FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOUR JOB by Adekeye Ifedayo
Weeks ago, I was at the cinemas with Enwanta and after a good movie session, I bid her farewell and crossed to the other side for a tricycle ride back to Falolu,halfway into the trip, I observed that the driver who by the way is to my surprise neatly dressed was in high spirits as he was whistling, singing and occasionally trying to start conversations with his customers. I asked myself " why is he so happy and jumpy, he is a driver that makes an average 4000 Naira daily in a very hot weather"
As if the person seating next to me heard my thoughts, he asked, "Oga, you don win lottery abi kilonsele?" Defensively, the woman in front replied "Musa is always like this o, that is why I love taking his napep.". Musa who I am sure is already enjoying himself said " Oga, me just dey flex as per say na me be the best driver for this joint, you no see as I dey scale hold-up since ni?"
He spoke with so much pride that it struck me that I have been to ivy towers companies/firms where all jobs seems like the dream and I have not seen anyone so excited about his/her job, so I decided to write this article that minute.
A Lot of the Nigeria working class work either to earn a living, to play the responsible card or because the community requires them to. I remember a colleague once said to me, "I work because all elders are required to have a job, you have to be responsible and all that shit" I was sad because obviously he is not working for himself, but for the societal needs and requirements.
The bitter truth is that you can't always get what you want, but how do you turn that which you get/have into Gold? You don't have your dream job? And so what, I once met a branch bank manager of one of the Ivy Tower banks in Nigeria and when I told him I don't want a bank Job he said to me " Ife, I studied Agricultural science in the university and I was job searching for three years when he could not get into his field, I took up a job as a cashier and fast forward 15 years, I am a top official and a bank Manager."
He further explained to me how he hated every minute of his job which later grew up on him after a few years and since then he got better at what he does. He also stressed how he would not exchange his job for any other in the world.
WHY DO PEOPLE HATE THEIR JOB
People hate what they do for countless reasons, a bullish and unsatisfying boss, a ridiculous pay, frustrating hours, boredom, not their DREAMJOB, annoying colleagues, manipulating internal politics play and many more.
Note this, you cannot function well when all you do is complain and moan about what you do, Musa became a self-proclaimed best tri-cyclist because he never complains, he is always geared up and fired up for his work.
An over-demanding boss can be the worst thing that can happen to any working person (I am a witness) but look on the bright side, it is making you better at what you do, once you stop seeing your boss as the devil, then you'd start getting along with him/her.
HOW TO MAKE A HOME AT WORK
I know some of you are wondering, when is he going to tell us how to make our workplace a home, well, we are here now.
- STOP COMPLAINING AND FALL IN LOVE WITH WHAT YOU DO
Way back in 2011 while I was working with a radio house, a colleague will always moan on duty, going on and on about how he wants to be a musician and not a radio presenter/On Air Personality, how he took the job just to pay rent and all that. Guess what! He is still there in the radio station and still moaning about how he wants to be a musician.
See, I understand how big, powerful and desirable your dreams are, but just because you are not doing what you always have dreams of doing does not make you a failure, see your present job as a footstep to your dreams, look at the positives and stop complaining.
- WORK TO MAKE YOURSELF.
The mistake most of us make is that we work to make a living, no, that is a wrong approach to work; you should work to make yourself. To make you better, to make you closer to your dreams, to give you experience e.t.c, attend seminars, read books about your field, ask questions, watch your colleagues e.t.c. develop yourself and that will make you better at what you do. When you are good at what you do, trust me, you will fall in-love with your job.
- UNDERSTAND YOUR COLLEAGUES
This is a germane trick to happiness in the work-place; you can't be an island so you need to learn how to tolerate others. Most organisations in Nigeria have two or three staffs sharing the same office, that means you cannot always do what you like, you have to be considerate and learn to accommodate others to have a peaceful time at work.
- BE CAREFUL OF OFFICE POLITICS
Office politics is a common thing in Nigeria organisations, a group of persons form an elite clique and with the backings of some top officials pulls stunts and game change in the organisation. While there is another group which is the non-elite group who plays the subject for the elite group. An important factor to note is that you don't want any of these groups to not be on your side, so you gotta be careful and play in the middle, you don't want your colleagues hating you. You have to strike a balance between those two groups, so you can enjoy your work more and heighten productivity.
All be careful of office gossip mongers, don't even bother listening because sometimes listening gets you in trouble, once I get into a new organization, I locate the gossipers and just create a strictly professional relationship with them as soon as they start a petty talk, I excuse myself. Speak well of all your colleagues. When you have a great relationship with all of your colleagues, you will have a great time at work and you will keep loving what you do.
- DO NOT LEAVE ANY WORK UNDONE
You hate your job so you procrastinate and pile up your tasks, you get to work each day welcomed by a left-over task, so when you gotta do it, you have to rush it, at the end you do a medicore work which gets you a stern warning from your boss or a no recommendation for promotion. Make sure while leaving your work place every day, you are done with the day’s job. The next day should start afresh.
When I was an intern with Advocaat and Associates, I leave my work station at 10pm if I have to because I believe no task should be carried over to the next day.
Don’t you ever leave any task undone for the next day.
- RE-CREATE YOUR HOME IN THE OFFICE.
I once told a friend to bring the picture of her husband/son to her desk in the office, get your favourite painting into your office room. Make your work station a comfortable place for you. When I was with Unilorin FM, I will change the OAP chair because I don't feel comfortable in the one there. You can do that too, just try and make your work place comfortable for you and this will help you fall in love with what you do.
- DRESS WELL.
A popular saying says "The way you are dressed is how you are addressed"
Nothing heaps confidence than when well-dressed and presentable. Even when your work-place got a uniform, make sure your uniform is to your size, ironed, neat and to your size. This helps in how you are addressed and respected by your customers and even your colleagues, it also boost your confidence which will make you more comfortable with what you do hence productivity enhanced and you will love your job. In my story, Musa was dressed in a clean Jean and a T-Shirt, I'd bet that is one of the confidence booster for him.
- MAKE YOUR WORK A PART OF YOU
I am a legal practitioner and in whatever I do, I see law, I try to relate law to everything around me, I try to pull the legal perspective on every issue in front of me.
While at the radio house, I practice my on-air accent with my roommates, I joke around with my On Air signature, I read newspapers, I listen to other presenters and all that. You have to make your work part of you, attend seminars, read books and learn more about what you do. It is important and germane you do.
My Father will always say “If life throws a stone at you, pick it up and make a fireplace." Life is not all bed of roses, so whatever you get from life, make the best of it and turn it to your own advantage.
When you love what you do, productivity is enhance and then you get better and better at it then you start owning your field and Jackpot, you are indispensable.
For questions, please send me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org