Today I deleted my title on LinkedIn. Now, unfortunately LinkedIn doesn’t let you not have a title (which says a lot about our society) so I am now officially ‘Title-Free’ at Turntable Communications (my business).
It may not seem like anything major however it was a big step for me. It’s only recently that I’ve realised just how much I have defined myself over the years by my title. When the word ‘manager’ first appeared in my title I was thrilled, because I had achieved something which I would never have dreamed when I was growing up in poverty. In spite of numerous potential roadblocks, I had worked hard and ‘made something of myself’, as I was often reminded by proud family members.
Yet I was never happy. I chased career success because it meant financial success, the only measure of success I knew at the time. It’s funny how, from a young age, we’re asked what we want to be, when the truth is that even most adults don’t really know what they want to be (or even if they do, few of them are actually doing what they really want to do).
I’ve always been artistic and creative – something greatly at odds with the rigidity of the corporate world that I worked in for nearly 20 years. Now that I’m a full-time student, I have time to dabble with projects on the side. I’ve written and published two self-improvement books in the last year, I’ve worked in life coaching and business consulting, and I’m toying with some possible new ventures for 2016. What surprised me though, with each thing I did, was just how quickly I would label myself as this or that. It hit me just the other day: I’m still addicted to the ‘security blanket’ aspect of having a title, not to mention the social aspect of defining myself (and therefore allowing others to define me) by my title.
No more. I’ve given up titles. To be honest, it’s a little scary because it’s all I’ve ever known… yet it’s also incredibly liberating. I can do and be absolutely anything that I want. So can you.
So, what do you want to be when you grow up?
My most recent books, Depression? F*** Depression! and A Month of Reflection, are available for FREE on iBooks at http://apple.co/1S803a9 (you can also buy Depression? F*** Depression! on Amazon).