Climbing the career ladder.
Overcoming job title obsession.
During my education, when it came to career advice. The consistent message from everyone, everywhere was “Neil, build a career with a big blue-chip company, its the only way”. So not unexpectedly, I eventually ended up at a German multi-national called Henkel, to build a career!
The real world classroom.
It wasn’t a mistake. When I look back on the best years, they invested in me and I got a brilliant education. I benefitted from travelling the world whilst experiencing all the highs and lows of being in business.
Being there also allowed me learn the short comings of big business environments. I witnessed teams who were formed to create race horses, produce camels and oil tankers attempting to pivot quickly.
The bullish side of business.
If you’ve attended any sort of business meeting, then you’ve probably experienced the use of jargon and business bull. I’ve experienced my fair share and it’s such a turn off. Especially when used to meaninglessly over extend the depth of content.
Simply put, life’s too short for lazy regurgitated sound bites. I’ve learned that effective communicators use jargon sparingly and only when necessary. Above all that, I’ve been able to experience the value of true critical thinking.
Working in competitive corporate environments
Competitive environments can have both benefits and drawbacks. During my time at Henkel one unfortunate side effect of this, was an unhealthy self obsession. I witnessed colleagues acquire more and more responsibility, to the point where they started taking themselves a little too seriously. I was also guilty of this unhealthy diversion from things which matter.
Personally I became obsessed by job titles, only focused on the superficial stuff I needed to do to get up the greasy pole. Always looking towards my next new business card or more luxurious company car, instead of working on more valuable self improvement skills.
Never take yourself too seriously.
Theres no profound moral to my time at Henkel, other than to say I don’t think I let a desire to climb the ladder consume me. Moreover I learned how to add value without regurgitated sound bites and eventually I overcame my job title obsession. Thankfully I gained a lot, including some strong ideas about how I could create better working environments.