As we begin our new column to help young black people who are in the corporate world especially those who are venturing out there for the first time we hope we can give some much needed advice. After the offer you are excited and you are ready for the challenges that lie ahead but caution; you must prepare!
The first thing that you have realize is that university/college is very different from real work. Academics is based solely on merit however life in the corporate world has more in common with Big Brother Africa than we would like to imagine. The corporate cultures in western countries which are moving fast into Southern Africa are about popularity so that is something that you must have in mind. So fitting into the corporate culture is essential. This is something that you have to pick up on and decide whether you will fit in or stand on the sidelines.
Working for a multi-national is different from working for an indigenous firm. In multi-national corporations you must attempt to understanding the culture of the parent company’s culture so you
know the rules of conduct. In an indigenous firm family member’s opinions carry more weight than merit so bear that in mind when you oppose their judgment and decision making. You must seek to understand the culture where you are rather than where you used to be. You are now an adult and you must know that you are responsible for your decisions and actions. Personally I do not believe in
compromising my integrity for the sake of a job or at the expense of violating someone else’s right just to fit in.There was a man whose Boss told him that he could never advance because he did not trust a man that he could not drink with. Hanging out with your colleagues after work certainly gives you an opportunity to get to know each other better and to build bonds outside the confines of time that are present in the work environment.
You must set boundaries with workmates. I must caution you on this one though because I believe that you must never cross the line with workmates. A woman invited some workmates to her house for a braai (cook-out/barbecue) upon arrival her boss realized that she had a better house that he and jealousy set in and her work experience was never the same. Drinking with workmates is fun when you are 21 and going to the same parties but remember once you lower your inhibition you may say things that you may later regret.
Work for a company where you can learn and grow and eventually help you to start your own business. I am a firm believer in the total economic emancipation of the black person so until you own something that produces cash flow then you have not arrived. Titles such as Analyst, Vice President, Chief Financial Officer sound good but they do not meet the GLOBAL BLACK HISTORY standard. The purpose of a job is to buy assets on sale because no matter how fancy your title is; a worker is still a work and in black American terms “even when you are in the house you are still a servant”
Article by Ana Mosi-Oa-Tunya 2012