How lived experiences shape our professional lives

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Lived experience shapes our professional instincts over time: This experience either amplifies and strengthens our existing belief system or diminishes it - the latter occurring when guidance from our inner monologue fails to get us the results we want, sowing doubt and forcing a recalibration.

After two decades in the workforce, my inner monologue had gotten lazy. The voice told me that “it’s no sweat if I’m not prepared. My teammates think I’m thoughtful and intelligent and they will extend me the benefit of the doubt until I figure this out.” Since I was always given the benefit of the doubt and usually figured things out afterward, this system built on privilege seemed to be working perfectly.

Cam Snaith and I have been friends and brothers for over 30 years. We hold diplomas from the same high school and degrees from the same university (though he kept going to get his Master's Degree - I didn’t). Thirteen years after our careers started, we co-founded Bleeker together. I assumed that because of our common path, we might also share the same professional instincts.

Imagine my surprise to learn that Cam’s system couldn’t have been any more different than my own: The inner voice that directs how Cam shows up for work tells him (and I’m paraphrasing here) “despite my Ivy-League degrees and professional accomplishments, no one here is going give me the benefit of the doubt. I need to arrive at every meeting prepared with a clear point of view, supported by hours of research and data.”

Isn’t that… something. Setting aside differences in personality traits and thinking styles, what do you think could *possibly* explain Cam's vastly different professional experience and his corresponding inner monologue?

Jay Liddell
November 11, 2021
Career Development

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