Changing Lanes

Some people it is quite sad to see a lone woman outside a container spot drinking sprite but I am content. The harmattan dust has drifted away and but has left the cool breeze this night. I can sitting here enjoying the weather but I don’t have to smile to show that I am happy. I don’t have to answer to anyone right now in these moments. No boss, colleagues, mother or other road users, just me and my thoughts.

Sitting here has made me realize just how suffocated I was a few hours ago. The office just sucked all the air out of me, school prefect complaining that she has to do everything when she literally took over everybody’s tasks. The cashier, with her smug face and the glass counter for protection, giving advantage for her to act like a diva. The sound of the bosses voice going on and on and on. The day was like a vacuum and am so glad it is over.

So to my dilemma. A simple change in my career path and it has taken so many twists and turns.

I told you about the Innovations manager position that I was being considered for. It came as a fluke really when my boss got the wrong end of the stick when the HR manager was considering for my move to Sales and Marketing. It was supposed to be a plan B position in case the Business manager in the category I am already doing the planning for did not come through. But the CV was sent in any event. I didn’t think it would go too far as I didn’t highlight well the coordination I currently do when we are launching new projects. However the manager there felt that with my many degrees and experience I would be good for the role. We had a brief chat at the christmas party also, before the other manager resigned from the role and he was keen for me to move to his category. I guess the work speaks for itself and the fact that I have chosen not to be a corporate politician has gained me an advantage outside my current department.

So I had a mini interview, although it was more like a sales pitch. The category had finally hit its target after limping along these years and despite the Ivorian crisis shutting down our biggest producing factory. They were a team he told me, it wouldn’t be all about projects I’d be involved in the marketing and communications aspect. Before I could ask him about the many projects which have either flopped or never got off the ground, he said that they were a dynamic category and have to change alongside market tastes but a girl like me could handle whatever was thrown at me, he believes. He added that I would be working for the 5th biggest brand in the world, well what can you say to that. We had a bit of banter, we talked (again) about why I came to move to Ghana, he sounded like he respected the fact that I had, had the outside training, which I know I shouldn’t feel big headed about and feel I am better than “the locals”, but there is no denying there is a certain work ethic that you gain which you will never get here which is why the expats treat the staff the way they do. A bit harsh, maybe, take my boss for instance, to get the head to sign off for a member of staff has been a struggle. The MD is looking for him to sell the idea to him and come out with cold hard facts. Instead he gets this bumbling attempt of a discussion and a tongue tied manager who ends up adding more workload on his team. We double up when someone is on leave which doesn’t make us look efficient instead looks like we do not have enough to do that we can do the job of 2 people. The team are like puppy’s waiting to get a pat on the head for a job well done so bitch and moan when the door is shut but jump to attention with their tongues wagging waiting for a bone, so we are reducing in body’s but increasing in workload. Out bosses boss is looking for his own progression so leaving us to fend for ourselves, no bones being thrown in this direction.

However, a category which has hit its target once in 3 years, probably has enough manpower to do the job, is getting a replacement, and they don’t mind picking one of the puppy’s from our lot to do so. Well if that puppy is me, I no bore.

So this job is for the picking as long as I think fast. They need someone like yesterday and are not going to wait for me to make up my mind. In the meantime, I am waiting for my current BM to tell me what’s in store. It is likely that I will be put into sales, he keeps telling me I have to improve on my selling skills and react faster than I do. He doesn’t really appreciate the fact that I am not in the country and only receive information when it is sent to me, normally its when there is fire on the mountain. I guess the guys in the country feel that they can solve the issue themselves and its only when the shit has hit the fan and is flying off the fan and all over that they call me to clean it up. It’s just rather unfortunate that someone from his camp has called him to tell him the breaking news before I get it.

If I do go into sales, my dealings with him will be limited and it would be more than one category. I am not sure how I feel about sales, I’m a more behind the scenes sort of person, but maybe it would be good for my confidence.

The other option would be brand management which would mean being in the country. Wouldn’t mind a year or to in Ivory Coast or somewhere like that but most likely it will be Ghana. It would be a lot like what I’m doing now in terms of managing the category but it will be more of building the brand, keeping the sales team happy so they will sell my brand and making the supply chain team happy so that they will not go to sleep when there is a delay in any product.

They all sound like a great challenge and a good stepping stone to the outside world. I don’t want to be in a glass building in Switzerland like the rest of my colleagues in the office. I want to make it big, and I want to do so right here in Ghana. But I won’t get there half as fast as I would if I stay in my current job, the only external people I meet are at the Woolworth when I go to buy a packet of buscuits, even booking a dinner at Bella Roma caused problems and confusion but hey can’t expect to meet any business contacts while sitting behind my PC chasing stocks.

Well I put it all in God’s hands, that the opportunity comes my way and I make the right decision about which lane to take. 2012 has to be my year.

About efiasworld

A British Born Ghanaian navigating her way through life.
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