Day 45; Quarantine…

This episode (of life) feels a lot like a drama, where the protagonist stares through this window on the second floor storey at this large expanse of green plains with the sun high above, the birds chirping in the flower garden while Jose Gonzalez plays in the background. He blends within the entire scene to become one with it. The book he’s holding seems to encapsulate what it is he’s reading.

I am all for zen moments, and I have had plenty of those in this quarantine period. Maybe the heart grows fonder because you are apart. Those Sunday lunches with family which now are a momentarily thing of the past, are dearly missed. I am just glad we have phone calls and internet! Imagine this had happened in the dark ages!

And dark ages, I mean 10 years ago! What would the lock down be without social media, internet and pay tv? My mother was regaling us with tales of how this is a much easier version of the Amin war where they had to pad windows and turn lights off before curfew. The only entertainment they had was themselves. And yet here I am wondering if I’d stay the same without a phone for just a day.

Quarantine has taught me lessons, and I can’t wait to explore these when we finally get out of it. There’s a renewed zeal, and a need to heal, be better, do better and grow.

I like that we’ve been forced to have conversations we wouldn’t normally have or that people are now realizing that there’s more aspects to life than that job, that toxic relationship, that holiday not taken, that text message not sent. These are interesting times to be a part of. For me, this is history in the making. What will I tell my grandchildren? Maybe I should get started on that book.

For many though, it’s been family. I think as bad as this gets, our greatest take home has been spending quality time with family. I honestly do worry about those without or who can’t be with family for one reason or the other. It’s given people an opportunity to heal and a renewed zeal to make better what wasn’t.

And I am enjoying the writing!


What’s your Worth?

In the first job I ever got about 7 or so years ago, my boss was earning 10 times what I was earning, and somehow, we still had the same basic needs and desires. None the less, to date, it’s still one of my favourite jobs I’ve had!

What exactly is your worth? Your value?

Being Principal at a prestigious design school means that one of my duties is to employ people, and ensure they are the best fit for the job and team! When I first started, I found it difficult to hire – drawn towards the credentials but now, it’s a little different.

There’s a significant difference between your value and your worth! How much should I pay you is one of the questions I find myself asking people who apply for any job and get an interview!

Value is always added! The pizzazz or difference you add to the team! The magic! The wow factor! And if you have a higher value added, then your worth then is much higher! See the difference?

I’ve employed people who claimed they had a higher ‘worthiness’ to the team and yet the value added over a period of time to the team was the same or even negligible to say the least! It leaves many employers frustrated when they believed you’d be the difference maker!

What people don’t know is that you are either employable or not! And the ‘not’ is not a bad thing! From the very on set when I got my first job, I always had a side main hustle! Sometimes it brought more money than what I was being paid and that made my job more about experience and understanding. I remember once sharing with my spiritual mentor about the many businesses I was attempting on the side and they plain told me that they rather sit in an office from 8-5! That’s who they were and they were ok with that! Not everyone has an entrepreneurial mindset or attitude, and that is fine. We all make do with what we choose.

Part of the work – life experience is to build your worthiness by adding value! It could be in qualifications, experience, capabilities, specified knowledge to mention but a few and these ideally will build your worth, that bargaining chip.

My first job taught me a lot! It brought capitalism closer to home! I was never paid exactly at the end of the month and sometimes it didn’t matter whether I had my own personal issues! The MAN paid when and how he wanted to! The job will never solve all your problems. Simply put, more money, more problems!

Maybe our societal structure and system creates a system of failure? But what do I know! If you are quick to understand some of these subtleties then you can quickly move up or move on to better things.

Architecture schools across Europe, Asia and the Americas changed their systems because of minimum wage requirements! The course was too long and pay too little for those who did it! And so they changed from a 5 year Bachelors degree to a 3-1-2 Masters program! Unfortunately, it’s still the same in most East African institutes teaching Architecture…so, what will you do?

I’ve done quite a few jobs, starting from Client Service and Account Manager to now Principal at Artfield Institute of Design. For me, that’s a story I’d love to tell! If your employer truly cares about you, they could elucidate more on the intricacies of your job and your value/worth.

I once quit a job because my value and worth we’re not matched! And I was wise enough to see that. Have you ever seen your boss bag that big a** cheque while you struggle to get a taxi back home? While that dream car or house pass you by? Don’t confuse your desires to be successful as your worth!

I’ve written down and monitored my personal and business goals for the last 7 years and honestly, your dream starts on paper! I’ve started and closed a restaurant! I’ve done some agribusiness! Tried money lending! Sold perfumes at some point! There was a bar somewhere too! I’ve truly tried out a couple of things. I’ve written for a few magazines and newspapers!

Eventually it all comes down to passion! Passion should never be looked at as a bad thing. Passion honestly drives you! I am passionate about leading, teaching and writing, and building obviously! Once an architect, always an architect! The rest are extras! I currently run a small construction firm, teach and lead an institution – all things I am passionate about!

We all take different journeys but the road to success requires sacrifices.

What value are you adding to yourself, and what do you think you are worth?

Maybe your work should speak for itself? There’s different matrices to determine some of these things but I know for a fact that no job is truly ever fulfilling, well, because it’s a job!

Anyway, peace!