The Final Countdown — Lessons Learned in My Final Days Before Embarking on A New Journey

It’s been a minute. I have a few reasons that I haven’t written a blog for the last few weeks. I have had a few things in the pipeline, so had to deal with those and then got sick so I had zero energy outside of work to write a blog post. But today I am writing again. One of the things I had in the pipeline was getting a new job. So today is in fact my last day of my current job.

I have learnt a few interesting things over the last couple of weeks having decided to change jobs. Firstly, I would like to discuss the first blog I wrote here was about starting a new job and it was in March of this year. In the past I used to judge people who changed jobs often and now I seem to be one of those people. I, however, feel quite strongly that we are beyond showing loyalty to a concept called a company if we do not feel that company is fulfilling what we need in life.

Let me explain, so I have been doing SEO for small business websites at a British company. Now I am not going to say anything bad about the company here. What I am going to say is this there is only so much one can do for small business websites in terms of SEO and because we worked with large numbers of clients, rather than going in-depth we had to manage our time to get to every client while improving their ranking on search engines. It was a very specific type of challenge. It was more of an account management role. I got to a point where I realised in terms of learning SEO itself, there is still more I want to know, but I was not going to learn that working on small websites. So I did not leave because of any personal drama or extreme unhappiness, I am taking a new role at a company that I feel I will learn more at and suits my values more.

I am moving into an internal SEO specialist position working on one website. This is going to be a challenge that I don’t fully know what to expect at an established company. I also realised that I have only worked at companies that have not been fully established as leading brands. I am now moving into one of Africa’s most recognisable brands within their field. Which is something else that I want to learn, how an established business works and how an employee fits into that environment.

Am I getting paid more, with more benefits? Absolutely, but that is not why I am moving jobs. We spend most of our waking hours at work, you realise that good pay and benefits won’t keep you sane if that is the only reason you’re doing something. I know my end goals and the constant pursuit of learning is part of what will get me there.

Something that I have been quite saddened by is how frequently people make the comment, “Hopefully the money is better” or “Are you getting paid more there.” That is always a factor, but for me it is not the main reason I do things.

I will give you an insight into the way I think. So for my new position, I decided to try negotiate a higher salary. It took me awhile to decide whether I would attempt to negotiate or not. Ultimately, I felt it was the right thing to do because I asked myself what would teach me more about life. Simply taking or refusing the offer, or rather trying to negotiate and seeing how that turned out. I chose the latter and I am glad I did. I was unsuccessful but I am glad I did it nonetheless because I learnt certain things about the behind the scenes that made me want to take the job even more. Then, also in future I will feel more comfortable to negotiate for a different position or when I talk to other people I can empathise with negotiating a salary.

Another major factor in my decision is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). If you have met me you will know that my hope is to in my life time have an impact that improves the world for others. Because to me if we are not improving others lives, life is pointless. Now, I understand that in my previous job I was helping small businesses and therefore ‘helping’ small business owners, which is something I like doing. However, I am much more passionate about helping people in African that don’t have the money to start a small business. I believe that one of the best ways to improve those lives is through CSR rather than NGO’s. And so, when a company with a solid African CSR program approached me to work for them, I found the potential appealing. Now, not every company has to have a CSR, I get that. However, personally I would much rather work for a company that does.

I wanted to delve into why I feel CSR is better for a country than an NGO, but I realised that is a whole blog post on it’s own.

While leaving a company, I have come to realise people management and office politics are real. I won’t get into it, but they are real.

So here are some of the take-aways that I got from the last few weeks:

  • People love money. While money can do tremendous good, it also has the potential to do tremendous evil. I sadly thought that we knew that money would not grant us happiness by now, but unfortunately I have seen that this is not the case. I even had a Christian whose only comment to me when I said I was changing jobs was about how much I was getting paid. Come on now? So I don’t often talk about my faith here, I just don’t feel it’s the platform for it. But this person who also knew that I am a Christian, I feel should know better than that. It is antithetical to what we believe for that to be their only comment. Salary is important for what it affords us to do but i feel we should rather pursue learning and passion to maintain our happiness.
  • There is a cost to pursuing learning. People will judge you, as a known people pleaser, this one gets me. I want people to be happy with my decisions but in truth if you want to pursue learning and your passion this is something you simply have to let go of. I am definitely trying.
  • Linkedin is our friend! I have said this many times on this blog, but I literally got my new job through a Linkedin contact. This week another company asked to interview me through Linkedin, I did not send them a CV it was just my Linkedin profile. Young working kids, get on it my friend.
  • Change is weird. It is really bitter sweet to leave where I worked, I love the people I work with. There are things I will not miss about it and there are things I will miss extremely. I have feelings but I can’t quite place them. I think it is all apart of it.

So today I say goodbye to where I worked for the last 9 months, to go somewhere that I hope I can commit to for some time to come. I am sad to be saying goodbye to friends but excited for a new journey.

The creator of Over Saturated. An entrepreneur, storyteller and thinker.