Acting like you don’t need the job.
Something dawned on me recently, and I’m pretty sure Seth Godin wrote about this, but there is no doubt that the sooner you start behaving like you don’t NEED the work, the sooner that will become a reality.
In the months since I took the plunge to go out as a consultant/freelancer I’ve experienced first hand how much the fear of not having enough work constricts your ability to do good work. You can easily find yourself saying what you think clients want to hear, rather than providing the objective advice they are paying you to give. Happily, i’ve also felt how much the loosening of that grip completely changes your approach and frees you to think and speak without those constraints.
So many of us are scared to push the boundaries, or say what needs to be said, for fear of the consequences. The irony is, the longer you go on being unwilling to stick your neck out, the closer you are bringing about the situation you were worried about in the first place!
The more you worry about the consequences of taking a risk, the less value you are adding - whether that be to a client or to an employer. In a world changing so fast that even (especially?) the biggest businesses can be made irrelevant in the blink of an eye, what use is someone sitting in a cubicle and “keeping their head down?”
Conversely, when you are confident in the value you have to offer, the more free you feel to take the required risks, to fight for that cause you know is right and to say what needs to be said. Maybe these sound like some of the reasons you got the job in the first place?
So what it really boils down to is - to truly get away from needing a job you first have to find a way to behave like you don’t need it.
Now all this is easier said than done, and behaving like you don’t need the job when you really DO takes some balls. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating behaving like a twat and strutting around disagreeing with everyone (I’ve tried that myself without success…)
But until you can free yourself from the feeling of the need to blend in, and the misconception that there is safety in numbers, the sooner you start making yourself truly indispensible.
Just a thought.