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High-agency mindset. Do you have it? — Nr. 125
I realized that working in a big company is no longer appealing. It started with a feeling. Then I started reflecting and asking, "Why did I feel that way?"
I interviewed with a few companies for a job a few months ago. After these interviews, I realized that working in a big company is no longer appealing. It started with a feeling. Then I started reflecting and asking, "Why did I feel that way?"
I think it boils down to this concept of high agency vs. low agency people. When working in a big company, I realize many people have low agency. What I mean is that they are passive. They don't push for high-quality work. They want to get it done quickly. If they are told something is impossible, they'll accept it.
A high-agency person is the opposite. She will question things and continue to find a workaround to achieve the goal. She will not outsource the decision-making to others. Working with a high-agency person is fun because we can continue to push the boundaries. But some people hated it.
If you want to be successful in a big company, you need a combination of skill, obedience, and building alliances. Some of my friends thrive in their careers because they are good at building alliances and obeying the rules. I must say that not all companies are like this. Generally speaking, I don’t like this environment. I want to spend my time building something I’m proud of. I have difficulty obeying or staying quiet when I see something wrong. So, I usually am very vocal and often disagree on things. And as you know, people hate disagreement, so I'm horrible at building alliances. It’s probably my biggest weakness.
You’re lucky if you adopt this high-agency mindset and have a manager who’s aligned with you. You can change the game and make a huge impact. But when the managers expect you to obey. You’re doomed.
I'm not saying there's something wrong with low-agency people. They are not necessarily a flawed individual. With this perspective, maybe you can reflect on whether you're adopting this high-agency mindset. If you want to build something on your own, this trait will serve you well in the long term.
The high-agency mindset will improve the other aspects of your life, too. You will feel empowered instead of complaining and blaming the situation.