The 3 BEST/WORST pieces of advice I ever received in my last corporate role?
- Stay in your lane.
- You can’t change it, so get used to it.
- Bide your time and play the long game.
☝️ Because ‘stay in your lane’ was the spark that lit the fire of dissent in my belly.
I understand that mastery and depth of learning is integral to success, but this condescending advice to ‘stay in your lane’ disempowers the multi-passionates – the creatives and the dreamers – who thrive when they can pursue a range of opportunities.
Being lane-bound compelled me to take action and map out an exit strategy within 12 months.
✌️ Because ‘you can’t change it, so get used to it’ is toxic to growth and evolution.
Realising I had to stuff my personality into the console of my car before entering the workplace every morning, reinforced that when it comes to enjoying a meaningful career – you have to feel like you’ve found your community in order to thrive.
I discovered I couldn’t change the archaic culture I’d stepped into – and that my colleagues weren’t particularly bothered by it. This provided me with the impetus to radically pursue a very different career path and draw a line in the sand: I will never work with (or for) another company that needs me to minimise who I am in order to fit in.
? Because ‘bide your time and play the long game’ is for people who see life as eternal.
Lurching my whole life through intense periods of existential crisis, I’m incredibly aware of how short my time on this mortal coil really is. I don’t have time to play it safe and small and gently, gently. (And neither do you, let’s be honest. ?)
The long game for me is a life that is filled with love – more enriching experiences, more stories of courage and purpose, more adventures with my chosen family, more unbridled laughter, more awe – and wonder.
As a reformed ‘put all the eggs in one basket’ girl, I understand that you can have the most watertight plans in place, but sometimes things just don’t turn out the way you anticipate.
✅ A global health crisis can hit without warning.
✅ A loved one can vanish from your life overnight.
✅ Hardship can bust down your door even when you’ve paid extra for the bulletproof model.
The long game is that I get to live a life I cherish, and undertake meaningful work every day – without a corporate clock dictating when I can have a coffee, or a cuddle with my dogs, or take an extended lunch with a girlfriend who needs a laugh and a long walk on the rail trail.
The long game is joy and purpose and a meaningful existence.
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