• shane@countryexec.com
  • Seguin, Texas
Professional Independence: The Right Navigation For Success

Professional Independence: The Right Navigation For Success

As I am enjoying an extended weekend for the 4th of July and taking advantage of a perfect opportunity to take a break from the Texas summer heat and ruminate inside converting thoughts to words, my mind has been drifting to professional independence and what it means on a personal level. I am fortunate to have been born in this country and honored to have served it. That winning lottery ticket in life has afforded me the freedom to pursue my life’s aspirations at will and to the best of my ability. It truly is a privilege to be an American. That same privilege can lead you to professional independence

Professional independence

Defining Professional Independence

It would be worthwhile to define professional independence as I believe it is one of those vague terms that can vary contingent on an individual’s perspective Similar to how one would define wealth. Professional independence in my terms means calling your own shots, being afforded the trust to make decisions

The great thing about this is you do not have to be an executive or even in management to achieve this professional luxury. If you have earned the level of trust to run with a project or task in the office with minimal oversight, you have the ability to make decisions and subsequently see that work assignment through to the best of your ability.

By achieving success in those tasks, you earn the right to take on larger and more challenging assignments. Those opportunities could be the catalyst to career growth.

Professional Growth

I have long thought there is honor in starting at the bottom and working your way up to professional independence. It speaks to the grit that comes from knowing firsthand the struggle it took to achieve even the slightest step in your career. I know this feeling all too well. I started at the bottom of the proverbial totem pole more than once in my career.

In 2016 I took a step back to the tune of a 40k pay cut because I believed in my heart it was the best decision to do so. Hindsight being 20/20 I can thankfully report it was the right call. The decision led me down the path of serving in Texas local government and all the personal and professional benefits that came along with it.

That’s rolling the dice and swinging big as only a hardheaded, maybe slightly crazy Texan can. Now would be a good time to add my wife had my back in making that decision. She is truly a special woman, or maybe she’s a little crazier than me. Either way we make it work.

Own Your Journey

Being American we have the privilege to manifest desired outcomes through navigation of choice. If you’re like me those personal decisions can lead you on quite the journey. When you reach the desired outcome it makes it all the more sweeter in doing so.

With the right perspective you may grow to appreciate those growing pains. Knowing that the time and effort spent in preparing yourself for that moment of achievement will inevitably put you in your dream opportunity. To put it another way we have the independence to pursue professional independence. Caveat being the opportunity lies within the individual.

Your life is what you make of it. It is never to late to take the initiative to do so. This often correlates to having pride in your work. Certainly one of the professional attributes I look far and wide for when interviewing for open positions.

Variances In Professional Independence

All of that brings me back to professional independence. I will likely never know what it feels like to be an entrepreneur. Owning your potential success to that capacity must be the ultimate in autonomy. With an employer you always report to somebody. Even as a department head for a city I have a boss (City Manager), who has bosses (City Council), who ultimately represent many bosses (Constituents).

The professional independence for me is that I am ultimately responsible for all technology in my organization. Playing a significant role in the decisions as to what software, hardware, or services are utilized to push innovation forward as a whole. I am honored to be trusted in such a capacity and take great pride in what my department does on behalf of our employer.

Make no mistake I must still justify expensive decisions, often spending months if not years waiting on approved capital funds to proceed with a large effort. That’s part of the fun for me though. I love the strategic vision and planning required to not only provide a high level of service today but also five years from now!

Change Comes From Within

On the main page of my website I have one of my favorite quotes front and center. Change comes from within, who you are today is not who you have to be tomorrow.

Maybe you are seeking more professional independence, to achieve that goal tomorrow you must begin establishing the path today. It may require you to step outside of your comfort zone to accept a new opportunity, or maybe you need to double down to ensure you manage a task/project to the absolute best of your ability in your current capacity.

You may have to put in extra time to manage that effort, but if you want the prize more often than not it requires more of you. You get back what you put in. That is the grind of a professional existence for those not satisfied with the status quo.

Fruits Of Success

Eventually when you have achieved enough success in those efforts there is light at the end of the tunnel. Promotions, money, prestige, and professional independence to name a few.

All those rewards for your hard work correspond to freedom. Not just in a professional sense but in the context of life. The freedom to afford that nice home for your family. Take that vacation you’ve been putting off, or to begin setting money aside for a better retirement.

I believe everyone possesses the ability to accomplish this way of life if they so choose, including you the reader. Start today, begin investing in yourself and see where it takes you! Professional independence is a goal worth having. Happy 4th of July everyone, I hope all of you have a safe and relaxing holiday!

The Country Executive professional independence

4 thoughts on “Professional Independence: The Right Navigation For Success

Comments are closed.