Your Rainforest Mind

Support For The Excessively Curious, Creative, Smart & Sensitive

A Guide for Mavericks, Renegades and Rebels in the Workplace

25 Comments

When you’re at work, are you–

Asking questions that annoy others? Frustrated by the lack of openness to new ideas? Waiting for others to conclude what you already know? Impatient at meetings because everyone is so slow? Upset at the injustice you see that no one else seems to notice? Bored? Avoiding office politics? Providing guidance and supervision for your bosses? Seen as lazy but actually doing more work in less time?  Ready to leave the job once you’ve mastered it? Wanting to change the way things are done? Idealistic and optimistic? Misunderstood and misdiagnosed? Seen as a maverick, renegade, or eccentric??

Maybe, that’s because you have a rainforest mind.

Take heart, dear renegade.

You are not alone.

There’s a growing movement just for you. A tribe of smart rebels finding and supporting each other. Let me introduce you to them.

I found them one day by mistake when I was googling myself. Yes, I admit it. Googling. Myself. There was a blog post written by Carmen Medina. She mentioned a piece I’d written about counseling gifted adults. She was intrigued by the story of Susan who at age seven was reprimanded by her teacher for completing her reading workbook in one night; for working ahead. Carmen hadn’t thought of herself as gifted, but couldn’t help seeing herself in Susan.

I wanted to know more and found Carmen and Lois Kelly‘s website. And, more recently their book. See if you can relate to these quotes from the book:

“Rebels ask hard questions, don’t take things at face value, and don’t accept that things have to be the way they’ve always been. We are also often the ones who can see the future coming and pick up on subtle indicators of change before others do. Above all, we’re people who want to create positive changes, not just whine about what’s not working. We’re an oddly optimistic bunch, believing in what’s possible while many of our coworkers give up.”

rebels-at-work-book-200x300
“…pushing new ideas too fast. We can’t help it, or at least we can’t control it until we become painfully aware of its impact on the workplace and on our careers.”

“…Executing the same types of processes and programs over and over again bores many of us.”

“We keep talking, thinking we’re educating our bosses while they just wish we would shut up.”

“…asking provocative questions, sharing our observations, questioning assumptions, suggesting alternatives–and quite possibly alienating that person because we’re coming on so strong.”

“Learning to manage our emotions so that they don’t manage us may be the most important practice for rebels to learn.”

I’m guessing that you’re nodding your head. Finally. Someone gets it.

Their book, Rebels At Work, is a wonderful guide. It provides very specific ways to help you navigate within the system, change things and stay sane.

And finally, Lois and Carmen end with this:

“Crank it up, dear rebels. The world needs us everywhere.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

________________________________

To my bloggEEs: What are your experiences in the workplace? What suggestions do you have? What questions? Let us know what you think of Rebels At Work. The book is written particularly for folks working within large corporations but I think it also applies to you if you work in a smaller setting or are an entrepreneur. For more of my thoughts on navigating career paths, check out my webinar. And thanks, as always, for reading.

Advertisements

Author: Paula Prober

I'm a psychotherapist in private practice in Eugene, Oregon. I specialize in counseling gifted adults and consulting with parents of gifted children. The label "gifted" is often controversial and confusing. I use the metaphor of the rain forest to describe this population. Like the rain forest, these individuals are quite complex, highly sensitive, intense, multi-layered, and misunderstood. They're also curious, idealistic, highly intelligent, creative, perfectionistic, and they love learning. I've been an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon and a guest presenter at Oregon State University and Pacific University. I've written articles on giftedness for the Eugene Register-Guard, the Psychotherapy Networker, and Advanced Development Journal. My book, Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth, was released in June 2016 by GHF Press and is available on Amazon or at your independent bookstore.

25 thoughts on “A Guide for Mavericks, Renegades and Rebels in the Workplace

  1. Descriptions like these make me smile and cry. Thank you. Always, Paula. You always “get it”.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I could have used this book over 20 years ago! Your excerpts sound just like me except substitute stubborn for lazy 🙂 Thanks fro sharing it here. I agree also about emotional management. Very important but so challenging with those of us who are passionate, sensitive, and often frustrated or disillusioned.

    peace, Linda

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Once again, nail hit on the head.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I needed this over a week ago! I just returned from a conference where one of my touch points in my panel was the difficulty of moving the iceberg of entrenched volunteers to bring them to accepting new ideas and adjustments to the program to insure quality for remote events. Then again today, the frustration of talking to my office-mates trying to share the changes we need to be adapting to. I’m ok playing the long game, but we need to all acknowledge that our goal is to change not continue to fight the system until we are no longer in compliance with the parent organization – resulting in deconstructing our program and frantically rebuilding on a massive scale (something I really would rather avoid).

