Durban, South Africa


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Entrepreneurial thinking is the starting point of excellence in professional life and journey. Although there is often a temptation to scrutinise the employer’s loyalty at every step of the way, the process of maintaining an altruistic disposition towards work is psychological, hence it pays to focus on your side of the bargain, in the hope that the other side of the deal will be taken care of.

If all you think of entrepreneurship, you won’t struggle with knowing exactly what to do, not just to perform the duties you were employed for, but to also ensure that the entire organisation flourishes. An employee who perceives her/himself as part of the DNA of the organisation will often think win-win. Such an employee will not conceive the organisation as owing them ‘leave days’, if those days need to be invested to get the job done excellently.

Such an employee would manage personal problems in such a way that they won’t get in the way of work. All things being equal (given that the employer is rational and humane), the employer would go all out to support the employee in the event that they face circumstances beyond their control. I am reminded of the need to carefully choose organisations to partner with. Toxic environments don’t often give room for an altruistic disposition toward work, as employees often operate with the mindset of ‘dressing up and showing up’.

While the scenario I reflected on in my opening statement would be applicable in friendly work environments, there is a way out. Nothing good comes easy, so extra work is required. Toxic environments by nature breed toxic behaviour and negative energy. If you find yourself in such an environment, you will need to go the extra mile in giving your best at work.

While it is a worthy cause to be loyal to your employer, it is equally important to be deliberate about your non-negotiables. As a first step, it helps to intentionally remove oneself from settings or colleagues that promote negativity. Eagles fly with eagles and not with sparrows, ravens or other birds. Keep good company and look for great mentors who don’t only tell you what to do, but demonstrate to you how to get the job done.

Keep your eyes open enough to know when a workplace is no longer enabling your loyalty and growth and act swiftly. If possible, take a break, check out, change jobs, take a bend, get a breather to rethink and recalibrate your career path. Whatever, you do, choose your job, don’t let your job choose you. Besides, you could be a CEO in the making. All your hard work and loyalty would speak for you on your way to the top.

Abosede Ijabadeniyi (PhD)


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