I hear often that my brand has a lot of personality (WHY THANK YOU).
But frankly, my personality is a big part of the reason I went into business for myself. I have a Big Personality. I am A Character. (Theatre major! Sorrynotsorry!) I’m also an advocate, for myself and others.
This can be tough in a corporate environment, where being a “team player” (AKA soulless yes-woman) is valued more highly than thinking creatively and speaking out. TRUE FACT: being good at what you do won’t get you ahead in most workplaces. Being obedient will. Ugh.
I hate obedient people.
My goal is to be as disobedient as needed to get the job done and to make the world a better place, thank you very much. PRO TIP: the appropriate amount of disobedience is much, much higher than generally accepted levels.
When you run your own business, you have a huge luxury. The luxury of not fitting in. The luxury of only working with people who really, really want to work with you, because you’re disobedient (not in spite of it).
SIDE NOTE: here’s a great disobedient brand.
I’m in love with the mistress of disobedient branding—Ash Ambridge of The Middle Finger Project. Just look at this swoon-worthy subject line I woke up to this morning.
It’s meta. It’s funny. It’s real. It calls a spade a spade. And this woman makes bonkers money, with rollicking emails that don’t totally make sense, that go on way longer than is generally acceptable, but she pulls it off. Because it’s totally her. And because she’s only speaking to people like her.
Everybody else can jump in a lake.
I decided a long time ago that whoever doesn’t like me can go take a long swim. This eliminates 99.99% of workplaces as viable options. Oops! Oh well.
But here’s why the burned bridges don’t bother me. Because it draws the good people to me, faster and stronger. Life is too short to waste time on bad people, dysfunctional organizations, and work that makes you hate your life.
Being yourself, unapologetically, is the best shortcut to fulfilling relationships, in work and in life.
That’s why I just took a job at LinkedIn.
WHAT? I know. I KNOW! I’m as surprised as you are.
LinkedIn came calling, and they seemed so great. But I had to test this out. Would I be safe being myself? For me, interviews aren’t all about impressing people. It’s about probing for the cracks, figuring out the things that might go wrong, finding the limits of how “me” I can be.
I talked about my concerns about the world of recruitment, and job-seeking. We had conversations around POWER IMBALANCES that made me go gaga.
I told them all about my secret life as a burlesque artist in my interview. (DID I EVEN WANT THE JOB?!)
It became clear to me that this team is there for the right reasons. That maybe (just maybe) I won’t have to deploy my disobedience so much, because everybody is there to do the right thing.
I could hardly believe it when they looked this misfit in the mouth, and they said “Sure, yeah, weird but we like it.”
I only want the job that will let me be me.
My business is going great. I love my clients, they’re delightful. I love my work in marketing, but I want to grow as a user experience writer. But I only want to do it in a place where I can stay myself. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be worth it.
So tomorrow I pick out an apartment in Sunnyvale, CA. The work starts mid-August.
For the first time in my career, I’m excited beyond words.