Misfits: being the odd one out in your industry

Imagine being an out-of-the-closet priest. Or an impulsive academic. Or a female mechanic, a conservative sex worker, an overweight personal trainer.

You’d feel out of place, right? That’s because, over time, professions have cultivated an identity for themselves that often makes them difficult to infiltrate when you don’t reflect the prevailing image.

This is a deep pool from which many career counsellors derive their work. Their clients find themselves either stuck in a profession where their values are misaligned, or they desperately want to enter a profession but discover it’s tough when they’re conspicuously different. And so they commit to a series of coaching sessions with an objective to either break in or break out.

If we revisit the professions listed in the opening paragraph, the contradictions are obvious. Priests are widely expected to be heterosexual and traditional, academics are supposed to be thoughtful and prudent, mechanics are supposed to be manly and gruff, sex workers are supposed to be progressive and risqué, personal trainers are supposed to be fit and healthy. Read more

James Adonis – Brisbane Times – 10 August 2018