Innovative or Deviant?

I recently read a thought-provoking article discussing various overused terms that people used to describe themselves. “Innovative” was at the top of the list and“creative.”“Out-of-the-box-thinker” was not, but that phrase is soooo late 1990s. I still know people who use that phrase, which just shows their age, or the overall lack of “out-of-the-box” thinking that they currently employ.

The late 1990s were a banner time for the rise of meaningless corporate drivel. Words like “synergy,” when repeated enough times simply became background noise. Repeated even more times, “synergy” then became a parody of itself. If anyone mentioned “synergy” in a meeting or an article, rest assured that person was a lazy thinker looking for words to make them sound like a “thought leader.”

“Synergy” went to parody around the time when Fast Company magazine resembled a telephone book on a monthly basis. Yes, there once was a time when phone numbers were published in a large book that was then freely distributed to every household with a telephone -  a landline telephone, that is. The phone book was supported by local businesses that paid money to advertise their services into the yellow section of the book, which was then grouped by category. Ahhh, the days before auto fill.

“Innovative,”“creative,” “out-of-the-box thinker,”and, yes “thought leader” are all different ways to say“deviant.”In short, when anyone uses these words to describe themselves, I will simply remember that they are “deviants.” Then all of us “deviants” can “synergize” our “innovative” “thought-leadership” into a “best-of-breed” and “scalable” “solution.”

I suppose if you were to put “deviant” on a resume that would lead to no calls for interviews. Calling one’s self a “deviant” during a job interview would probably not lead to a second job interview but possibly a restraining order and a good story.

I dare you to put “deviant” on your resume or LinkedIn profile. Hi, my name is Chris and I am a “deviant.” Maybe this will catch on.

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