Are you on the right Waffle Street?

Waffle Street is based on the true story of James Adams who used to work with a hedge company but was unfortunately let go after he was tasked to get investors to invest in junk. He managed to achieve this target when all odds were against him. He later realised he was just a tool used by his employer. I was drawn to the movie and have not regretted it due to the personal and career lessons I picked from it.

PS: I have not been paid to promote the book and the movie but you should make time to watch it and you would thank me later.

These are lessons I picked from the movie and I hope you find them useful too:

Sometimes, you have to go contrary to society’s expectations to better appreciate yourself 

Let me throw a question at you…..would you take a job as a server after losing a big time office job? To be clear you wake up all suited up and business like for work and the next day you end up in casuals with an apron. How many of us would do this? The few daring ones might even pretend to be working in an office by dressing up and changing along the way, which is still deceptive.

Why is that? We have gradually come to accept society’s expectations of us, specifying which jobs are regarded as “respect garners” among others. We find people blessed with craftmanship skills studying courses at the University that would end them up in white collar jobs for which they derive no joy.

Are you working for self-satisfaction or to please others?

As an employer, you have to go down and interact with everyone whether their jobs matter or not, you would find yourself learning something new. As parents, our kids expose us to new perspectives we never bothered to consider or never had it crossing our mind. These examples might not always have the Cinderella ending but nothing is lost right?

James humbled himself and took on the job and trust me, he took home some valuable life lessons.

Believe in yourself! Don’t let others dictate your career or life choices, instead, carve your own route. You would be sure to reach great heights!

OMT


Are you searching for job satisfaction or money?

There was a scene, where James had funds ready to buy the eatery and was in a discussion with the griller to poach him as a manager.

Am sure, like myself, you would have jumped at this opportunity. Who wouldn’t want to be addressed as Manager. In our society our love for titles even exceeds respect for hardwork.

The griller asked him some thought provoking questions which eventually led to him redirecting his path. He was about entering into the restaurant business, he thought he had a passion for (might obviously be lying to himself or his mind deceiving him).

Do you love the restaurant? Would you do what you do for free if there was no money?

The question is, the job you currently find yourself doing, do you gain any inner joy or satisafaction from it or you are stuck in an 8am to 5pm routine job like a robot? It’s different if you sacrifice your satisfaction temporarily for the attainment of a higher goal. In that case, check out What if I told you your job doesn’t have to be fulfilling? by Rich Honesty on how best to manage when you find yourself in a job your heart disagrees with. For instance I blog whenever I need a break sometimes from work or stresses of life. It takes me to my own little world even if its temporary but it surely calms me because I enjoy it.

Do not believe you are a failure just because you have not found yourself yet! Believe me I am still in the process of getting to know myself. It takes time, others discover it earlier. Just remember the journey of self discovery is never a race.

OMT


Never underestimate or look down on anyone in your work or personal circles

Whoever thought a hedge fund manager would find himself getting lessons from exconvicts he worked with at the restaurant? How many times have we found ourselves consciously or unconscioulsy looking down on others at work or in our personal lives because of the work they do or judging them for their past mistakes.

If James had decided to be stuck up considering his educational background and work experience, he would have missed out on learning new things and gaining fresh perpectives.

Almost everyone has something to bring on board. Just give them a chance.

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Give your partner a chance although his plans might sound crazy

James’ wife was against his decision to buy the restaurant but managed to stay behind her husband, believed in him with sound caution. He went to the extent of selling their house and am sure the risk averse peeps like myself would say, “no way”, what will we do if it doesn’t turn out as planned?”.

At work and in life, let’s avoid the phds (pull him down syndrome). It doesnt get anyone anywhere. Even if you are against an idea why not present yourself as the voice of caution. The person might probably discover areas he might have probably overlooked to make his idea stronger or worst case, realise it was not achievevable but at least he or she tried which is better than killing it before it even got any chance at possibly thriving.

Never limit yourself!

This is my personal discovery on my “finding myself mission”. Try out new stuff, be adventurous, see any barrier as a challenge (gather vim and tell the kill dreams and spoilsports to bring it on!). I recently discovered I love to write and research and am seriously pursuing it. Try your hands at new things, thankfully we have free learning websites so why not?

Set a dream, believe in it and implement it a day at a time. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. So dont give up just yet!

OMT

I have come across people complaining about work, life etc. My first response: you might not be able to change your work environment or certain things but certainly, you have control of your life’s choices: value your potential and find another place or activity which syncs with your goals and values. Instead of wasting the limited resources of time to complain, why not find solutions? That’s my new motto.

Today I would like to inform you that I am on course to find my waffle street, what about you?

