Sometimes, It's Good to be a Follower
Have you ever had a job you didn’t like? Did you have to succumb the experience of going daily to work and not liking it? Did you feel useless and sometimes even stupid? If you have, I might able to offer some reconciliation as I have also experienced the same thing.
When you graduate from business school, you usually pursue a career related to management, marketing or finance. But ever since my first day at college, the only thing I knew was that I would never want to work in any of these fields. However, when I graduated, I joined a company as an analyst. At the time I was not very happy to be there. I nonetheless accepted that it was a phase. I took the job seriously and tried to improve and learn. I formed good relations with my colleagues and superiors. The first months were easy and slow, but soon after my manager wanted to push me more in grasping details of the business and of my daily tasks. Things started to get tougher for me, and I did not take the challenge positively which led to my lack of enthusiasm. I, naturally, stopped moving. I got angry and depressed. I did not care about work, and undermined my responsibilities.
My boss realized shortly after that something was wrong and confronted me. I spat everything out, and literally told him that this was not for me. He accepted it, and advised me not to leave unless I know what I wanted. As time passed, I evaluated things, and gave myself some time to know what I wanted to do with my life: journalism. I had been writing for an online journal in London, and enjoyed writing and research very much. I wanted to make this hobby my full time job and started to look for vacancies in this industry. I now write for El Konafa, and I feel that I value my job and myself more, because I am growing and learning.
This being said, I must underline that everything I learned at my old job was necessary and positive in building my character and awareness on business, accounting and strategy. I was lucky to have a supportive manager and team and the most important thing to remember is a quote by Martin Luther King: “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” So don’t sit back and feel sorry for yourself. Try to grasp the problem (which probably is that you do not like your current job), and to find a solution (which is what you want to do).
Some of the positives of doing something you like are that you are happy in the workplace and when you go back home, you are more productive and pro-active as well as being valued as an employee. The negatives of doing something one does not like are weak mental strength and its negative consequences on your mood and health like stress, and depression.
People might have different motivations for having a job. But all individuals work because their jobs or companies provide them with something they need from work. That something that you get back impacts your morale, your motivation and also the quality of your life.
Masglow’s hierarchy of needs identifies physiological needs as the most important to survive. Physiological needs are water, food, warmth and rest. Next, comes safety needs which are security and safety. In order to satisfy these basic needs we need to make money and receive a salary that cover these costs.
So it is obvious that money attracts most of us as we need to satisfy these basic needs. But what comes next after money? Well a study performed in the 1980s proposed that employees want to be valued by the company. They want to be trusted, given responsibilities and morally supported to grow and contribute to the company. And this kind of self-satisfaction will come by working for a place you like and doing the job you love.
I talked to Shadia, a 50 year old Egyptian lady, who debuted her career as a marketer. Yet Shadia always had a passion for painting and was really skilled at it but she knew it wouldn’t be enough to get food on the table. She thus continued her career in marketing and painted on her free time to improve. With time, when Shadia had enough experience and started become renowned for her work as a painter, she left marketing for good to make painting her only focus.
“Having two jobs is not a killer. I have known many who would shift in three different places everyday to be able to survive. Life is tough. We have to be even tougher,” she said. She did agree though, that doing what one likes is the most important thing.
In the words of Maya Angelou, “pursue the thing you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you”.
Sometimes, It's Good to be a Follower