(Originally posted on ImSoCorporate.com)
When I was a little kid, I dreamed of climbing the corporate ladder in my pinstripe suit and stiletto heels. I wanted nothing more than to be toughest, no nonsense attorney in a top law firm and live in a high rise apartment in Manhattan with my CEO husband and our glamorous life of jet setting weekends to Europe and dinner parties with the other fabulous people.
Well, at least that is who I wanted to play on TV. You see, I started studying theater and performance arts when I was 4 and auditioned for my first role in Annie at 5. I spent the next decade and a half in a variety of classes, training programs and live performances from one act to television to full theater productions. Like Rachel from Glee sets her sites on an grammy – mine was set on an Oscar. Or at least an Emmy – (but not the daytime one)
In college I was a theater major. Until I met a recruiter toward the end of my 1st semester who laughed at me and then shared his passion for this industry. I quickly changed it to Public Speaking with a business minor – it was the closest I could get to a business major and still be allowed to participate in the theater program. I spent the next 4 years carefully balancing my two lives – the liberal arts side made up of innovation and philosophy, Shakespearean theater productions, hosting a tv show and open thought along with the business school side (or as we referred to them as “the others”) which was comprised of suits and SHRM meetings and case studies and mock interviews and alcohol free “business” fraternities.
It was like the melding of two worlds that just didn’t belong and it was somewhere mixed in with all that mess around my 3rd ‘business’ internship that I realized – I will never even try for my big break break and I should utilize what i have learned through all of that to kick some serious a$$ in the corporate world. This is the role I was meant to play.
Our industry is made up of a lot of people with some really varied backgrounds and experience. We are full of innovative ideas and people that want to make a change. We are also filled with a lot of rules and regulations – process and best practices. We are a group of people that question everything and nothing at the same same time.
Imagine what you would do if you could wipe away the rules and processes and best practices and just create. Imagine if you could just do what your passion is and have it meld with your career. Imagine if you were asked to redesign whatever it is you want and you had no lines, no boundaries, no budget – just innovation. What would you do? How would you do it? Why aren’t you doing it already?