I remember when I was just starting out in my career, I worked with this no nonsense manager who had connections left, right and centre. She had who’s who on her speed dial and could get into any event she wanted to. She was also starting out on her business and she kept on insisting that there would be no better time to increase her portfolio since she had access to anyone that mattered.
I asked her why she was in some sort of frenzy in getting her business off the ground and she told me, “Unfortunately Njenva, people value you for your current job/title/position and not for who you are as a person. I am doing my best to have my business get the most clients now when I have a title since I know if I lose it then many of these people will disappear”. I thought she was crazy. Until things went topsy turvy and she went on to work with another not so visible brand. Thank goodness, her networks were able to continue working with her business but her circle of influence reduced radically.
That was so surprising to me. Especially since I was of the opinion that what you do between 8 – 5 is not what defines you. Many times people introduce themselves as “I’m Peter and I’m a doctor” or “I’m Janice and I’m an Engineer”. Like it is the most important thing about you. It is not. Who are you on the inside? What makes you special is not your occupation but rather what you bring to the table as a human being. It can be difficult to quantify and articulate but it there is something else that makes you, you. I am still learning not to introduce myself using my job as a crutch.
Hey, I’m Njenva.
What do you do?
I laugh like a basket.
Seeing as I have been working this entire holiday period (and loving it by the way!), I thought I should remind myself that I am not my job/title/position. Thank goodness my current organisation doesn’t take such stuff too seriously. So the current title on my door is “Master Listener of People Bragging“