Sade and Ngozi had similar educational backgrounds. Upon graduation from University, Sade got a referral from an uncle and served with ABC Corporation, one of the top 4 leading consulting firms in the country. Ngozi on the other hand was not so lucky. She tried very hard to get a good well-paying job in a company that had huge potential, but all efforts failed. She eventually got the opportunity to work as a personal assistant to the administrator of a school, and took it gladly.
Ngozi and Sade grew apart as their jobs demanded more from them, but the few times they got the opportunity to spend time together, Ngozi hated it. She had no fun stories to share like Sade did. She never went on official trips, didn’t get to meet prestigious people and all she did was manage her boss’s life. How boring. Her Organisation owed salaries, refused to outsource most of the work and would not even consider rewarding for the extra job responsibilities she did not bargain for initially.
She deeply envied Sade.
What Ngozi failed to realise was that while conditions were not perfect, she was actually at an advantage than a disadvantage. Within her organisation, she was saddled with numerous responsibilities, from recruitment, to admin management, facility management, book keeping and customer relations. She had no technology and no junior colleagues to pass tasks to, she had to literally do everything from scratch.
Few years down the line, Ngozi had moved from small business to small business but excelled in all as her experience was vast. She was an employee any boss could depend on. She did not wait for a high flying organisation to qualify her, she qualified herself. And at the right time, she got her dream job as a HR Manager with a top telecommunication company. She was indispensable. Where else could they get a HR Manager who could be seen as a partner to the business, able to suppor departments effectively because of her background working in those same departments. She finally got to use technology, but with or without it she was capable. She KNEW the work.
There are many people like younger Ngozi today, completely disgruntled about their current situation. I implore you today to change your perspective. No two career paths are the same, and it is completely dangerous to compare yourself. While your friend could have an easier walk in the park, and you seemingly aren’t, you will both get to different destinations but in line with your purpose.
It is very easy to want to walk the simple easy path, but our vision of the future is so limited we have no idea where we will end up, so we must ensure to embrace our current place and make use of its current opportunities.
Stop looking down on small businesses and SME’s, the big ones you admire today were once small companies too. Your dreams are valid when they are in line with your purpose. Having a dream based on your desire to live the life your friend is living is NOT a dream. Stay focused on your focus and patiently see things evolve.