I’m not sure at what point I started feeling entitled as far as my career went but I do remember the point at which I realised it. It was after what I believed to be a set back, when I found I was comparing myself to Charlotte York, in an early episode of Sex and The City, asking myself, ‘I’ve been working above my pay grade for 6 years, I’m exhausted, where’s my recognition?’
When Carrie wisely states, ‘Charlotte, honey, did you ever think that maybe we’re the White Knights, and we’re the ones that have to save ourselves?’ my penny dropped.
I had been acting entitled, like I should have been noticed by now. Like someone should have hand-picked me for something by now. Like someone should have just intuitively known about my skills, knowledge, and experience.
But what have I done to make these things known? What have I done to educate myself further, to gain new skills, to share my successes? And when did I develop the belief that my workplace had the responsibility to plan my career for me, and then take all the steps to ensure that this worked out for me?
As an adamant atheist on the dogma of 5 Year Plans (John Krumboltz’s Happenstance Learning Theory is more my thing) I have spent the last few years winging my way through my career waiting for a ‘White Knight’. And I’m not sure why, as I’m a leader who doesn’t like to follow so chances are I wouldn’t blindly grab onto a White Knight if one happened to show up anyway. (Jon Snow maybe but not a White Knight.)
And as I’ve been considering all this, I’ve felt quite confronted. I’ve been looking at myself critically, and what I see is someone lazy, with potential that hasn’t been realised, and energy that needs a focus…and suddenly this is starting to sound like a high school report card.
I’ve also been confronted with the thought that the mould I am trying to fit in to will never accommodate me, and that if I were to squeeze myself into it, that I would be uncomfortable, my hair would hurt, and I would then be looking for a different mould to pour myself into. And I guess that’s my next challenge.