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Let me start by making this broad statement;
I believe that many people are sick and tired of their jobs!
Yeah! I said it!
I can also go further to make another broad statement.
It doesn’t matter whether you are working for someone or you are your own boss: there comes a time when everyone feels their job sucks! And not just the I-hate-my-job-but-I-will-manage kind of suck but the I-hate-my-job-and-desperately-want-to-quit type.
I have been at both places.
When I went to serve in Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria, I was the doe-eyed optimist who believed that I had the Midas touch. I believed I could always find something to do. And true to that, I got something to do barely three months into my stay in Yola. I started ‘working’ at a broadcast media firm. By October that year, a little over 8 months after I started ‘doing stuff’ for the company and the month I finished my service, I was co-opted into their system; I received my first pay as a freelance presenter.
For me, it was doing what I loved. I was on radio and I was increasing my sphere of influence. The fact that they were paying me was a plus. Even though the pay was not great,
or even good, I was excited doing what I loved.
I woke up every day with a burning desire to do well, to be better than I was the previous day, to achieve better than I had done in the past and to dish out new information in newer and more innovative styles. I made sure that my shows were well researched and different from what was the norm at the station. I wanted people to hear a playlist and just know that Ramat was on duty. I wanted my own signature and I worked really hard to ensure I got it. I soaked up all the information I could get from my friends and colleagues and from rival stations in my quest to standout. As long as there was information to be learned about radio program production, you can be sure that I was learning it.
As I improved my skill, I took up more and more work until I was spending almost all day at the office. I wanted a scenario where my work would stand out so well that the company would have no choice but to fully employ me; instead of just paying me for my shows.
A year went by and I wasn’t given an appointment letter. The disillusionment started to set in. Was I not good enough? Did I not meet the requirements? Did I just have an over-inflated view of my capabilities? These questions plagued me and made me unhappy and unfulfilled. The love for my work gradually began to wane and my passion started to die. This made me take up even more work. I felt like I needed to do more and give more to be good enough for the company. My bosses would praise me for the ‘good work’ I was doing, random people would see me on the streets and appreciate me and some would even pay for my stuff in the market. In spite of all these, the full employment still didn’t come.
Here I was living in a backwater town that was so far from all I knew and held dear and to whom I was giving my all and yet, I couldn’t even get employment. Soon enough, resentment began to build up. It came to a place where my self-worth was tied to whether I got a letter or not. You can imagine how bad my life became.
I kept sending out job applications but had become so busy at the office that when I got called for interviews, I couldn’t go. This was because my responsibilities were as though I was a full staff of the organization; though my pay grade was notthat of a staff. I was worried that I would lose the little I had in the process of finding something better. I was also worried about the economic situation of the country and when I thought about how many of my friends didn’t have jobs, I just stayed put.
And felt trapped.
The more I felt trapped, the less happy I was with my job. I kept wondering if I should quit my job and pursue something else or continue to hold on, hoping for a day when my bosses felt I was good enough to be employed.
After three years of the same routine and no letter of appointment, I knew I had to borrow myself some sense. For whatever reason, the company didn’t think keeping me was a priority and I knew I couldn’t keep on working like a donkey and getting very little pay. So I knew I had to leave. I couldn’t continue to give a lot of my time, money and energy to a company that didn’t value me. In June of 2016, I packed up my stuff and left Yola for good.
I realized I was not the only one with such stories. One of my besties was also going through issues like this. While it was my choice to be overworked, she was forced to work overtime every day and wasn’t paid as much as her work demanded. Recently, she found out that her boss paid members of his staff who were his tribe more than he did her. Truth is, she worked way more than others and was the most trustworthy staff. Finding out she earned way less than her colleagues really broke her spirit. She was at that crossroad where she wondered whether to continue to stay or to leave the company.
Another lawyer friend got to that crossroad and walked away from the firm that was overworking him. It wasn’t that the pay wasn’t good but that he wasn’t just growing there. He knew that he could do more, be more, and achieve more if he just wasn’t working with that firm.
I could give you more and more stories but I am sure you get my drift.
If I am being honest with myself, I will admit that I do not blame the company I worked with or the ones my friends work at. These companies just want to make money or achieve goals and we all consciously accepted to be their
slaves workers. So when our satisfaction started tasting like sawdust in our mouths, we really shouldn’t have expected the employers to give a rat’s arse about us.
There is probably no one in the world who has absolutejob satisfaction. It is especially so when you are working for anyone but yourself. Giving your time, energy, creativity and sometimes money to a company that sees you as a just a means to an end can take its toll on you. Sometimes, you think of the sacrifices you make in order to keep that job and you begin to wonder if it is all worth it. And in this current economy, the thought of leaving something sure for something unknown is really hard.
In spite of all that, it is foolish to stay at a job you loathe or at a company that has no value for you. I know you are thinking of your salary and how many bills it takes care of monthly but take a minute to think about something else.
If you fall ill today and have to be away for maybe 6 months, would your company value you enough to keep the job open for you? Are you more than a number to your boss? Are you able to run your own businesses with the hours you work? Can your job make you wealthy or at least, rich? Does your job affect your relationships? But chief of all, are you happy?
These are some of the questions I considered when I was at my wit’s end. Most of the answers were in the negative. I knew I was ready to take that bold step.
While I was working, I started my platforms (the blog, vlog and podcast) and I improved them with time. When my self-confidence was shot down, my platforms gave me the needed solace to get up. I knew then that when I left that office, I could concentrate on my own dreams.
I was afraid because I didn’t really have anything concrete to move on to but I knew if I stayed back at that company, I would become happy with mediocrity; well…maybe not happy but definitely complacent. And I had to break that nonsense where my self-worth was tied to an appointment letter, because it sure as hell isn’t! I want to work for big corporations in tandem with building my empire. I know I am good at what I do. If a great job comes along, hurray! If it doesn’t, I will spend the time building my empire! Simple and short!
So where is all this going? Quite simple. Do yourself a favor. Know yourself. What works best for you? What brings the happiness to your eyes? What legacy do you want to leave when you are old and grey and preparing to sleep permanently?
If your current job isn’t doing that for you, make that vital decision today.
What is it going to be?