Episode 54 - The 4 Levels of Careerist Part 4: The Rebel
Ok…here we are, Rebels. We're finally at Part 4 of our 4-part series on the 4 Levels of Careerists….The Rebel Level. We started off at the Drifter Level, and in that episode, we talked a lot about how the idea of being able to choose a career you love AND get paid for it can feel like an impossible dream. And then, in Part 2, we explored the mindset and experience of the Hustler and how their unyielding focus on climbing that ladder of success prevents them from discovering what they want or focusing on what matters most to them. And in our last episode, we unpacked what it means to be at the Established level and how years of honing and developing expertise in one area inadvertently trap them in this idea that they can't pivot or do something new or different. This becomes particularly challenging since, at this level, there's a growing desire to do something impactful and meaningful coupled with a need not to lose everything they worked for. Unfortunately, this combination often leads them to settle, stuck in the "good enough zone," wondering how or if they can get out.
Today we're talking about the final level of what it means to be a Rebel. Now what's interesting is that it's really a misnomer to call this a "level" because Rebels don't see this as a destination but rather a release, a freeing, an expansion of opportunities. Because while the Rebel LOVES what she is doing today, she's always looking for and open to other opportunities and possibilities for what she can be doing tomorrow. She's always looking for ways to reinvent herself, expand herself, and excuse my Star Trek reference here, but she's always looking "to explore new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations, and boldly go where no woman has gone before!" That's what truly differentiates the Rebel "level" from all of the other levels. She's evolved beyond the careerist matrix, no longer bound by its rule, but instead, much like Neo in the Matrix, she's bending the Matrix to serve her…yes, my friends….she can fly.
Rebels are unapologetically authentic, unbounded and limitless, and unstoppable in what's possible for them because they know who they are, are confident in what they have to offer the world, and use their voice to get what they want. It's more about becoming a Rebel than reaching some perceived career destination.
Now if you're not at this level, it can feel both unattainable and scary. Keep in mind there are not that many Rebels in the world. As I mentioned in a previous episode, if you place the four levels on a bell curve, you'll find fewer Drifters and Rebels on the two tail ends of the bell curve. The peak of the curve is populated by those at the Hustler and Established levels.
One of the reasons the Rebel level is scary is because you're taking complete control and responsibility for your career. You're no longer guided by others or making decisions based on societal ideals or pressures. That means your successes are your own, as well as your setbacks. But a Rebel relishes in the setbacks because she knows it's always the preparatory phase for what's ahead…for what's next.
Once you give yourself the time and permission to lean into your values and vision, to clarify and amplify your purpose, to learn how to navigate the systems of oppression that keep you stuck, and create the systems of freedom that gives you power and control over your career, that's when you're able to become a Rebel. That's when you are not afraid to take risks, leave a position that doesn't work, accept a lower pay position because of the work or the impact, or pitch new jobs that never existed before.
Rebels never settle. At this level, you're in control. You're mastering your inner critic and slaying imposter syndrome; the circumstances around you don't control your emotions, beliefs, or goals. The game is entirely different.
You're in this iterative process of self-awareness and self-discovery, and with each new revelation, you're making bigger and bolder decisions. And you trust your ability to decide what's best for your life and career without needing validation or approval from others. And let me emphasize that….you trust yourself and your decision-making abilities. This is HUGE at the rebel level. Because you have this incredible clarity, you can take massive action on your decisions because you trust yourself and the internal wisdom that's guiding you.
You're doing the meaningful work you love AND getting paid well because you know the value of what you have to offer and bring to the table and how to use your voice to ask for and get paid what you deserve.
Your life and career are in alignment; you're working within your values and in integrity with the vision, purpose, and goals for your life. You understand your career is part of the greater ecosystem of your life, not a separate thing you must try to balance or fit within your life. And you're considering and creating a legacy. You're creating the systems of freedom that keep you in the driver's seat of your life and career.
Like my client Julie who shared that the newfound awareness of her power and strength and the increased confidence in her abilities gained from stepping into the Rebel level helped her get the career she's been dreaming about for a year.
Or my client Wanda who recently reached out to me and shared that when we started working together, she was DEFINITELY at that Established level after spending years hustling to get there. It was challenging for her to hear and embody the message that she could take control and free herself from the matrix she was in concerning her career. But, as many women share, she said, "once the fog cleared, I was able to free your mind from external validation and approval, gain a cellular level of confidence in what I had to offer and my own brilliance, which then allowed me to successfully implement the tools and strategies that I'm continuing benefitting from today.”
And I could go on and on.
Now, some women have mastered the Rebel level for years, like one of my friends, a VP for a university system in Colorado. I've watched her for years navigate her career with a clear idea of where she wanted to be and what it would take to get there. She knew the importance of building relationships, not mere networking. She was willing to take risks moving her family from the south to the west coast and Colorado because it was the pathway to her desired results. She knew how to build a brand message showcasing her brilliance and positioning herself in the right spaces and places to advance her goals.
So being a Rebel isn't some unicorn mythological, magical state that's not easily attainable. It's totally doable. I know because I got myself there. I've helped other women get there, and I've seen other women live their lives there. There are actually steps you can follow that will get you there IF you can first free your mind from the careerist matrix.
The two most powerful things that are available to you are (1) self-awareness and (2) decision-making. Because as Maya Angelou said, once you know better (self-awareness), and can do better (decision-making). Unfortunately, on the bell curve of careerists, few find themselves at the Rebel level. That's why it's my mission to help women and women of color get there. Because it's possible, it's doable, and you can get there too.
So, now that you know the four levels of careerists: Drifter, Hustler, Established, and Rebel, figure out where you are and carefully pay attention to what it will take for YOU to break free from your level on the career Matrix so you can find your path to becoming a Rebel.
If you've been following my podcast, I ask each of my guests what it means to be a Career Rebel at the end of the episode. Listen to their answers because each and every one shared a nugget of wisdom that can help you get there.
That's why I created Fearless: The Career Rebel Academy, to help women reach that Rebel level in their lives and careers.
However, as you can see, it's not for the faint of heart.
If you're looking for support but are feeling feel stuck, lost, confused, afraid to take action, and not even sure if you want to and looking for someone to rescue you out of your current situation or looking for a magic pill that will give you what you need without having to do any of the work, then Fearless is NOT for you. You're probably still at that Drifter level, and that's not who this program is designed to support.
However, if you're a high-achieving, ambitious, strong, confident on the outside but still dealing with imposter syndrome on the inside, professional woman who understands the value and benefit of coaching and is now looking for a coach to take you to the next level; AND you aren't afraid of takings risks or hard work, AND if the only thing you're missing is a proven system and support to make your dreams come true, then Fearless is perfect for you.
FEARLESS is designed for the Hustler who wants to learn to trust their internal wisdom and for those at that Established level looking to break free from that "good enough zone" to have the power and freedom they want in their lives and careers.
Now is ALWAYS the best time to consider what you want and how to get there. FEARLESS is a cohort-based program, so if at the time you're listening to this, we're closed, you can easily join the waitlist or apply for a VIP Accelerator with me if you've already done some of the mindset work necessary to break free and need the outer game strategies to get there.
All the links will be in the show notes.
Well, you did it!
If you've made it through our 4-part series, you now understand each level, why you may be stuck, and how it's impacted your career and may have hindered your advancement, even into leadership.
You may want to listen to them more than once and definitely share this episode with friends you believe could use this vital information.
Consider this your "red pill or blue pill" moment (yes, another Matrix reference)…what will you decide?
See you next time, and until then, have an amazingly rebellious week!!