Rōnin , 浪人 , a drifter , or masterless samurai , during feudal Japan, 1185 – 1868 . A samurai could find his way to this status through the death of his master or by falling out of graces . A man who found his way while having no belonging or ties to one specific place .
A terrible position , especially in caste society , such as the feudal periods in Europe , or in this case , Japan .
In our modern , digitally connected age , 浪人 could be filled with infinite possibility .
Instead of wandering , lost in the world without direction , the spirit of the term could be applied in positive , freeing terms .
Rōnin could translate into modern applications , as one who is not bound to one employer , occupation ; per diem , gig work ; finding the way in the world without the constraining limits of company culture , out – sourced time management ; a time clock , mid – level management or departmental budgetary constraints ; or having his time dictated to him ; bound to one single skill set or the thought process & work flow standards of another , higher up on the chain of command . All of which translates to being expendable .
A reflective look at my own experiences over the past six years has placed me in this class .
When The company I worked for sold the concept & transferred ownership , at the time it was a loss . In the grand scheme of things , it has been more of a blessing than a sentence of endless , masterless wandering of the wastelands . Being free from sixteen hour days , dedicated to operating someone else’s business ( don’t read that wrong , I learned a lot about myself & my abilities during my tenure with the company & I am grateful , forever indebted to the family firm that took a scrappy guy like me in & gave him the keys to the world ) .
Since my separation from the company , it has been hard to find organisations that operate as nimbly as my previous arrangements . I struggle with finding teams that are even one – tenth as agile in their business models , as my previous experiences .
The loss of the position on the other hand freed me up , allowing me to pickup my academic career .
I am currently in the middle of a career change , not a lateral move , but vertical .
In my downtime , I am free to explore topics of interest that I am interested in . I will take the skills & object lessons learned from that position into broader & brighter horizons .
Reflecting back to 2017 , being masterless , wandering , has not been a fruitless endeavour .
Building on the training taught by my previous firm , has granted fluidity of time , I am not bound to a time clock in the typical sense . I am my own master now , free to grow & acquire the skills I need to place myself in a more favourable position . I follow my interests , exploring the cutting edge across many disciplines .
In this 21st century , this digital boy has new territory to explore . Not aimlessly , but free to move from point to point , increasing my own abilities , freeing creativity & using that to subsidise my lifestyle .
You should leave this article knowing that chasing your own pursuits can be tough at times , but hard circumstances make us resilient , having no masters frees up time for better pursuits . Perhaps our paths will cross as we survey the digital landscape , looking for opportunity , wherever it may be .