On the first day of work, I summoned my team and asked them what were their aspirations in life. All but five had any idea of their tomorrow. One wanted to be a restaurant manager, one wanted to be a creative director, another wanted to be a happily married housewife. The other two also had ambitions of similar nature.
Fifteen out of twenty didn’t know what the heck they wanted in life. They were just drifters. Educated, and salaried. They were content with the way things were, they were happy going to work and coming home, day after day. They didn’t think of anything beyond.
I was shocked. I was shocked at their complacency, I was shocked that they didn’t have any goals set in their careers.
Perhaps, they never had to. According to a recent global survey, my Paradise is one of the happiest places on earth, where people live happily ever-after. Some of them must have been genuinely happy with their monotonous life, the others of course knew where to kiss, in order to get by.
People rarely got fired in that company. Most companies in Sri Lanka don’t fire people easily.
I was brought-in, to make a difference. As promised, I brought that company a refreshing change. I shook the dust off the old establishment and gave them a fresh outlook. I improved their creative product and gave them the confidence to compete. I shouted, and screamed, and persuaded them to excel in their work.
Barely a year later, I was fired.
Telling the owner to f–off a few days earlier must have expedited the outcome.
Nevertheless, it was the best thing that ever happened to me that year. It couldn’t have come at a worse time, but it made me realise my true potential.
It gave me wings.
In the previous Big Red Agency where I worked in Dubai for over 13 years, one would get fired for not having any initiative. Being complacent and aimless in their career was an open invitation to get fired. An average employee did not last longer than two to three years.
Things were that simple, and that difficult.
In Paradise, however, things happen the other way around. Float along aimlessly with the typical islander attitude, and you are as settled as a rock on the seashore.