You Are Not Your Badge!

By marlucco | marlucco | 5 May 2019

How many times have you changed your last name?

I don't mean by getting married or running away from the cops, but how many times have you been introduced with your company name as your last name?

Let's say I work for Google. The interaction would be something like this:

Hi, I'm Marlucco from Google. How are you?

My friend Cris Dias, released an episode of his podcast "Boa Noite, Internet" with the title of this post (listen here in portuguese) where he talked about this and I've been thinking about this topic for a while.

Full disclosure, I've never had a proper job. I'm a content producer since always and I never had to apply for a job in an office or real company. I've got offers to work for them, but never actually committed. So, this whole culture is something I'm always looking at as an outsider and it's fascinates me. Specially, this "Game of Thrones" idea of belonging to a house and changing who you are because of it. In Brazil, we have a saying for this that is "putting the jersey on". As I'm not a sports guys, either. It's a saying I understood in concept, but never in reality.

Being a content producer and having directed a lot of commercials in my time, I always had to go to meetings and interact with people who have their "jerseys on". Most of these interactions always had me asking questions about their work, how did they get there, what they wanted to accomplish and even a little bit of their personal lives. In the end, I wasn't interacting anymore with Mrs Marketing Director of House Nestle, but I was interacting with Maria, or John, or Dave. I was interacting with people and that changed everything.

This culture of us becoming our work, and even changing who we are because of it, is not a healthy one. We were sold this narrative by the "system" and they are not good at thinking about us. They are amazing at thinking of their profits and stakeholders.

For the period they will need you, they will tell you about all of the beautiful things you can do and have if you are proactive and productive. But if they need to let you go by any reason whatsoever, they will. And it won't matter if you had your jersey stitched - or even tattooed - on your body.

It might sound like I'm advocating for all of us to drop our jobs and go live in nature in a hippie commune. Yes, this might be my utopian dream, but it's not the point of this text.

The point here is: Don't matter where you are and what you are doing, be yourself!

You don't need to change names, you don't need to actually wear any jersey at all. You just need to be yourself and do your best at this. In the end, for a little while longer, we are doing business and interacting with other human beings, not companies. And if you are amazing at being yourself - which can be quite a hard job on itself, and I'll talk about this in another post - people will want to be with you and interact with you and that will be what makes you a success, don't matter the job title you have or the company you work for.

Because, you are not the badge you use around your neck. You are you. And that is amazing!

Thanks, @marlucco

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