Whether you’ve realized that you can do your boss’s job or that a 4-hour daily reverse commute to an office overlooking a park-n-ride isn’t your idea of a satisfying career, lots of people will tell you that there is no need to quit your job. That a job is a job is a job is a job. And it all comes down to what you make of it.
True, you can wisely devise a plan to create a new role for yourself in your existing org; discuss new options with your boss to telecommute; find a new gig; or you may even go so far as to launch a formal complaint with your HR department to get that internal bullying issue resolved. But let’s face it, you, the only change you have control over is “you”– whether you’re going to own your life or be a jackass in someone else’s.
And that’s a pretty tough dilemma, particularly when around every nook and cranny is another white-faced lie disguised as opportunity.
What do I mean exactly? Say you create a new role within your org or land a new gig, here are some common lies disguised as opportunities.
They say: “We don’t care how you do your job as long as you meet our goals.”
You think: “Autonomy! Perfect!”
What they mean is: “We can’t be held responsible for remedying any of our own mistakes. Good luck finding that unicorn! Have we mentioned we don’t care about you?”
They say: “We are looking for thought-leadership from our employees.”
You think: “Hooray! People who think!”
What they mean is: “We need to trick others into believing our leaders think. How would you like to ghostwrite for our illiterate sales team?”
They say: “We’re thrilled to have you on board!”
You think: “My dream job!”
What they mean is: “You don’t mind doing something other than what we hired you for, right?”
Sure, everyone takes one for the team sometimes, and on occasion (though far less often than one would assume) an honest pitch comes along. But if you find yourself reading countless articles filled with corporate smog about how you can be a successful mogul by leaning in some more, or by throwing one more giant to-do onto your list of already equally important competing to-dos for people who don’t share your values, and you’ve leaned in so hard you’re flirting with a merman, you, my friend, may be a closet…
What I mean is, pack up. It’s time to come out of hiding and forge your own path. If you’re gonna put your head down and work till you’re dead-tired or half-dead, it may as well be toward your own vision, your own goals, under your own values, and dag-nabit from your own mistakes.
So here’s a shout-out to you, you closet entrepreneur. May you take a leap of faith. May you scramble to make a living worth your dignity. May your goals belong to you, and your belonging to your loved ones and your clients. May you over-promise and over-deliver. Who knows, you closet entrepreneur, maybe YOU are the unicorn.
And heck, if it doesn’t work out, there will always be another carrot out there for us well-deserving donkeys!
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