Shouldering The Weight
For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a Corporate woman, even before I could decide what career path I wanted to take, I knew without a doubt the Corporate world was it for me. And watching my mom dress up in her suit every morning coupled with a nice pair of heels, get into her car and zoom off to work only fueled my dreams. You know what they say ‘to be dreamless is to be futureless’, and I had big dreams so my future was secure, or so I thought.
The plan was simple; go to school, get good grades, get a degree and get a job, the classic four Gs. The only problem is, nothing good comes easy, a fact I learned the hard way. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined getting a degree and staying at home for months on end. I knew it was a possibility, I had watched several relatives go through the same thing; joblessness is a disease that is apparently hereditary in my family; that’s the only explanation. I have done a lot of reading on depression and I was positive I could never be depressed but that was before I became acquainted with idleness. Depression slipped in so sleekly that I didn’t know what hit me.
I jumped at the first internship opportunity I got eager to spread my wings, the thought of financial independence was like food to a starving man and I was ravenous. I had a plan; they say failing to plan is planning to fail and I was prepared to wow my boss and turn the internship into an employment. I wasn’t prepared for the errands; the coffee runs, food runs amongst others. And I definitely wasn’t prepared to feel more useless than I did when I was jobless, it seemed like I was better suited to be an errand girl than a corporate woman. But, it was going to take a lot more than a few errands to kill my dreams, so I woke up every morning, put a smile on my face and faked it till the day ran out; they say ‘fake it till you make it’ and that is exactly what I did.
I tell you , you can never prepare enough for what is ahead in the course of chasing your dream but remember to breathe. I will say I'm not an expert in this counseling thing but however, i'll drop my one cent regardless. It took a lot of hard nights, a lot of self doubt , a lot of questioning, some mornings I came to work being ready to get a sack letter because the previous week had been crazy and of course if you are not bringing the business money, why are you there in the first place?
I'm a young girl who just left Uni, and like many my age the temptation of wanting success too fast is high but in this corporate space, i've learned to do it one day at a time, I've learned that the coffee errands are a part of my growth process, that it is okay to need help and ask for it. There's no shame in saying teach me how to do it.
So I got on my magazine editor job, so confused yet wanting more than I could explain. For a young girl in a corporate space for her first time, be ready to cry a lot but know those hard times will mold you into the person you envision to be. Those hard times will add and give a tone to your success story.
A magazine editor intern with zero passion for writing; things weren’t looking good for me but I had the degree to back it up and I was determined to make it work. It didn’t help that I had zero experience in the field; feeling useless in a work environment brings a different kind of depression but I was told it will pass and three months later, it did; I got my breakthrough little as it may have been, I found my niche,one that wasn’t even mine to begin with but I took it and owned it . However, it didn’t happen overnight; It took a lot of hard work, unapproved articles, and a lot of learning on my part but eventually I got there.
A wise man once said ‘choose a good boss over a good salary’; if I were given the opportunity to choose in the beginning, I’d have picked the latter because let’s face facts, we all have bills to pay and a good boss won’t foot your bills. Fortunately for me, the choice wasn't mine to make and I'm glad, I got the better deal; a good boss, amazing colleagues and a comfortable workspace. I’m not there yet, far from it; I still have bills I can’t pay, still in the intern phase but I choose to see the glass as half full because every morning when I wake up and go to work, I'm polishing the Corporate woman in me, so I choose to take life one day at a time, one step at a time until my dreams become my reality.
To the young person in the corporate world reading this, I hope you accept to go through your process, learn to shoulder a little discomfort because it is a hot ride with a very cold end, trust me nothing beats the feeling of fulfillment from getting a project right. Hold your head high, bask in your moment, dance with the flow of your company , and live your youth . I hope 2023 sets as a better work year for all of us. Keep shouldering the weight.