Your Job or Your Life? – Which would you choose. . I’m sure you would answer ‘life’ right?
Though that may be your answer, your actions are what really show us what your choice is.
In that case, your actions may actually be pointing to the fact that you have glorified your job over your life.
Why are you doing what you are currently doing?
What are you trying to achieve with your current employment?
Silly question to ask? Shouldn’t I know that bills need to be paid, and mouths need to be fed at home?
Well, yea I know!
But that doesn’t take away the importance of being deliberate about your life and work.
See how to choose your life over your job here
The 30 day syndrome
The 30-Day syndrome is a deadly plague affecting millions of employees and professionals who are unable to see beyond the next 30 days because they have become so accustomed to receiving a pay check.
I can liken it to the feeling a narcotic gets when he takes a shot of his drug. The only problem is that this temporary ‘high’ fleets away and you are mostly left longing for the next time you can get one.
You agree that even though this is a graphic example, it actually typifies the state that most people are with their jobs.
Why do people get employed and keep jobs?
To earn a living. The responsibility is real. You have to fend for yourself, get by, probably pay bills and sustenance if you have a family or dependants.
To have a sense of security. The idea of a steady pay check every 30 days is somewhat comforting and assuring. If you have seen Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you see that once you achieve the first level of needs which is physiological (food, air, shelter, etc) the next thing you start looking to get is safety and security.This is a huge reason why people are dead-scared of losing their jobs because with it comes a sense of security.
To belong. You want the social pass mark of doing what is expected of you, and also be able to identify with a group of people to validate your progress.
The danger in the 30-day syndrome is not being able to see beyond the next 30 days. Having no long term plan or vision and just being a mess in terms of personal finance and personal leadership.
If you have placed the responsibility for your sustenance, self-esteem and career fulfillment on your employer, how much he pays you and how he decides to promote you up the ladder, then you are affected by this syndrome.
Have you ever thought of working ‘with’ your company, rather than working ‘in’ your company?
There is a difference. For now, let’s talk about the process in three phases and how you can transition between them.
Three phases of transition
Your job – Sustenance.
This is where majority of people are stuck, trying to secure their basic survival needs and and just getting by. . don’t get stuck here. . see beyond your next paycheck and be more intentional about your decisions. .What this does to you is that it makes you a reactive person where things have to happen to you before you are able to make your own decisions and not a proactive person. You need to start being deliberate about your work, your finances and your vision.
Thinking in terms of a career forces you to think long term.You need to start viewing your work as something you’re building. Employees don’t think this way.A lot Employees put all the responsibility for their well being and progress on their employers. And this is why a lot of employers use the threat of ‘losing your job’ to keep employees in check. There’s a better way but that’s the easy way out.When you think in terms of a career, a whole new world of possibilities opens up to you.Have you developed yourself to an extent where you are more valuable to the company than the company is to you?Have you considered the dynamics of that? How it would affect your compensation structure, your quality of life, your self-esteem and fulfillment?You may have only thought about working for a company as the way to make a living and build a career, but have you ever thought of partnering with the company or working ‘with’ the company?Just a slight change in the thought direction but it leads to a whole new different and exciting place.
Your Life Work
What exactly is your mission?
What are you out to achieve?
Where do you want to be relevant?
What is your purpose/ calling?
What do you stand for/ believe in?
Again the employee mentality doesn’t allow you to think this way.
My career is in architecture, I decided to go to architecture school to understand how to solve problems.
I had the serendipity of having my father as an architect as well, so very early on I was able to observe how he designed buildings. But more importantly, over the years, I was able to see how he used ‘design thinking’ to really conduct his other businesses, and lots of other things.
That’s when I made up my mind to study Architecture. I see it as the best foundation one can have into a ‘design thinking’ career. And I want to apply that to other things apart from designing buildings alone.
I view the problems in my immediate environment and my country Nigeria as an effect of poor or non-existent design thinking.
And because of this inclination, I see myself as having a calling to national and economic development, being a growth hacker by helping businesses reverse engineer their desired results, helping governments and communities design and implement social interventions, and so on.
Now my background is in Architecture, and when I had a full time job, I was working as an Architect. Think ‘sustenance’.
Thinking in terms of Career, led me to the decision to take the LEED certification exam for green architecture. I haven’t done it yet but it’s on the radar as it’s quite cost intensive.
But thinking about my life work is what got me to birth a vision I termed ‘Future By Design‘. Where we apply design thinking to solve problems and engineer advancement.
I co-founded Design Party, a hybrid architecture and design-thinking practice that seeks to explore architecture beyond building: how architecture and design-thinking can help create social good, political capital, social impact, business growth and expansion and so on.
Thinking about my life work also led me to start documenting my thoughts on National Development what I call “Green Papers”. I mostly do this on social media with the hashtag #GreenPapers where I’m very interested in the passive factors really affect social behaviour as it relates to National Development.
I like to explore how emotional factors like stress levels, anger, selfishness, greed affect Lagos traffic.
Also think about how illegitimate and unreasonable dumping of refuse in drain channels and gutters contributes to the problem of flooding when little rain falls in Lagos.
I’m thinking of doing a short film that really shows how all these seemingly inconsequential actions and behaviours really lead to a chain of events that end up being catastrophic in the near future.
Well, that’s green papers. It’s about how you and I can immediately, without a Messiah as a leader, start to change our environment for good.
I also founded the Side Business Network, as a platform to help Small and Medium scale entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses.
See how things get really wide when you think about your life work?
Where do you want to be relevant?
Where do you want to make your mark?
What platform do you need to create to actualize your mission?
For example, think of why I started the Side Business Network. I believe that the most sustainable way to solve problems is to create business vehicles to address them.
Waiting for government funding to sustain a project is an insecure method that can be cut short by a ton of varying factors. A new administration can shut it down, economic or political factors could impede its progress.
But setting it up as a business or at least having a business take it on as a project could really ensure it’s sustenance. I’m thinking conceptually here.
Side Business Network
This is a private community of entrepreneurs learning, sharing and collaborating to grow their business platforms around their busy lifestyles.
From personal experience, I figured that a lot of professionals and employees have profitable companies lying as seeds in their hearts, and some others have billion dollar corporations in their heads but just don’t know how to start.
The community features daily inspiration and tips from me and other members, brainstorming sessions, live webinars, SBN Tv (which is primarily interview sessions with successful entrepreneurs and leaders).
I want to put you in the best position to succeed with your passion projects and your business. With over 4000 people in community in total, SBN is growing daily to become the go-to platform for smart entrepreneurs who want to learn and collaborate.
I’m interested in helping you start and grow your passion project so that you can be the happiest and most fulfilled person you can be.