After a year and a few months since I left, I visited my old office today. As I drove in I could still feel the pride and appreciation that I had always felt for the architectural brilliance of the office park. I’m convinced it is still one of the best office parks in Africa. I have to admit, I was quite spoilt for my first proper job. There’s a coffee shop, with regular coffee deliveries at your desk if you wish, a gym, a restaurant, state of the art Training and Conferencing center, plenty of parking and the kind of security that made it ok to work many late evenings.
Here, hard-work was always accompanied by great parties; year-end parties, month-end parties, week-end parties, day-end parties, any-end parties – there was always an excuse for a good glass of wine with great gorgeous people!
It’s the kind of environment an organisation creates to ensure they retain skilled staff, this is where I’ve seen it done successfully. We spend a large percentage of our lives at work, so it is definitely ideal to work for an organisation where you are happy at. I’m grateful I could say that about my place of work.
Here’s a thing though, there’s no better recipe for career-suicide than when you start calling the organisation you work for “home”. When I started sleeping earlier, spending less time preparing and becoming fussy about where and how long I was willing to travel – I knew it was time for change.
Comfort will hijack your growth and strangle your dreams.
Sixteen months ago, I stepped into the unknown. I never make big decisions without proper praying, meditation and conviction, yet it wasn’t plain sailing. With absolutely no financial incentive for the move, I had to make a few lifestyle adjustments and get used to not having coffee deliveries, an office gym, state of the art equipment or enough parking space, but most of all It was character challenging not being a master of my game like I had been before. I went through self-doubt and suffered incredible anxiety. It was as if I had no clue how I’d succeeded before, as if I had just been lucky. All of a sudden I was acutely aware of and read many impostor syndrome articles – self-diagnosis.
I knew then that I was no longer a resident of comfort-zone. I had to get dirty, use manure and lots of water and make my side greener again. I was working hard and spending many late nights relearning, fine-tuning and developing new skills. I had to buy into the brand and learn to appreciate the value derived by clients we served. I don’t consider myself a master yet, but certainly am in a more confident space with my work and have received many ego-boosting, head-enlarging feedback comments from my clients, so I’m must be doing something right. Right? 😉
A few points I was reminded of today:
- Don’t pray to become more, unless that’s what you truly want.
- If you are going to pray for more, be prepared for change. It will be uncomfortable. It will be frustrating. It will be uncertain. This is where the magic is at.
- Comfort-zones are the most dangerous neighborhoods you can ever reside in. The comfort is just perception and It will kills your dreams.
I know this for sure, my blood will forever be green. I’m a firm believer of the brand. I love the product offering, great solutions that transform businesses across the world and its proudly South African innovation. However I’m grateful that I could comfortably be there today and not once feel like I longed to be back. It was confirmation for me that I had grown.