I’m tired of being told to be “professional.”
It’s such a misunderstood concept that many people in their careers trip over like a rake left on the grass that smacks you in the face.
Once you understand unprofessionalism you’ll suddenly make more money and have more opportunities land on your lap.
Professional people look and sound like ads
That’s the whole problem.
Personal branding culture has leaked into society over the last 5 years. It secretly whispers to us like an ax murderer to be professional or we will pay the price. It’s a lie.
Personal branding forces you to be professional.
So what you do is start making logos out of your name, doing your hair before selfie live streams, creating your own catchphrases, and posting way too much on social media because another professional guru trying to cash in, told you to.
Professional people posting professional content looks like an ad.
Once you see this phenomenon you can’t unsee it. Take a look at your newsfeed and see it for yourself.
Let’s define what an ad is: it’s a low-quality piece of content you don’t want to see. Often, the ad is trying to sell you something when you’re not in the market to be sold.
Professionals on social media fail and they can’t even understand why.
Professionals have no soul
In my banking career I met professionals all the time.
They’d show up to meetings and feel so fake. They had no soul. They were lifeless concrete statues that belonged in a museum. They just tried way too hard to be something they were not.
It often felt like they were Leonardo DiCaprio playing the role of some business person in a movie.
As soon as you went personal or engaged in small talk, they didn’t know what to do.
Being unprofessional, on the other hand, is being yourself. It’s creating a human connection and not trying to be too business-ey. Because business-obsessed people are a joke and lack meaning in their lives.
They think revenue numbers are the meaning of life (they’re not).
Professionalism is a superiority complex
There are quiet undertones with professionalism.
It says “I’m better than you.”
That’s why I don’t like it. I don’t want to be better than anybody else. I want us to have freedom and to stop bowing down to leaders who use servitude as a business model.
It’s the same with experts online. They want you to think you’re stupid and they are smart. It’s ego. It’s baseless. It’s impossible to measure “expert status.” It’s just a subjective meaningless term people throw around when they want to feel high and mighty. Don’t fall into this trap.
You’re not better than anyone. Just different.
Here’s what unprofessionals do that you can copy…
1. They don’t make love to themselves every night
The ego of a professional makes it hard for their head to fit through the door.
They’re so in love with themselves they come home each night to make love with themselves while looking at their LinkedIn headshot and their clever “busy being awesome” bio.
Unprofessionals have lower egos.
They’re in it for more than themselves. They’re a team player of sorts who prefer the collective wisdom of the crowd over their own IQ and university degree.
2. Unprofessionals just get the job done
They don’t sit around sipping lattes and trying to look cool in suits holding camel skin colored leather briefcases.
Unprofessionals focus on action. They’re there to see what needs to be done and do it. It may not be sexy or cool — but it’s bloody valuable.
3. They don’t wear penguin suits that scream “I’m better than you Junior!”
Suits are out of fashion and professionals don’t want to admit it.
Business casual took over years ago. Now when you roll up to a meeting in a suit, you just look like a knob to most of us. The best thing you can do in life is learning to read the room.
That means becoming self-aware. Self-awareness leads to less ego-dressing and more looking like a humble human.
4. They don’t tolerate layers of complexity to look fake-smart
Professionals love complexity. It makes them look smart.
It helps them to make up for their often devilish childhoods. Complexity is how you cause normal people to trip up.
If you make the process hard enough then no one can relate and, so, a professional is needed to save the day.
Counter-intuitively, unprofessionals make things simple because they don’t have the time or patience for BS.
Looking smart isn’t the goal. Getting sh*t done is. That’s how you get paid and get home early to see the family and have a good ol’ time.
5. Unprofessionalism equals authenticity
I didn’t build an Instglam following first before saying that. Oopsie.
I’m not talking about the fake authenticity peddled by influencers selling product placements in their videos while running a network marketing pyramid scheme.
I’m talking about natural authenticity. The kind your grandmother has.
This form of authenticity is addictive to strangers. And strangers are the ones who give you opportunities you could never have dreamed of.
When we see real authenticity we say yes, often, without thinking. That’s the kind of life cheat code you can build an empire on.
The ultimate goal of unprofessionalism
Let’s finish here.
Professionals don’t want you to be free. They want to be in charge and set the professional rules you must follow. This limits creativity and meaningful work.
The goal of being unprofessional is to be free. To wear the rainbow-colored t-shirt to work if you dare.
To have an opinion and speak for yourself. To reinvent the rules as you see fit. To call out BS. To live the life you want to live without being told what to do every day by a professional looking for attention, a better job title, and a promotion they didn’t earn.
Stop worshipping professionalism. It’s a joke when you take a closer look.