinions, I have ideas, I want to be challenged, I want to take risks, I need diversity, I need variety, and I want to feel fulfilled and excited by my work, jumping from project to project - I just haven't found that working under a defined guideline.
I've been hunting for a long time, but now I've accepted that this is my eccentricity - I need to embrace it, and focus instead on developing a life style that incorporates my passion projects, and allows me to be myself. I can't be what someone else wants me to be, even if they are paying me a wage - I naturally reject and rebel against it without even thinking.
Being a multi-passionate experimenter or artist has been one of the toughest gigs this last century, for so many super talented people, because we try to fit into something that isn't who we are, others just don't really understand us, which can rock our natural confidence, and make us question 'what is wrong with me'.... There isn't anything wrong with us, we are not lazy, we are not stupid, in fact we're just perfectly normal - but we're meant to be creating our income from a combination of our passions, not by trying to fit in a specific category.
If you're wondering, "well how do I do that?" - how can you make a living & a business out of two to three totally different things like comedy & web design, fitness & being a nerd, fashion design & life coaching - then I recommend you check out 'PuttyLike' an awesome site & forum filled with interesting and creative people who are doing just that - and having some outstanding success in being themselves.
Right now you may feel like you don't have the confidence to follow through with creating something for yourself, but please take away this one thing - with every small step you take in courage toward living true to yourself, asking for the things that you want or need in your life, and in being uniquely who you are - your confidence builds exponentially - more than any promotion, or new job title can ever give you.
If we start asking the people we meet real questions about who they are, then we can open the doors for real discussion, and real connection. So next time you're at a party and are introduced to a new friend, what will you ask? And what will you say when they ask you - 'What do you do for a living?'. Join us on Facebook & let us know!
Keep an eye out for next week's post when we take a closer look at confidence killers, & how to stop them in their tracks. We'll also be announcing the date of our first ever Sydney Meetup, to be held under the guidance of the Live Your Legend Live Event Kit.