Professionalism has become a destructive myth. Ditch it. You don’t have a career. You have a life.
What would happen if we took her advice? If we let our beliefs shape our work, doing only what we actually think is right? Answer. It would change the world. Nothing would be the same – our cities, our mines, our jails, our legislatures, our detention centres.
We’re pretty good, most of us, at operating decently in our personal lives – stopping at red lights, not stealing the neighbour’s chooks, beating up puppies (or anyone most of the time). In our personal lives we’re pretty conscious. But our working lives are different.
Our working selves look away, tolerate injustice, further the interests of the mega-ruthless and undermine both common good and common decency to a degree that would make us ashamed were it not for a single concept. Professionalism.
What would you start doing differently if you learned you only had one life to live?