You Need Boy Boy Job


I AM ONE of those who have a bad feeling about jobs. 

Apart from the feeling of losing the freedom for my time, I feel it’s foolhardy exhausting my strength on a job that doesn’t pay me what I’m worth.

I had a foretaste of what it feels like to be on a job, especially one that you have no interest in, and which pays you a meagre sum, during the compulsory 6 month industrial experience as an undergraduate.

After walking the streets of Enugu state for a month plus without getting a suitable place for attachment, I finally was received by a paint manufacturing industry.

My experience in that company is indescribable. I felt used. In fact I was used. I prayed for the six months to roll by as quickly as possible. I kept counting days. I dreaded waking up to see the dawn. I anticipated break hours. I wished for holidays. The situation almost cycloned my mind into a state of depression.

This partly contributed to why I didn’t feel like securing any company work after my service year. 

Statistics reveal that most people are not happy with their jobs. And that many workers in an organization wish they could break off and start their own stuff. 

The problem at times is, it’s not always easy to start. Starting means entering into the realm of unpredictability, not knowing where the next income would come from or making due with erratic paychecks  for a very long period of time, may be 5 years or more.

This week I started an internship with a company which would last for a period of time. I needed to gain some experience in the field.

Having being on the job for just 3 days, I can’t help but keep reading the faces of the employees. It is obvious a greater percentage do not have any forward projection. They are just in this job for as long as it lasts. If it goes down, they go down with it. Many seem to have future plans but had grown comfortable overtime with the paycheck and other income benefits.

While I’m not here to say you shouldn’t pick a job or you should resign from your current job, I wish to let you know that staying on a job indefinitely is a wrong move.

The employee-mentality is one of the worst enemy of human evolution. And let me quickly say that employee-mebtality is not necessarily about whether you are on a job or not. You can be on a job yet may not have an employee-mentality and vice versa.

The employee-mentality is a spirit.

When you are on a job without any exit plan, you are a serious candidate of this spirit.  When you are on a job and start getting comfortable with the paycheck, this spirit is at work. When you are laid off from a job of five years plus and you are busy seeking for nothing more than a new job, you are a slave to this spirit.

The average human was not born to be an employee. Unfortunately this is what we are taught in school. 

I remember the days gone by when if you hear that a classmate of yours dropped out of school to go do boy boy job, you privately start feeling pity for him while thinking of yourself who is still in school as the lucky chap.

This seems to be a correct judgment until after a while when you are faced with the reality of life.

As local as boy boy job may sound, it represents the best structure of a life work pattern. The idea of boy boy which in a more refined launguage refers to “apprenticeship” is, to me, the only true purpose of job-seeking.

Apprenticeship is designed to keep the apprentice under a master in a particular area of practical knowledge for a specified space of time within which the apprentice is expected to learn and integrate core skills that would qualify him / her to kick-start his / her own journey of independence.

You don’t find a job to stay in it. You find a job to learn some vital skills for self dependence. This is why you must define the job you are taking in terms of purpose and duration. 

What are you? An employee or an apprentice?

Are you on the job to earn and stay on? Or are you on the job to learn and move on? 

Whichever is your answer is what defines whether you are an employee or an apprentice. That’s what decides whether you have an employee-mentality or not. That’s what determines how you interpret a job loss. That’s what tells how far you can go in your career / life work.

You sure need a boy boy job!!!

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Time to Chase Your Passion

SOMETIME LAST YEAR, I had to stay in this unending long queue at one banking hall just to make a cash deposit. Reason being that there was just one cashier at the counter attending to the whole customers. 
The two others that were supposed to be doing the job had just being laid off and their positions were left vacant. 

The career landscape has shifted tremendously in the 21st century.

It’s not as though we do not know but it’s just that we somehow find it hard to digest the situation or accept it as one of the realities of our time.

Irrespective of this tethered approach, the impact of the reality of this shift in the career landscape continues to ravage virtually all major sectors that seem to be generating streams of income or revenue for the economy.

This is evident in the ongoing economic downturn, the massive number of unemployed graduates, the downsizing trend common in all business sectors leading to a forceful laying off of employed staff, and so on.

Unfortunately most of us, as stated early on, are still struggling to accept this as a fact.

We are still waiting until we become victims before we appreciate this reality and begin to make the necessary course corrections that would reposition us to adapt effectively. 

