Artists and bureaucrats
by Resume Digest on 21 Jan 2013 permalink
Do you go to work in order to survive and pay off the bills or because you are fulfilled in your vocation? For many, job satisfaction has gone out the window but there is a sense where you get the job that you deserve. Let me explain.
As labour inevitably becomes a commodity you have two choices: you can become a bureaucrat who enforces the rules or you can be an artist who is creative at solving problems.
There is enormous pressure from the corporate mindset to avoid risks and tow the party line. The rule book has been refined to perfection and you have heard it said: "We have always done it like this before. Our methods have served us well all this time. Don't try to fix something that's not broken..."
An artist on the other hand doesn't mind rocking the boat for a good outcome. It is someone who believes in what they do and find satisfaction and fulfilment by going the extra mile. They like not just to do their work but to do it well and in an elegant way. They are experts at problem solving - the sort of problems that the rule book never thought of... They are the guys who don't mind breaking a few eggs to make an omelette. If everybody else has become a cog they are the ones who know where lubrication is badly needed.
If you are the boss of an artist in your organisation you can become jealous or you can see the benefit of a subordinate that makes your department look good.
Artists are those who can see over the business horizon and are prepared to try several things just in case one idea might work.
Bureaucrats will enforce the status-quo and spread rumours to stifle any creative attempt at making the corporate machine more adaptable in its environment. They have zero imagination, cannot handle risk but can only repeat what they have been trained to do all along.
In a start-up everybody is an artist. In a large conglomerate the majority are bureaucrats obeying the rules while a handful of artists are kept out of sight for their own protection. They come up with solutions that only someone on the shop floor with a different mindset could dream of.
If deep down you know that you are the artist-type you will have a hard time during the recruitment process. People will love to hear of your achievements but they will screen out anybody who doesn't fit the corporate mould.
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