Day Twenty-Three: Punk for hire.

Sometimes, I run across an article that makes me so happy I want to dance. Generally, I can also associate this with the amount of caffeine I’ve consumed, which also drastically increases the odds of spontaneous celebration. I’m on cup three at the moment.

Dave Fleet’s entry on punks makes me joyous.

I’ve worried many times about titles and what they mean. I’ve been assigned superfluous titles in the past that could easily be boiled down to, “receptionist,” or, “phone bitch.” Titles are scary. They install boundaries, and give people grounds to point a finger at you in blame. Earning a, “good,” title seems almost impossible. I whole-heartedly agree with Mr.Fleet that a title has to be earned, and you’ve got to be 100% ready for it.

I once met with a career counselor who told me that as you move from position to position, the goal is to change the ratio of good to bad. For example, expect that your first job is going to be 80% stuff you hate, and 20% stuff you like. Plan for seven hours a day of drudgery, and 1 hour of maybe doing something that you care about. With each career move, you attempt to shift the ratio. 60% bad to 40% good. 50% to 50%, and so on. I took this idea to heart, and I have never balked at work I didn’t feel compelled to do. It’s all a step in the process.

This grunt work is the back bone of prepping yourself for a title. It gives you the ability to identify a mistake before it becomes a crisis, and it’s essential to learning how to play every position on your team. I hate being asked what I want to be when I grow up, because I honestly don’t know what the title will be. Happy and driven? Does that count? Creating words to share with others? Professional ass-kicker? The title isn’t as important to me as the experience I have while wielding it.

I happily identified with Mr. Fleet’s thoughts. Call me a punk, please. When I think of a punk, I think of youth, naivety, and a self-indulgent rebellious streak. An ability to fail massively and be undeterred. Scrappy. A scrambler. That’s exactly where I want to be. Running on the ability to come up with something new because, damn it, I don’t know any better to begin with. Once I’ve mastered that, call me whatever you want.

Right now, the ratio of bad to good is still not in my favor. I’m working on that. I have no doubts that it will still be a long time before I take control of the odds. The big difference is I plan on changing the elements from hate and like, to learning and LOVE. 80% stuff I’m learning from, to 20% stuff I adore.

I’m very happy to identify myself as a punk. I want it on a business card.

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