To succeed in a job, your need to work with others usually takes precedence over individuality. In the everyday workplace, there are rules you must follow and other people to treat with consideration, but inside of each of us is an ambitious person striving to excel above others.
It’s as true on the job as it is on the athletic field. The Williams sisters and the Manning brothers became champs by their own efforts. They earned top rank primarily as individuals. We who live in democracies strive to succeed for personal advancement, and we’re fortunate to be able to reach for whatever level we can attain with our own skills and intelligence.
The independent thinker must do whatever is necessary to succeed, including take orders from others of higher rank, whether in sports, government, education, clergy, trades, banking or the military. However, if that person is ambitious, he/she is always mentally and emotionally self-employed.
Few of us would admit it out loud, but behind cliches of job loyalty, the primary reason we’re there at that job is to make enough money for personal ambition. We’re driven by the need to pay bills, support a family and save for the future. The basic economics actually reinforce the concept of being self-employed, because when others are depending on you and your income, your incentive to succeed is that much more ingrained in you.
Even with the ever-present understanding that you’re working for that person you see in the mirror every morning before you go to work, you must constantly keep up the image of loyal employee. Part of your responsibility to your concept of high self-worth is to constantly let everyone, especially those above you in the workforce rankings, know every time you’ve accomplished challenging and difficult tasks.
If you’re part of a team, be sure those extra efforts that will be noticed and admired. And, more especially, they should earn rewards, including higher income and, when appropriate, higher rank. You must keep reaching out beyond what is expected of you, so that when there’s a promotion or bonus coming up, you’ll be first in line for the financial benefits of your efforts. That’s what believing you’re always self-employed is all about.
Some people may think that the attitude of feeling you’re secretly self-employed while working for others may seem to be somewhat arrogant and cynical. However, it is usually essential for career advancement, or in the extreme, career survival. In today’s brutally competitive marketplace and eroding levels of job security, realizing you’re always self-employed may be more vital than ever before.