Its 2020 and I am sitting on the central line to Shepard’s Bush with my MacBook on my lap embarking on about the only activity that brings me peace of mind at the moment, writing. See for the last three months I have been on a vicious hunt for a new job, because frankly making teas and coffees for editors after 2 years working in telly just isn’t cutting it for me anymore.
Every waking moment is spent thinking about my career, my job, my ambitions, the additional skills that will somewhat make people hesitate at least 2 seconds longer on my CV, in an industry where nepotism and luck is literally at the forefront of any job interview you hope to receive. It doesn’t help that I decided to pick myself up from the burrow of self pity that I had resided in for a year and made the decision to move out of my parents home - so really a new job is a necessity more than a luxury at this moment in time. Now, with all of this in mind, one thing I realised is the utter disadvantage being humble leaves you at in this journey in 2020. I once bigged up myself in front of my Dad, his response being, “You shouldn’t compliment yourself, wait for others to compliment you” IN THIS HERE DUNYA!? Now ten years later, we’re still here waiting.
One thing I’ve learnt in this society is, if you don’t big up your accomplishments, please believe nobody else will and that really is the long and short of it. How does this relate to the job search I hear you ask? Well my darling, ever tried to apply for a job being humble - LOOL laughable isn’t it? The thing is, we live in a day and age where everyone is pushing boundaries and the very few that aren’t are damn well exaggerating it to get where they need to be. The bar is higher and so we need to really meet that. On a bigger scale what would a job description describing your skills look like? I can’t even count on one hand the number of times I have been intimidated by a job description and when I get the job, I take to the process like a duck to water and THIS is exactly how we have to big ourselves up.
I recently sent my CV to my friend to look at for me, and when she sent it back I was thoroughly astounded by my achievements, I now ‘liased with key stakeholders’ and ‘lead presentations’, which felt pretty much different from discussing my brief ideas
with potential clients and bringing treatments to my manager, but hey - seems like I might somewhat be this impressive. Now obviously, I am aware that I am extremely late to party, of course being around young business owners, entrepreneurs and creatives for literally all my adult life (the entertainment/events industry is one hell of a melting pot of OUTSTANDING people, who also step on my neck until I step up) meant that I had been exposed to this behaviour but coming into the broadcast industry, this really hit home. And humility is just not the answer. See, as I’ve mentioned in a previous article (check out my previous article on Narcissism) we are vastly different from our parents generation and we, as a generation, have become adept in our ability to recognise the behaviour that has been enforced on us, that simply doesn’t work for us. I view the idea of constant humility with this same elk, waiting for people to see our brilliance before we big ourselves up will not work in our favour in this economy.
Previously, hard work alone could be the sole reason for your progress, now you need to work that privilege hunny. Now please understand I’m not encouraging anyone to lose their own personal morals but everyone has their own unique selling point, their own unique gift, talent, area of expertise and in a time where competition is strife, every single iota of a thing that you do, can be used as an advantage - sell that badboy up to the high heavens! The humility that our elders could practise will leave us job searching until we are 50, and it’s already hard enough buying a house as it is with the average salary.
On top of this, in this day and age, money haffi mek and with social media and the internet being as it is, you can collect coins from anything you choose to do with your chest. So big up your ting. Literally. The days of hoping people will see your brilliance are gone, now is the day to showcase the hell out it, and be proud of it while you are at it. The statement my Dad once used to me, bless him, encouraged an emotional virus of seeking validation for the things I do. And we all know how that has played out for us previously. In a time of growth for independent artists, directors who self fund their projects, and talent who create a platform for themselves ( we STAN Kayode Ewumi, the Three Shots of Tequila lads, The Receipts Ladies, the ABSOLUTE QUEEN that is Kelechi Okafor and of course many more) who create enough waves that the big boys of the entertainment industry want to buy into them, so please believe that it is a necessity for us to believe in our own sauce.
It the only real way to make things happen. It essentially is really easy to fall into a constant cycle of false compromise in this life. What I mean by this is, in order to stay on the side of convenience for everyone we can very easily choose to stay in a place where we want more but refuse to ask for it, in life, in our career, friendships and relationships, believing that it will make life easier for everyone. This is definitely not the case.
Going with the flow all the time means you may end up somewhere where you don’t want to be, and trust me the work to rester the boat back to where you need to be is a lot more strenuous than taking control of the boat in the first place. What’s meant for you will find you, yes, BUT only if you do the work on your side.
Closed mouths do not get fed - and being humble without regard for what you need will leave you starving. So moral of the story Queens? Don’t believe in this self deprecating humbleness facade. Recognise your sauce in this here Dunya and get yo’ worth.