Some career lessons from the movie ‘Who’s the Boss’ [Part I]

Who’s the Boss is a 2020 Nollywood movie which was recently released by Netflix.

The story follows the life of Liah, a young, rising ad executive who starts her own side hustle after she encounters issues with her arrogant boss.

When her startup agency wins a major advertising deal, she must find someone to act as the Creative Director.

When Liah gets increasingly more successful, she must find a way to keep her own boss from finding out.

Set against the backdrop of the modern African millennial (woman), ‘Who’s the Boss’ explores the many nuances of the young African especially in the corporate and professional setting.

It highlights several lessons on building a career, running a business, and juggling everything else in-between.

As a young professional, I had a lot of Aha! moments and could relate to a lot of the scenes when I was watching this movie.

Especially for many young professionals, navigating the culture and “politics” of the corporate world can be overwhelming.

Here are some of the lessons I learnt:

  1. Networking

Your ability to network well will open doors that you never thought existed. Do not limit networking to just within the confines of your work environment.

Who knows the person who might be calling the shots or has the ear of the person in charge of the company you have been eyeing for a while might be sitting next to you at the party or your next trip!

  1. Dealing with competition

Unhealthy workplace is on the rise, with co-workers going head-to-head on promotions etc.

With the office turning into a ‘‘jungle’’ where survival is for the fittest, it might be hard to focus on work and achieving optimum results.

Healthy competition is good but unhealthy competition creates room for unnecessary rivalry which ultimately affects performance.

A great way to adopt healthy competition in the professional setting is collaborating to compete.

Collaboration is a great asset and leveraging it can improve team performance and encourage stellar performance among co-workers.

  1. Don’t sit on the sidelines

A lot of us are sitting on the sidelines because we are afraid to sell ourselves. If you think you have a great idea or solution do not be afraid to pursue it.

The results may surprise you!  Even if you don’t succeed, you will learn something that may end up leading to your future success!

  1. Think outside the box

You need to move with the times. You don’t always have to go by the book, sometimes you need to disrupt, rethink and innovate.

Hauwa wasn’t ready to do things differently when Liah advised on using a different approach for a particular pitch because she thought she knew the ins and outs of the advertising industry, but she was wrong.

You always need to keep up with the trends and understand the needs of your target market especially in these times where the digital world is ruling, and everyone is trying to outwit their competition.

  1. Emotional intelligence (EI)

One of the greatest skills you will need when you are climbing the corporate ladder is emotional intelligence.

Research shows that people with high emotional intelligence are more likely to become leaders compared with higher intelligent quotient (IQ) Never be caught off guard.

You need to maintain your composure and poise no matter the situation.

  1. Navigating a toxic work environment

Dealing with toxicity is one of the most difficult issues millennials face. Liah felt overworked and also had to deal with her tyrannical bosses.

There are so many things that make a workplace toxic and creates a hostile work environment; unhealthy working relationships, gossip, etc.

  1. Handling conflict of interest.

Mostly in employee contracts, there are clauses that provide guidelines on the area conflict of interest.

Once you are employed by a company especially on a full-time basis, there’s a 95% chance of a clause that prevents you from engaging in services that are similar or in line with the work you do at the firm.

So, before you decide to start a side hustle which is similar to your 9 to 5 job, take a look at your employment contract carefully before you make a decision.

Going against the terms and conditions will be a breach and might just come with repercussions.

  1. Dealing with Intellectual Property Rights

In the work environment, there’s always the question of who maintains ownership rights to intellectual property. Is it the employer or employee? 

During the course of one’s employment, there will be several instances where you will develop a wide range of intellectual property including policies, frameworks, concepts etc.

But the debate remains who maintains ownership rights to that intellectual property: is it the employee or the employer?

Most employment contracts state that rights to any designs, concepts, inventions etc. developed by the employee in the course of his or her employment remains with the employer.

  1. Building your career or business will come at a cost

Something has to give. What sacrifices are you willing to make that you will be proud of in future?

  1. Handling negotiations

There will always be room for negotiation. Do not be afraid to ask for what you want. Be prepared for opportunities and always put your best foot forward.

  1. You are the boss of your career

Who’s the boss of your career. Ultimately, how far you go in your career will depend on how committed you are to working towards your career goals. Keep pushing, keep learning. No pain, no gain.

(to be continued)

Nana Akua Frimpomaa Amofa, the writer; LinkedIn: Nana Akua Frimpomaa Amofa, Email: akua.amofa@gmail.com

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