"I Was Fired For Doodling"
Excerpt from The Best Kept Secret Podcast (Part 8/8)
Jay: Joran, I'm gonna go in a slightly different direction. I would like to understand what happened in your life that would most explain why you do what you do today.
Joran: Back in ‘94 or ‘95 I needed a job and I needed to start making money. I had worked all kinds of jobs there in Florida. The Florida Spine Institute was a premier medical organization in the area at the time. I thought, “If I can get a job there, I'll be set.” So, I got a job as a transcriptionist. Don't ask me how, but I got it.
My first day on the job, I was listening to the doctor’s notes on the headphones and I picked up my yellow legal pad and blue ball point they had given me. And I was just doodling. Probably a dragon or a skull or something, you know, just kind of doodling in the margins of my paper.
I felt this hand pat me on my shoulder, like, “Come with me.” I was dragged into the office and fired on the spot. Day one, fired for doodling. And it rocked me. I was like, “Oh, okay. Am I gonna have to put down my creative self? Am I gonna have to change who I am at my core to grow up and have a job in the adult world?”
It really affected me for a while until I landed in publishing with a team of creatives and realized, no, there's a tribe of people out here doing creative work and making money at it. But, that, I think, is why I do what I do – so that people don't have to be so rigid and feel like they can’t doodle in the margins of their life. Sometimes doodling in the margins provides the perfect respite or reframe. Sometimes it makes your work better or more effective.
If there's something I have to say, it's that life doesn't have to be either/or.
Business doesn't have to be a yellow legal pad and a blue ballpoint pen. It can be skulls and dragons and mythic quests and whatever else you want to make of it.
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ABOUT THE Author
Joran Slane Oppelt is an international speaker, author and consultant with certifications in coaching, storytelling, design thinking and virtual facilitation.