Seth Godin’s written a piece on what he’s coined Sheepwalking – those who float through jobs, even their careers, only following their ‘work manual’.
I define “sheepwalking” as the outcome of hiring people who have been raised to be obedient and giving them a braindead job and enough fear to keep them in line.
Step one is to give the problem a name. Done. Step two is for anyone who sees themself in this mirror to realize that you can always stop. You can always claim the career you deserve merely by refusing to walk down the same path as everyone else just because everyone else is already doing it.
The fault of this outcome, however, doesn’t lie with the ‘walker’ but rather the employer. Non-sheep behavior is rarely encouraged in most workplaces. I’ve had jobs like that where there was no ‘other’ way to get anything done, only the company’s way.
Now, you may want a braindead job [I’ve done them happily in the past], but a career path should be paved differently.
The question is can you reward non-sheep behavior in the larger scale companies? Doesn’t someone have to do the sheepish work?
Sheepwalking – [SethGodin]