    Oh and I totally blew an interview two years ago, because I talked about “…Executing the same types of processes and programs over and over again bores many of us.” Except I phrased it as “Wanting to be in a dynamic and changing program where it didn’t become routine.” – yeah that didn’t do me any favors that day, even if it was exactly what is needed for that program. I also get to enjoy the guilt of walking away and watching it all crumble from a distance – and no I don’t enjoy any of that, because it is a program to help children and they all deserved so much better! (The program is amazing, I’m still doing it, just somewhere else – in this case it’s the politics of adults and the resistance to dynamic administration that is the downfall, not the program itself – although it does have some necessary challenges.)

    As always, your posts are a blessing to me – repeatedly reminding me that I am not alone and that what I experience is also the struggle of others working to improve this world.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. When I practiced law, I was fortunate to work with partners who liked that I was always asking questions and making suggestions. But when I went in-house for a biotech company, the same traits annoyed the hell out of my boss and another key person. I didn’t stay there long. I think it’s very important to get to know the culture of a company/firm/etc. before starting work there.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m reading the autobiography of Anthony Trollope and this describes him pretty well, too, in his office work. He was a failure in school, his first job, and in writing at first (his first two novels and a play). I love his novels and am glad he persevered.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good one! I liked it. Writing from your new house must be agreeing with you [😊]

    I’m back from Florida. It was nice to get away. Good and stressful both to be with my folks.

    xoxo

    Kamala

    ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I usually do annoy people at work by getting it finished quickly.

    As always like reading something I could have written

    😁

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Paula,

    So much of what you write about I love. It speaks to the misunderstood population we seek to serve. Today as I read this article you touched me in such a deeply personal way I had to reach out and thank you! It is exactly what I needed! Even if we know better, being labeled a “control freak” can make you feel defective. When our actions of constantly questioning, learning too much too fast and failing to restrain ourselves when we let everybody know “Your doing it all wrong!” lands us in hot water, branded stubborn and not a team player, we feel defeated not gifted. Bless you for sharing and encouraging those of us who think and learn differently to feel valued for our differences rather than punished.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. OMG. You weren’t kidding about how apropos this post was to our conversation.
    Wow.
    Always nice to be reminded I’m not alone in these experiences!
    You are wonderful.
    ~R

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “Waiting for others to conclude what you already know.” That is my favorite line, and so, so true!

    Your description fits me at work completely. When I was first out of college, I would get bored with a job within 6 months even though it was in my chosen field. As I got older, that timeframe became 90 days. Working in large corporations, I have learned how to fly under the radar and not rock the boat (speaking up too much can have detrimental consequences). I have intentionally started contract employment so that I don’t have to deal with as much politics, misperceptions or judgments. Of course, I can’t influence change very much now, but it’s much less anxiety for me. I still have some issues with the politics and boredom, though, and I am often making up my own independent projects outside of work to keep my mind active. I’ll take a look at the book and website you reference. When you describe the rainforest mind at work or as a parent, you describe it so eloquently and accurately. That is priceless to those of us who often (almost always) feel misunderstood and alone. Thank you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow, I think I answered yes to every question in the opening paragraph. I get so bored at work sometimes that I don’t do any for a few days, do my own thing, then have a big spurt to catch up for a day and everybody thinks I’ve done such a great job.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. As always so true. I had several jobs on the side when i was in school and later on, studying. Responsible jobs. And there awkward or conflict situations. I knew I was right and my boss then was wrong or rude etc. Since it happened a few times everybody assumed it was me. Reading your post, I realised they couldn’t stand it if i had better ideas or quicker ways. Never crossed my mind.
    I have been my own boss for 15 years and I totally recommend it 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: Are You A Driven Perfectionist In A Slacker World? | Your Rainforest Mind

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s