What am I?

I have my own company, yet I’m looked upon as a freelancer. Or contractor. And no matter that I might give myself a fancy title (or just fall back on the word consultant), no one is hiring me to be a Founder, even if that’s what is on my business card.

I do multiple roles – these past three weeks I’ve been bootstrapping a startup, leading a team from research results through to final solution. I’ll be taking that forward to product if all goes well. I’ve also been writing about financial regulations for a client; and then there’s the ongoing pitch work I do for another client. And let’s not even begin talking about how I’m a creative director, a strategy director, analyst and, when things are really desperate, let loose in Photoshop.

To a recruiter, I need to be one thing only. To a client, to begin with, I need to be one thing only. Yet I’m not. I can’t be. Damn it, I won’t be just one thing.

Businesses suffer with this ‘many things to many people’ conundrum all the time, too. So they talk about solutions, not products. They fall into using jargon and waffle. They are vague. They obfuscate. They say the world prefers it that way.

At the same time businesses and recruiters – quite rightly – say the world is changing.

Maybe, just maybe, those labels we hold on to just don’t cut it anymore. People no longer need to consider the mile-deep skills, so why are others so willing to ignore offer a broader set of descriptions?

Where once the world was afraid of changelings, not so now.
Except it doesn’t feel like that.

The world is changing.
It’s just that some people need to decide which box to put it in, I guess.