A friend recently sent me a link to a possible job opportunity at a start-up company. In applying for the job, I realised that I had a lot more to offer to the company, so I availed myself for any other possible positions within the company. The response I got was extremely positive – to the point where I was invited for an interview, to present a new job (Business Development) role where I could create my own job spec and specify how I wanted to be remunerated.

I have always gravitated towards start-ups, over the corporate juggernauts. Perhaps I was lucky enough to be exposed to the start-up environment directly after university, which fostered my love for them and made me realise that if I am working for someone, working within a start-up would be my preference, over and above the corporate juggernauts of the world. This got me thinking. Why do I gravitate towards start-ups? Why do I love them so much? 

I am what is known as a polymath or a multipotentialite. This is someone with many interests and passions. Someone who likes to move from one discipline to the next. This is in stark contrast to someone whose interests lie within a specific field.

Three unique strengths are typically associated with polymaths. They are fast learners, very good at idea synthesis and highly adaptable something that has been ear marked as being crucial to the survival of businesses during the 21st century. I enjoy change. I enjoy being exposed to new environments and I absolutely love a challenge. I am flexible and require constant stimulation to thrive and ultimately to being happy. To add to this one of my most important values is freedom – you will see why I make special reference to this value later on in this blog post.

Understanding who I am and what makes me tick as an individual has been instrumental in shaping my outlook with regard to how I want to make a living. The role I want and the type of company I want to work for. Ultimately my current dream is to have my own business – exactly what this business will look like as of this moment, I am not sure. But this dream remains and I know that through having my own business I will be happiest as I will have a constantly changing environment combined with the ultimate freedom of being my own boss. The second best option, which I consider a mighty fine option is working within a job role for a company that is a fit with who I am as a person. That is why I gravitate towards start-ups – they are a perfect fit.

The environment within a start-up is in most cases dynamic. It is constantly changing. Such environments also provide continuous stimulation. They foster innovation and allow you to be entrepreneurial on a daily basis. Moreover, there is greater freedom, lets say in comparison to a corporate where you are really a number, fulfilling your individual job role to allow that large corporate juggernaut to tick along. I’ll make reference to the job I recently applied for. In their words ‘We currently work quite a bit out of coffee shops and don’t really have offices as of present”. Tick. Tick. Tick. Love it.

Ultimately you are in control of your happiness. Through understanding yourself better you are in a better position to make the right choice regarding not only the job you want but the environment within which you will thrive and be happy in. It may require you to be a little more selective with regard to the jobs you apply for and may be a little harder work – but ultimately through focusing in and finding those roles that are a fit with who you are, your happiness will be maximised. And remember there’s nothing wrong with working in an environment that is not a perfect fit right now – these things take time as I have learned.

Your Thoughts?

How has getting to know yourself shaped your outlook regarding how you want to ‘make a living’?

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