Approval and reassurance

Sometimes a project relies on a carrot at the end to be deemed complete. A box is ticked for external certification, verification, audit approval. If you are the one doing the auditing and handing out the approval, then there is good money to be made. Consulting companies are often built on the steady lines of work from legislated approvals needed by clients. The accounting firm’s bread and butter is its audit work. The distinguished University hands out coveted degrees for its income. These tick-boxers are usually the least creative jobs out there, relics from the industrial revolution. This sort of work is increasingly uncalled for. The growing alternative is to make your own reputation and to do creative work.

My daughter got a certificate for her reading programme on the iPad. Of course, the other siblings all wanted one and so we have printed out three identical certificates to make everyone happy. A communal sense of achievement, perhaps. Luckily the others can’t read the actual certificates with same name on them, so they all feel special.

I tried to pass the CFA level 1 exam twice. It was beyond me for a whole host of reasons. It was the first exam I can remember failing. A test of my sense of self-worth and a revealing moment for me as it showed me just how reliant I had become on others telling me I had done “enough work” or I was “qualified”. I already had an undergraduate and Masters degree in Arts/Humanities, I had a good enough career and plenty of work to do – but I also wanted everyone to believe I could do Maths and statistics.

Who are we relying on for approval and for reassurance? Both are increasingly futile.

The (workday) writing streak continues.