Lesson from a highway driver for your career success

One of the mistakes a top manager made early in my career was praising me before my seniors.

When I worked on my first job as a temporary staff I was assigned to scan manual clients’ account opening forms into digital format as the institution was migrating from a manual to an automated system. The manual forms had accumulated to a huge backlog. Thanks to my IT skills, I was able to adjust the scanner settings from default to user preference. Within a short period, the backlog was no more. This earned me a spot award prize. At the award, during the general assembly attended by all staff, the MD referred to me as an exemplary performer adding that “I want you to go to [xx] department and change things.”

These remarks did not go well with some people.

Being a new staff, the top manager had ignorantly exposed me to a series of roadblocks along the way. In companies, the most difficult people are those who hold jobs they don’t deserve. These people are highly connected and the term corporate politics exists thanks to them.

I will never forget times when my immediate supervisor would assign me tasks at 4:40 pm unmindful of my evening classes at 5:30 pm. Most of the time, the late tasks would require me work overnight! I endured. It was tough time and could not imagine being terminated for incompetence on my first job.

At first, it thought I was a lone.

As a mentor to many corporate workers, I know every employee experiences tough times at their work due to malice or insecurity of their peers, managers or supervisors. Others will take it too personal that they may threaten your life.

What I want to tell you today is never give up. If someone starts a war, never give up. Fight. If you run, it is likely you will run your entire life as there is no such company as perfect.

Take the case of a highway track driver.

As they drive say a long Jinja road highway, and they happen to hit a bump. What do they do? do they abandon their journey because they have hit a bump or they stop, check the car and try to see if they can fix the problem. If damage is huge, they will try to call a mechanic to fix it.

Most of the time, they will fix the problem and continue with the journey. Never will a high way driver stop and turn back after hitting a bump or a big stone on the way.

That is how you should approach your job.

When you experience a challenge, sit down and reflect. Who is the problem? Why are they a problem? How can you fix it and what is the best way to end it. Try asking their friends to intervene. The point is, try to find the root cause of your troubles and extract them.

After that, continue with your job.

There is no such a highway without obstacles – either you will find a police officer or a bump or unexpected turn. Something along the way will affect your journey.

That is life. you’ve got to deal with it.


Check out my book, Your Three Keys to a Worry Free Life on Amazon.com. Send Ugx. 25,000 to 0782610333 and I will deliver an autographed hardcover print copy (only if you are in Kampala).

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