In a world where people often rely on assumptions and stereotypes, it can get frustrating trying to show the different sides of ourselves.
Based on what I value in life, my liberal beliefs and passion for travelling, it is no surprise that I am often classified as a hippie. I don’t have a problem with the classification, but in terms of trying to get ahead in my career and proving myself in the business world, the label can sometimes be hindering.
When people think of “hippies,” the image that pops into their mind is usually someone dread-locked and lethargic, lying on a hammock in the middle of nowhere, joint in hand and minimal career ambitions—not exactly the ideal candidate for the business world. This stereotypical opinion can also include the image of a back-packing free spirit who’s scared of growing up, not serious about life and even a bit of a lost soul.
But as the world evolves, societal norms and cultural beliefs are being continually challenged. Technology has allowed the world to become more connected than ever before. Although stereotypes will always remain, mainstream classifications are now becoming more flexible. As this motivated generation of millennials begins to dominate the business world, I’m seeing more executives encouraged to employ career-oriented hippies.
A career-oriented hippie—like me—is a free spirit who encompasses an open mind, sense of adventure and deep desire for new experiences and freedom. But we are also ambitious, determined, hard-working, dynamic and business savvy.
Here are eight reasons why you should employ career-oriented hippies:
Career-oriented hippies are free and creative thinkers, not afraid to push boundaries and explore unconventional ideas. Their liberal mindsets create a springboard for out-of-the-box thinking and alternative options. No matter how crazy an idea may seem, their wild imaginations will be eager to explore. They are constantly thinking of ways to improve things and don’t allow barriers or rules to hold them back.
According to Charles Darwin, “it is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change” (Darwin, 2014). The spontaneous attitude of a career-oriented hippie has forced them to acquire skills that enable them to go with the flow, adapt to changes and let things that are no longer working go.
Their free spirits have given them a deep sense of wanderlust. Traveling to new places has exposed them to the way things work in other parts of the world. They have been immersed in different cultures and can relate to people from all walks of life. On the road, they have learned the art of networking, allowing them to discover people and places off the beaten track. Approaching strangers and talking to new people come naturally to them.
No such thing as a Comfort Zone
Career-orientated hippies thrive outside traditional comfort zones. They recognize that routine is lethal and are constantly seeking ways to change things up, which can bring a dynamic element to any business.
Independence & Initiative
These free spirits are not scared to generate new ideas; sharing their opinion is hugely important. They have gained a deep understanding of what it means to be independent and use their initiative to live the life they want.
Life as an Adventure
Career-oriented hippies thrive on new adventures and are willing to step into the unknown. They are courageous and take risks, but are also wise enough to consider all options. A new challenge is an opportunity for new adventure, regardless of the context.
No matter their age, career-oriented hippies strive to live life with a mind as wise as an old man, a body as physically fit as a young adult and a heart as pure as a baby.
Above all, career-oriented hippies know that in order to pursue their travel dreams and deep desire for new experiences, they will need to work hard to support these dreams. They will remain dedicated, but also make the most of their vacation time to go on their next adventure.
Now, when someone calls me a hippie, I introduce them to the concept of the career-oriented hippie. Because being a free spirit and fitting the stereotype of a hippie, doesn’t mean I can’t excel in the business world.
Author: Tracy Thomas
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Image: Todd Huffman/Flickr