No title can define you.
Just ask a kid what they do and you’ll be amazed at their answers.
Your life’s purpose was never meant to be a manager, employee, specialist, coordinator, ceo, etc.
From the moment of birth you embarked on a fantastic lifelong journey and have been collecting experiences and communicating your treasures, talents and unique perspectives through actions, ideas, conversations, values, music, wardrobe, friends and more.
A job is just a singular expression, not a definition.
If you are lucky enough to have a true calling it was sparked by the essence of who you and are reinforced by talent and passion. Whatever your calling - musician, author, poet, dancer, actor, teacher, caregiver, etc. - you just found one outlet through a job. There are endless ways to express and share your gifts. You have been doing it your entire life and will continue regardless of what you do to earn a paycheck.
Just as companies switch production and services to deliver what is needed, you can rest assured that there will always be an outlet of expression and appreciation for who you are outside a job. It’s why your friends like you, what your family relies on and what makes your heart sing.
I learned this valuable lesson shortly after I found myself without a job for the first time since I was 14 in December of 1999. Back in the early 2000s it wasn’t acceptable not to have an answer to ‘what do you do?’ that wasn’t a job title. I stumbled upon a couple jobs and quickly learned I didn’t belong. Not because my skills didn’t fit the job description but because I didn’t fit into the company's box of rules. Friends tried to tell me I couldn’t work for anyone. I didn’t understand that they meant I needed to launch my own company. I finally did in 2002.
I am forever grateful for a Fast Company magazine Community@Work conference I attended where no one was allowed to bring business cards. Instead, they supplied us with an unbusiness card printed with one word on the front that captured what we bring to the world. The purpose was to shift our mindset away from only identifying with a job title. The responses ran the gamut - Idea-synthesis, Connector, Contextualist, Social Revolutionary, Plant, Energize, Share, Catalyst, Renegade and many more. After a couple days of contemplation, I came up with Enlighten. Not because I think I’m some sort of spiritual guru but because I often introduce a unique view that invites people to look at things from a different perspective. It’s why I like Picasso’s cubism and why my logo is an unfinished cube.
The back of the card included a few descriptors such as a favorite quote, how we want to change the world and our true loves.
Over the years, I’ve come to define this exercise as creating a calling card, a reason why people would want to give you a call.
What is your impact?
How do you show up?
What difference do you make?
What attracts people to you?
Think about it and create your own calling card. Share it with me and maybe hand it out instead of a business card the next time you meet someone.
For more insights, ideas and inspirations on how to share your story, visit www.1bluecube.com.