It is obvious that much awareness in the area of career decision and transition strategies is needed in our time. 

The time when people go to school hoping that by studying one “professional” course or the other, will land themselves automatic self or paid employment, has come and gone.

As harsh as this may sound, it is obviously the truth. I know it’s hard for most people to accept. It’s same here. But there is nothing anyone of us can do against the evidence.

I am always of the opinion that instead of resisting change, one should save and redirect that energy towards adapting to change.

One thing I personally believe this spontaneous shift in the career landscape is doing is calling forth the hidden and dormant potentials within us. It surely is a clarion call to shun mediocrity and start chasing our passions. 

The key perhaps, is taking that road less traveled – that path of least resistance – which we have always had the constant nudge to follow.

Yes, I am talking about chasing your passion. I am talking about exercising the courage to start creating a solid business structure around your deepest passions.

It’s high time we left the dead paths of trying to live a normal life. (That life isn’t even possible anymore) It’s time we ventured into the real business of living. I mean, living our true calling in life and making the most out of the opportunities that this difficult days present.

To be admitted is the fact that going through the rigors of following and building a formidable venture around your passion is not a day’s job nor a child’s play.

But then, reading the message on the photo will perhaps help you appreciate that its worth the pain.

I am not necessarily trying to propagate the idea of leaving paid employment. Not at all. I am only stating the facts the way they are as a way of creating awareness of an existing reality.

You obviously will need a shift in your way of thinking to adapt to this new reality.

Before You Jump at that Business Idea…

During the course of your career or life’s work, you will need more than a handful of business ideas in order to get meaningful results that will move you to the next level.
Such business ideas are the energy currency of your career. They decide both its profitability and sustainability.

While it is true that ideas form the breeding ground for success in your career, not every single idea has such potential. 

A business idea may appeal readily to your senses but it may not be a good idea for you to bring into your career.

My task this morning is not to teach you the strategies for generating business ideas. That will probably be a subject for another day. My job this morning is to show you how to determine if a particular idea is useful for your career.

How do you know which business idea would make a difference in your career?

There are 4 parameters to use.

Before ever you jump at any business idea, to integrate it in the practice of your career, you need to measure it against 4 different parameters. If the idea is not consistent with these 4 parameters, then it is advisable not to waste your time and resources trying to execute it.

Pay keen attention here because this is the reason many are not getting long term results in their career / business. 

Parameter # 1: Your Passion

That’s the first thing to measure the idea against. Is it consistent with what you love doing? Engaging your mind with a business idea that doesn’t find a suitable seating with your passion is an exercise in futility. 

Parameter # 2: Your Brand

Your brand is what you represent in the mind of your customers or how you want your clients to view you. Every business idea you choose to incorporate in your career should be a natural extension of your brand – your personality and legacy.

It’s important before you think of executing an idea that you ask the question; Is this idea consistent with how I want to be perceived by my audience.

Parameter # 3: Your Skill Set

If there is no way the idea cross paths with the set of skills or the expertise you have, it is a clear indication that you would struggle so much to execute the idea. This is not to say that you must have all the skills necessary for the idea but at least, on a scale of 1 to 10, a value of 5 and above is a good score.

Parameter # 4: Your Customer’s Needs

This one is a most critical factor. There’s basically no point for executing any idea when it does not reflect the needs / wants of your very audience. The people you are serving are the ones that will decide if this or that idea will bring you results.

The worst mistake you will make in your career is to create a product or service that runs in parallel lines with your customer’s needs / wants. Hence, every business idea MUST be tested against this very parameter.

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Now let’s try and distil it down so you can see how the 4 parameters come together. Truth is, a good business idea for your career should overlap with the four. 

Let’s quickly consider some scenarios:

Passion + Brand: If the idea is one you are passionate about and is congruent with your brand but your customers do not have need of it, the tendency is that the idea will not sell.

Passion + Needs: If you are passionate about the idea and it’s consistent with your customer’s needs but not with your brand and skill set, the implication is that your audience are not likely to patronize you because they do not perceive you as an authority or as one who has the expertise for what you are doing.

Needs + Brand: When the idea agrees with your customer’s needs and brand but disagrees with your passion and skill set, definitely you will not do a very good job of executing the idea and you will not enjoy long term success running with the idea.

So what?

The next time you want to jump at any idea, slow down first and take some time to measure it against the aforementioned parameters. It will save you a whole lot of stress and loss.