In the midst of change, I have found myself looking at jobs to see where the next step may lead me. And for the first time ever, nothing yet has quite fit the bill. At first I thought I was being apathetic or unrealistic. And those would have been two giant demons to fight. But that didn’t ring true so I asked myself again what the hinderance was. The answer rang loud and true. I don’t believe that many organisations now do what I want to do: be an enabler. And no, I don’t mean a facilitator. A facilitator carries connotations of a starting point and a specific end point which is external to each individual involved.

The thing I loved about teaching was not that I was able to impart grand wisdom to younger beings. For I don’t believe I’ve much wisdom to offer. I certainly didn’t then. But what drove me to teach were two sparks. The spark in a student’s eye when they grasped their way with confidence; and the spark in my eye when a student revealed a different perspective to mine. That’s why I loved being an English teacher. It was all about sharing different interpretations, perspectives and nuances that lay within a landscape of words speaking truths only made real in someone else’s mind. My role was to enable that thought freedom and to nurture tolerance . My job was to allow people unique views in on the worlds we studied each day and for my eyes to be widened by their perspective. Learning happened all round and, if I ever did my job right, on all levels too.

What puts fire in my belly is the chance to help someone open doors for themselves. To see people re learn how to trust themselves and be comfortable in their own skin. To choose to subscribe to cultural norms only after true consideration of what they serve and what level of compromise it may force someone to muster. To hold strong in their own intuition and core values. It’s the difference between telling someone what to see, or how to see more. The difference between dictating thought or encouraging boundless contemplation.

I look at jobs in market now and I see how few roles can be truly expansive. I’ve watched a few circumstances recently and seen how some places require you to be a way, whatever that way is. There’s a jargon you have to speak and a mindset you have to adopt. There’s a skill in presenting conformity and uniqueness and a power in doing it with prowess. But it’s not always commensurate with what that role should require nor what the person could be bringing to the table.

And so I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe not now, not yet, but I will make my own job that suits. It’s something that I’ve never considered but then I’m new to the feeling that there may even be a career trend to which I run counter. I’ve never looked at a landscape of jobs and felt that there may not be something that fits. And so I’m excited. As first, I will have to enable myself to get there, I’ll have to become the student and I’ll have to tread whatever terrain the path brings me. And that will only make me better at helping others. For the first time in an age, I’m not bothered about fitting in, I’m interested in being comfortable in my own skin. After all, it’s all the people see of me and what allows me to show people what I believe in.



10 thoughts on “a job of it

  1. Can’t believe you said this, “For I don’t believe I’ve much wisdom to offer,” in the middle of a very wise post! Good luck in your endeavors. We all have something of value to offer, and that is the wisdom we have gathered to us.

  2. Safi, I love this!! “It’s the difference between telling someone what to see, or how to see more. The difference between dictating thought or encouraging boundless contemplation.” I can see that there is no job out there that would give you this opportunity… You have this ability in you and many would benefit from listening to you, so I hope you soon get the chance to make that job that completely suits you a reality… read you soon my friend, Alexandra

  3. Pingback: Nurture Tolerance | Kevin Barrett's Blog

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