 

Does a career break lead to a career end?: Perspective of a stay-at-home mum

Six years after graduating from the university, if someone had told me that down the line I would voluntarily quit a good job to be a stay at home mum, I wouldn’t have believed it. Never in my wildest dreams!

After graduating from business school, as all graduates wish, is to get a good paying job, car, house and I would basically say, to live the life! :). I am also the typical independent lady. Common trait of a gey hey girl. I prefer to do things on my own and not rely on others. God being so good I was fortunate to get a good job straight out of university.

Five years down the line, I lost my triplets at 27 weeks. That was the fire in my life that eventually became the turning point in my life. Prior to this my focus was family but mainly by words but after this terrible experience (I have heard stories of people with worst experiences than mine which I would share later in a separate post) my priority was my family and I ensured that I put that to action this time. Family is the next important thing to have in life after God. Through all this I learnt to be a risk taker, took things cool in life and embarked on new adventures.

I would say God indeed has a reason for everything.

When I resigned to stay at home due to some pregnancy complications, I received comments such as ‘You are brave’, ‘You are so strong’, ‘Are you not scared you might not get a job when you are ready to work again?’. I just smiled and told them, ‘one can only make such decisions if only one has passed through fire before’. Yes fire, by fire am referring to any experience that results in you rethinking through your life and resetting your priorities in life. It’s not just about making resolutions but actually sticking to them and putting them to action.

In life taking a break sometimes helps you rediscover yourself. This career break/family time came with its advantages as against the spoilsports who thought a gap in my employment would not look good on my CV and future employment potential.

For those who need motivation, these are a few points I wish to share that would probably give you hope should you wish to take this bold and risky step.

1. I am gradually becoming a risk taker
Even quitting my job to stay at home to care for our baby girl for a year was risky enough. In other words people were scared I won’t land a job when I was ready to go back to work. But I disagree. You have to brand yourself well on LinkedIn and consciously work on building new professional networks. I get contacted on LinkedIn which is evidence that taking a career break is not the end of your career. I use my interview opportunities to develop myself till I find a suitable job in line with my objectives.

2. I feel I have options in my job searches
I don’t settle for just anything. I know what I want in a job. My family is and continues to be my utmost priority. So I would say am a beggar with a choice. It feels good. I am no longer a desperate job hunter. I feel I have nothing much to lose and it builds my confidence when I meet potential employers.

In my free time I do freelance work for essaywriters.net and essayology. The pay might not be high but the good side is I get paid to write and I end up studying at the same time. Note that, I am still developing myself whilst at home. I am actually learning new things.

3. Free e-learning opportunities
As a follow-up to the earlier points, I began to explore and discovered ways of still developing myself during this period. There are loads of free e-learning opportunities online. When my baby is asleep or being of good behaviour, I go online to study and develop myself. I have done courses such as Introduction to risk management, Social media and entrepreneurship etc. Don’t want to become archaic during my career break. For those interested check out the following sites: Alison,  HP life e-learning for entrepreneurs and Coursera.

4. Learning new skills and discovering new hobbies
As a an addition to point 3, I have discovered a new hobby which is crocheting baby slippers and shoes. Currently working towards creating my own designs and patterns. Good thing is I learnt all this for free online. That is now my newly discovered hobby.

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Image of crocheted shoes made by myself

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Image of slippers I crocheted for a friend

I have acquired social media marketing skills through experience and practice. Social media and business

6. Entrepreneur and business skills
I assist my sister with her business and advice her accordingly. I founded an online wedding business helping out brides to get affordable and quality gowns. So I would say I became a mumpreneur. I keep my own financials and I daily have to strategise to meet customers needs. I gained all this during my break. Am not an expert yet but it’s a good start.

7. Time management and multi-tasking skills

Most stay at home mums and even working mums will testify to the fact that childcare is full-time between diaper changes, feeding, bathing etc. You might not even have the luxury of the time to eat. I am always rushing when eating or taking a shower, I have no help at home during the day, so in all this chaos I find myself planning and making maximum use of my time. I have to squeeze in crocheting, blogging (OMT’S digest), freelance writing, online e learning, social media marketing within the shortest free time I get. Not to mention the periodic interruptions by my daughter. True test of patience. 🙂

8. Financially prudent

Not being on a monthly income has made me more prudent financially. I now value little things that I used not to. Managing your finances

I would say its been worth it and I disagree with the pessimists who believe that being unemployed for a period of time takes you off the job market. It’s all about planning, rebranding and developing yourself and acquiring new skills.

In life, if you don’t believe in yourself how do you expect someone else to?

Disclaimer: I am not by this post pushing for everyone to be a stay-at-home mum, it requires budgeting, agreeing with your spouse and planning. If your finances allow you then I would say go for it!!!