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Office/ Corporate Relationships/ Behavior 101.
I will start by saying if you are not emotionally intelligent, please go and learn. Youtube is your friend. Your career desperately needs…
I will start by saying if you are not emotionally intelligent, please go and learn. Youtube is your friend. Your career desperately needs it to survive…especially if you are a lady. I cannot stress this enough.
Half of the drama that happens in the office is one way or the other connected to emotions and feelings. Abeg abeg, we just want to do our jobs, collect salary and go home (where necessary, collect promotion too). We are not interested in being your “office husbands/ boyfriends/ wives” and so on. Dont come looking for emotional support in the office. It will end in premium tears.
2. Please ALWAYS remember this, frame it if you have to: Your CEO, HOD, Supervisor, colleagues et al are NOT your friends. I know someone will come and say “Ahan, sebi Lagbaja and Tamedo met at XYZ coy and are now married?”. Think about it for a minute, how many of such couples do you know? How many of such relationships do you know that ever worked out? How many companies even support such relationships? What if the relationship doesn't work out? The whole office will now know your messy secrets. And you think they will recommend you to represent the coy at important things? Abeg abeg. Let’s be serious.
3. Learn to shut up, I cannot stress this enough. You are preparing for/ writing professional exams/ certifications/ Licenses? Masters? Got awards/ inductions out of/ not in anyway connected to work? Getting married/ pregnant? Learn to shut up. There are only few companies/ managers that really support and are open to employee personal growth. 70% just pay lip service to it and even if your organisation is in support, your line manager may not be/ your senior/ junior colleagues may not be. Dont make them unnecessarily jealous/ envious of you by constantly flaunting these things in their faces.
It only takes a few extra degrees/ certifications/ achievements for the head of your unit to see you as a threat to his/her job and then they start piling up all the extra work in this life on your desk (sebi it is because you have time, that is why you can be doing professional course upandan?) Others will start being unnecessarily mean and bitchy to you, others will simply start planning your exit. Senior management now likes you again? Ah, gbese! Some will deliberately fix work when you have even applied for leave for classes/ exams/ side hustle! Not everyone can/will be Joseph to become prime minister at the end. Dont share your dreams with everyone. They will die prematurely.
4. You see that thing that motivational speakers say “always find a way to add value where you work?” It is only true half the time. The reality is that no matter how much value you add, your staying on the Job is deeply connected to how well you deliver on the KPIs stated in your employment letter. I daresay, dont add any “extra” value anywhere until you have delivered on your KPIs. This is especially for those who get excited on new projects and share 2 million ideas at the strategy meeting. The usual endgame is that you will be assigned to the project on-top of your already existing JD but when KPIs are assessed, you will only be measured based on the JDs you signed not value added.
One small thing I always do is to quickly do a mental review of my JDs and see how this new project impacts my JDs as well as the career goals I have for myself. If all is in order, I can take on the role so the project in itself (even though it is a value-add) is connected to my JD and KPIs eventually. Else, I walkaway.
5. UBA (United Bank for Africa) just fired about 2,000 people and motivational people are shouting add value upandan yen, yen, yen. Abeg, abeg. You want to tell me inside those 2k people, nobody added value? nobody was liked/ loved? nobody had friends? This leads to the next point: Your. Job. Is. Not. To. Be. Liked. Humans (especially ladies) have an innate desire to be liked among their peers. The earlier you can get rid of this trait in your life/ career, the better for you. This doesn't mean you should not be nice, no. Being nice is common courtesy but see this thing about wanting people to like you? Let it die inside the red sea abeg and never come back.
You think people like you? looool! Wait till you outshine them or handle project independently and management approves, then you see their true colors. Or they want to fire people and see where their true allegiances lie. Wanting to be liked is a pointless and useless ambition. Smile, laugh, engage but KEEP. YOUR. DISTANCE.
6. Focus: Humans LOVE gist. From how the CEO is sleeping with his PA to how the gatemen and the cleaner stole diesel. There is ALWAYS gist. In my MBA class, this gist aka the grapevine is classified as a communication channel within an org. It can also be used positively as a feedback loop for management (you dont know management gets this info too?, lol!) and negatively as weapon i.e someone can maliciously plant gist against someone else as a way to ruin that person. These gisters (if you keep entertaining them, especially when you know they nearly always lie) will soon turn you to the topic of their gist one day. Even if they bring gist and you know, pretend you dont. “Ehen, I didnt know oh” but dont encourage them. Focus on your work/ purpose and dont join then. I know a lot of people will struggle with this but try. 🙏🏾
7. ALWAYS document your wins. A lot of people dont remember to update their CVs/ Linkedin profile UNTIL they get fired or need to get a job. Nah. As soon as the project is over, update. And dont just say (for example), I hosted the org’s end of year party. Nah. I was (insert role) for a/an (insert event/ meeting) of (insert number of attendees) which included (insert pedigree (NOT NAMES) of VIPs who attended. Example; Captains of Industry/ CEO of the Largest bank in Nigeria….Get it? If the event has a link especially one where you got commended by someone, especially someone senior, keep it there too.
Rinse and repeat.