Come on, it’s not your village people


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I admit that I had felt my village people were after my destiny! Come on, don’t laugh. I am sure you have fasted and prayed too against your village people at some point, or even right now.

We like to feel witch-hunted in this part of the world. It is never the norm for us to take action on our part when we see a problem. For this reason, the situations you face may never change.

At the beginning of my career, I had the opportunity of being a volunteer in a reputable international organization.

I would describe myself as hardworking in getting my tasks done and leading certain projects that were beyond my capacity.

My stay in the organization was short-term, but I was hopeful that with my hard work and persistence, I would become full-time staff.

This did not happen, and I sailed off wearing a spiritual reason why I never had the opportunity despite all my hard work.

Through my career journey, I began to take myself off the equation to reflect on these basic questions: What actions did I take? What was my mindset? Was I at fault? What could I have done differently?

If you look through this lens to reflect on yourself, you may see that you are your own “village people”.

I had some learning after my reflections:

Work relations. At the early stage of my career, work was work. I only had the mindset that if I am the best at what I did, then I would grow in my career. Of course, I was wrong. It does not matter the capacity you have; your work relations matter a whole lot in an organization.

Although this may have different connotations from one organization to another, in general, always be determined to have a good working relationship with colleagues who are ahead of you, and at par with you. Just to put a caveat here, ensure you do not build work relations that are at the expense of your dignity, self-value, and self-worth; know when to maintain your boundaries.

Communicate your value. For each organization, value is perceived differently. If you walk into an organization as an intern or volunteer, you will have the opportunity to find out how the organization perceives value. This also applies when you are working as a professional. As much as you can, deliver value based on how the organization determines what is most important to them.

Observe. This simple skill is your best friend. Try to always observe how emails are sent, how people are addressed, how words are used in meetings, and how people engage. Learn this quickly and adapt where possible.

Bonus point.: Take nothing personal! I have had multiple opportunities in my field after this time and made the best of friends in the organizations I had worked in previously. I know there might be a time to fight against your village people, but always ensure you are not in the way of your career growth.

 Ogunlana is a communications specialist with about 10 years of experience. When she is not working, she is writing or simply loving the air with a book in her hand. Follow her on Twitter @rachelogunlana, and reach out via mail:

Rachel Ogunlana
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