Be curious, you are not a cat

This is the definition of professionalism by Oxford Dictionaries

“The competence or skill expected of a professional.
‘the key to quality and efficiency is professionalism'”

When I was in my 20s I really wanted to be seen as professional. And I struggled with it so much because I didn’t seem to understand the rules and I couldn’t find out what they were and it was always a bit hit and miss as to whether I got it right or not.

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I really sought professionalism, I was really eager to demonstrate it, but, I just didn’t know how to do it. I was all
At sea and pushed and pulled by what I thought others thought I should be doing and how I should be doing it. I had absolutely no idea how to behave in a consistently professional manner. That’s ok, I was young.

A couple of decades on and instead of frantically trying to discover what the rules are, I traverse my days blatantly breaking them instead… This has come off the hard-won understanding of the purpose of the rules and thus knowing when they need to be jettisoned.


I used to show up at meetings terrified that I hadn’t accounted for every possibly. Now I show up for them with a real curiosity regarding what it is that will happen that I could not have foreseen. It is precisely this unpredictability that gives me joy now, where once it caused me sleepless nights and eroded confidence.

What changed? It is only because I know what the boundaries are that I can find joy in pushing them. It is because I have travelled through a wide variety of experiences, sectors and personalities & I know very little has the ability to throw me totally. Or rather, I enjoy the unexpected. I have established where my boundaries are by consulting with others who are way more experienced than I am. I have felt where the edges of my comfort zone sit by collaborating and designing solutions. I have faced challenges together with others.

“Be curious, you are not a cat and this will rarely risk your life!”

Defined boundaries come through a process of qualifications, experience, trial and error, and consultation. How? By being absolutely focussed on the purpose of taking these risks. I adore what I do. I am endlessly curious about how people and organisations function and I want to enable them to work better. This is what gives me the courage and relentless pursuit of understanding the implications and inferences of so many different things. BE CURIOUS. you are a not a cat! This curiosity will rarely risk your life.

Real Professionalism is a joy! 

I have learned that’s once the professional contract is signed and the psychological contact had begun to be negotiated, once these things are in place, then what you have earned for yourself is freedom. This is the freedom to dance on the moment, the freedom to trust yourself and the person you are working with and the freedom to design it together. This is real professionalism.

I used to see the rules as ridged, today I see the rules as a platform from which to springboard into possibly. The benefits of age and wisdom (and a fair few mistakes!), huh!

You can find Rebecca here at the Daemon Career Coach