I’m a classical corporate áshéwó! Don’t blame me, if you don’t hop around, you don’t get to be on top, and nothing beats being on top. Every guy knows that!
When you jump around, like some of us understandably do, you will notice quite a lot – mostly bad things. I’ve observed how people complain about their careers – the lack of traction to get to the top.
So justifiably, I want to rant about this. By the time you finish reading this, you could either give me a good kick at my scrawny backside or canonize me as Saint Adédèjì.
It’s human to complain about everything – Nigeria, corruption, traffic, taxes, Buhari, etc. In fact the only thing certain, apart from change (or lack of one), is that there will always be someone who complains about something (or the other).
However, when complaining about your career is what you do for pastime, then maybe you should just enlist in the Kvetch Amateur Olympics. If you don’t know the meaning of that, Google still works.
Top dogs don’t complain, they act because they are hot dogs!
One thing I know for sure is that guys with flying careers hardly complain, they act. You feel that something should be done? Just get it done and not raise a storm about how it’s Admin Department that should have done it.
Top dogs hold themselves and others accountable and can be nasty about it. They notice the little details and they demand that others meet their standards. And when the organizations or their bosses can’t meet up, they simply leave; no need hanging around being bitter about how things aren’t going their way.
You are responsible for your career!
I don’t know anyone who is totally satisfied with his career progression – it’s always slow. However, you have 100% control on what to do with it.
While your company decides if you should be promoted or not, you are the one to make a decision if you still want to work there. If you strongly believe that you deserve that push or the pay upgrade and you ain’t getting it, then they don’t deserve you. Make them pay for their misbehavior; leave!
But somewhere at the back of our minds, we know that we may not be good as we think we are. So instead of complaining, why don’t you ask yourself how you can be better? For example the economy is tough now, why don’t you lead the cost optimization effort of your company? Why don’t you follow the sales and marketing guys to that uncle of yours to land a deal?
If you don’t have an uncle, adopt one.
Everyone loves a new shinning toy. Right now I’m hustling for a new Samsung S7 and already thinking of selling one of my friends into slavery just to get it.
Honestly, apart from throwing in more efforts at work, you also need to upgrade your on-the-job skills. If you are engineer, the world has probably moved on to new ways of engineering, get those skills. If you are a doctor in a general hospital, don’t be content with doing wákà wákà around the wards impressing female nurses or doing dangerous abortions, upgrade your expertise and become a consultant. Save the world!
Efforts alone don’t count, rare skills are important. It’s simple law of economics – demand and supply. When your services can be easily replaced by younger, cheaper and more nimble others, it will happen – unless there is something else going down between you and your boss. It’s a logical conclusion, isn’t it?
Develop your network
You will feel better when you find out that your job is not more miserable than your neighbor’s. Nothing beats schadenfreude. How will you know if you don’t have a social life?
To move your career up a notch, you need to connect with like minds and be very active in your social network. It will allow you to compare notes with others in similar unfortunate job roles. You will most likely be remembered if a good position becomes vacant. If you are engaged enough, someone may even mistake you for an expert and lands you a decent job that blows your mind.
So be active on LinkedIn, go for industry events, and polish your CVs shinier than a soldier’s boot. Many guys have landed jobs just by forwarding great CVs at a moment’s notice.
Be appreciative of that job
Nigeria is hard; having a job that ensures food on the table, month-in-month-out, is a blessing. What you don’t know is you could have a better career growth if you are appreciative and the appreciation shows in your attitude to work. Employers don’t like a mean spirited employee who can’t be satisfied and who growls around the corridors like a wounded local dog.
Do you feel your job is horrible and underpays? Lose it first and see how hard it’s to get a replacement. You know the sad part? The dude who replaces you will probably earn less and do a better job.
Remember, life is never perfect
Think about it: our spouses will never be the most beautiful, our kids won’t always be the first in their classes; our parents won’t be the poshest, richest, bla bla bla. So just add your job to one of life’s injustices, live with it!
I’m not asking that you accept mediocrity, nope, far from it. I mean accept the realities of life and make the best out of what you have instead of pining for the unattainable. Stevie Wonder is blind but he didn’t look for artificial eyes or blame providence for poor workmanship, instead we count his music as one of the best oldies.
I’m not disputing that some jobs are made from hell – many bosses are so horrible they make the devil cringe in shame. But then complaining does more damage that just annoying friends – it can also damage your health, and probably your reputation as well.
So, if that job is that bad, just do something about it, maybe just leave. But if you know you aren’t able to get another one, just be a good boy, dig back, make yourself better and trust me a good opportunity is around the corner.