Debra Swersky
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Decide. Learn. Become.*

I met up with a friend of mine this past week and found myself talking about my “heartstrings” again and how focused I feel on Phase 2. I related to her in the sense of “her heart not being a part of what she was doing.” My friend is sharp, ambitious, driven, successful… but is having trouble finding a job. She’s a recent Babson grad (MBA), so something is not adding up to me. Over the course of our conversation I came to find out that “her head was not in the job search game.” Which got me thinking... 

Your heart is made up of four chambers: the left atrium and ventricle, and the right atrium and ventricle. Your brain is made up of two sides: the left brain and the right brain. Your heart has a responsibility to pump blood to the rest of your body with each chamber playing a crucial role in that task. Your brain has a plethora of responsibilities including thinking about something and doing it which more often than not involves using both sides of your brain. In short, for your heart and your brain to do their best work, they have to be functioning using all four chambers and/or both sides. There’s science to justify emotion! (Crazy when that works out…)

So, where was her heart if it wasn’t in the job search? Or where was her head if it wasn’t in the game? Both were being split… she was feeling and thinking about other ideas, things that she wanted to pursue, projects that she wanted to be a part of. Coming from Babson she is an entrepreneur… that’s for sure - we all are. But she feels compelled to find a job right now (which is totally ok, by the way). But just because she wants to find a job, doesn’t mean that she has to find a job based off of the descriptions written by the companies looking to hire. To get her head in the game and her heart searching for jobs that she’s excited about, she needs to become an “intrapreneur” - but, the way that I define it. 

An intrapreneur is a person who is typically employed at a company who promotes innovative product development and marketing (Thanks, Google!). I open the definition up to include the unemployed, who seize opportunities to add value to companies in ways that would benefit their business. Wikipedia’s take on intrapreneurship is only slightly better because it refers to risk-taking, innovation, and profitability… but still by employees only… The unemployed, who are entrepreneurs at heart, but need the stability of a salary, should be included. 

Here’s my take: My friend can just as easily pitch projects, positions, and ideas to companies that she actually wants to work for to get her heart and head back into the job search game as she can write an awesome cover letter. Right?!

Intrapreneurship, the way that I think about it, is a stepping stone for entrepreneurship. Personally, I’ve been an intrapreneur my entire life, it actually makes working a lot more fun!

* Decide. Learn. Become. is from Chapter 4: Making The Commitment, in The Intelligent Entrepreneur and the inspiration for this post. Speaking of “intrapreneurship,” “becoming,” and “inspiration” ... Thursday, April 2nd at 7:30PM is my A Cappella debut and one night stand. E-mail me for the location and further details.

Debra Swersky