I’ve been doing shortlists for some open positions in my organization. Apart from the tediousness of it, it has been interesting to look through CVs and see what all those job and employment websites always talk about; presentation, relevant experience and so on. It has also made me even more grateful that I not only have a job, but that I have a job I actually enjoy. There were many CVs from people my age and older, people with lots of qualifications and experience, people with skills and abilities.
Anyway, it’s gotten me thinking. Not just about the fact that I have a job, but about why I love my job. So, in no particular order, here are the 10 things I love the most about my job.
- Just now, in the middle of reviewing my overflowing out folder, I took a break, went out and played 15 minutes of very poor table tennis with my equally poor but very determined colleague. I spent more time chasing the ball than hitting it, but it was so much fun. I get lots of opportunities for these mini breaks and always come back to work refreshed and eager to get back to it.
- Earlier on today, a little girl was crying, she looked at me, came over and put up her hands for a cuddle. I picked her up and she immediately stopped crying and snuggled into my shoulder. I helped her to feel safe, and she helped me to feel 250 feet tall.
- I get the most awesome meals mehn! The chef has made it a mission to make me fat and so I get to eat the most flavourful healthy food ever. They know me so well that they know to give me lots of small portions through my day. 9 times out of 10, you’ll walk into my office to see me nibbling like a rabbit on something or the other.
- My boss has extremely high standards and is not afraid to call out misbehaviour or lack of performance. But she is also very honest and generous in her expressions of her feelings and opinions. We’ve spent many hours discussing politics, the world economic system, men and my future. (Her advice – be as independent as you can, work hard and make sure you fall in love with someone who has enough in common with you so that you guys will always have something interesting to talk about). She is an awesome woman who is even more impressive because of the humility with which she discusses her achievements.
- I work with the craziest people in Abuja. Yesterday I looked out the window and the accountant was on the lawn dancing makossa. He’s 6 feet plus and as lanky as they come. Half of the staff team was on the floor in stitches, the other half joined in.
- There’s always music – classical, naija, ethnic, nursery rhymes…there’s always music.
- I get to walk home every evening. It’s not just exercise, it’s a time to relax, unwind, review my day, disconnect from work, and connect with the people and things waiting at home for me.
- I get to run things, like a proper lady bawse. I am responsible for making short, medium and long-term decisions that will affect the future of my organization. It’s very humbling when I think over the steady stream of people coming into my office for my advice, approval or signature on a document. They trust that I have what it takes to make the right decisions. I owe it to them not to betray that trust.
- We’re a very female centred organization. I can’t say for sure, but probably about 70% of our organization is female. And not just delicate lady flowers o! Strong, assertive women who will not hesitate to lay down the law if need be. They are loud, quiet, fat, and thin and come from across Nigeria. When one of the men pissed one of the girls off, we refused to let him leave till he had apologized profusely and repeatedly. We’re the Powerpuff girls in jeans and funky Ankara.
- It’s not perfect. People get frustrated, angry and even want to quit. We make mistakes, don’t have all the answers and would undoubtedly frustrate anyone unable to live without straight lines or order. What it is however, is a place that allows you to be imperfect, and somehow makes you fit in; quirks and all. I don’t need to pretend to be anything I’m not, which leaves me free to grow into the kind of employee and person I want to be.
There are so many more things, and maybe I’ll share them another time, but now I’ve got to get back to my paperwork and the very tantalizing looking lunch that has just come in. What do you love about your job or career? Be sure to leave a comment and share with me. I’d love to hear your experiences and perspectives.