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The three must-haves for your career

Updated: Nov 18, 2022

The three F-words, is what I call them. Freedom, flexibility and fulfilment. Before you ask.

That's what you tell me you want.

And not only because they all neatly start with an F.

(Oh yeah, and variety, and fun, but that would be four Fs, and one V and that would not be half as good. All good things come in 3, right? No one tells you they come in 5. Anyway.)

Often you tell me it's because you want a good work/life balance. Flexibility in being able to pick up kids, open the door to the washing machine repair guy, without having to spend 4 hours stuck in traffic, or in a train, to end up sitting at your desk all day (what even WAS that?) .

But in this article by Adam Grant there is a lot more to freedom than just the ability to manoeuvre your way around the nine to five.

Yes, it's about that as well. But that's what this article refers to as 'negative freedom': the ability to do your work without obstacles and interference by others.

Whilst positive freedom is about the ability to shape your job and life. To control your own destiny.

It made me think. About what freedom actually means to you.

Because so often we think (read: moan) about the lack of leadership, micro-managers breathing down your neck, the long commute, the straight-jacket of the 9 to 5, with no flexibility either way.

Not even to mention the obstacles that are in place that hit women specifically: the lack of progression, inherent bias, the confidence-competence confusion, the gender pay gap (I can go on, but you get my drift).

But THAT's only the negative side of the equation.

What if we were to talk about positive freedom? If all the obstacles I mentioned were removed, would you still be unhappy in your job?

In other words, is the reason you are unhappy in your job caused by the obstacles in your way?

Or is it a genuine desire to determine your own destiny? Or a combination of the two?

What obstacles need to be removed or do you want to avoid in the future?

What building blocks need to be in place for you to be able to craft your current job, or build your future career, so that it makes you happy, and provides you with the freedom you so clearly crave?

Answers on a postcard please!

What does Freedom mean to you?

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