When you’ve invested copious amounts of time and resources into your education, it’s natural to want to see it pay off.
And for most of us, that’s getting a job and getting sucked into corporate America.
It’s especially difficult when you’re thrust into an environment where assimilation (AKA blending in, code-switching, etc) is not only the expectation. But the only way to succeed.
This week’s episode features Irnise Williams, who, after years of working in healthcare, found herself unwilling to accept less than what she’s worth. So, she decided to stand out instead of blending in.
Now, don’t get it twisted. Irnise isn’t implying that going to school and getting a degree is a waste of time. Education is so, so important. But it’s also important to know that your career path isn’t going to be straight and narrow.
There are going twists and turns. There might be a time when you’re faced with a fork in the road; one where you’re going to have to reevaluate your career choices and decide whether corporate is right for you.
For Irnise, the pandemic was that fork.
She became determined to break away from corporate because she realized how uncomfortable she was. She felt underused and underestimated. She felt that all of the knowledge, skills, and experiences that she’d acquired during college were stuffed in a box and left in the attic to collect dust. But she realized that, in being an entrepreneur, she didn’t feel like she had to follow in the footsteps of those that came before her. She could use those undervalued skills and put them in something that she enjoyed. She was no longer required to be just a nurse or just a lawyer or just entrepreneur
She could be a nurse-lawyer entrepreneur, and no one was going to tell her otherwise.
If you’re someone wanting to break free from corporate, someone who’s got an idea and is unsure if it’s going to take off, or an entrepreneur that’s just getting started, here’s some advice:
- Find a coach who speaks your language. If you’re skeptical of coaching, find someone you can trust based on, not only who they are and what they do, but their values and what they offer too. Be comfortable enough with the person that you’re working with, that you know they have your best interest in mind.
- Don’t stop learning. The reality is, you can’t learn everything from one person. So, it’s important to invest time into your craft by reading more books, because they can help inspire so many different ideas. And if one doesn’t work, don’t stress, you’ve got tons more. Check out our bookshelf for some of our favorites to get you started.
- Look at other people in other industries. Don’t be afraid to expand your knowledge by plucking pieces of knowledge from an industry other than your own. From lawyers to fashion influencers, you can learn a lot about how to build your brand and identity from those who spend their lives doing it.