“Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.”
It’s no secret that many people in Nigeria are in jobs not because that is what they want to do but because it is the path their parents chose for them. A joke goes that In Nigeria, you are either a lawyer, a doctor, an engineer or the disgrace of the family. So much pressure from family has probably led to the death of dreams for an aspiring writer, entrepreneur, social media analyst, web developer or theatre artist.
Many Nigerians join the civil service not because they genuinely want to serve their fellow citizens but because of the job security and the guarantee of a pension after 35 years of service. Perhaps that is why, public services are run so inefficiently in Nigeria. The people don’t want to be there. They are just forced to.
If you really want to give your best to what you are doing, you have to at the very least be able to find some value in it. It’s hard to get excited at your upcoming tasks when just getting out of bed in the morning has become a nightmare for you. Too many people are coming in to work on Monday with a frown instead of a smile. You don’t want to be like them.
An important component of being productive is liking what you do. If you don’t find joy in what you are doing, if you find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning, if it doesn’t feel like you are adding value, it’s a recipe for depression. Unhappiness at work affects you outside work too. If you are always sad or angry at work, you are likely to take that anger our on someone. That person could be a stranger in the streets, a friend or even a family member.
Regardless, what line of work you are involved in, getting into the wrong career is a path of misery. If you became a doctor because your father, possibly a doctor himself, decided one of his children must follow in his footsteps, you might go through the stressful years of studying medicine only to become a cynical health practitioner because it is not something you chose to do. When you have to force yourself to wake up every morning because you don’t like your job, that misery slowly adds up day by day and it will eventually spill over on to other aspects of your life. Productivity wise, you aren’t likely to give your best to a career that was chosen by someone else for you or don’t like.
If you are doing a career you like, you see purpose in what you are doing and experience joy when you succeed. There will be tough days at work but you will be in a better frame of mind to deal with them. If this does not sound like you, it may be time to rethink your career choices. Next week’s article will be about steps you can take to help you identify possible careers for you. It’s ideal if you are not sure what you would like to do or are just looking to change jobs. Be sure to follow this blog if you haven’t already so you don’t miss next week’s article. You will find the button at the top of the page to the right.