You are larking about in the sunny cornfields of home, without a care in the world, when “shazaaam” in a whirlwind of an experience, you have left school and are dropped without any rhyme or reason into the working world I call Hell…I mean Oz.
Sound familiar? Ok perhaps you don’t speak with a Kansas drawl or have a penchant for little dogs and sparkly red shoes but I’m pretty sure this is an accurate description of most people’s rude awakening into the working world.
You find yourself in the workplace with only your vast teenage experiences as reference (which, let’s be honest, comprise mainly of speed-texting, movies, music and your amazing ability to hide things from your folks), and perhaps the textbooks which you parrot-fashioned crammed and have subsequently forgotten from your drunk-binge riddled varsity years.
You land slap bang in the middle of an already thriving eco-system with it’s own deep history and characters who are already entrenched in their own stories. Upon arrival you are swamped by a hundred minions, singing the praises of the great and powerful Oz as well as warning you of the dangers lurking in the shadows. You are dazed and confused but optimistic at meeting all these people who are curious about the foreign newcomer. You are then told that in order to find your ultimate wish, be it a way “home”, a path to greatness, a raise, a promotion, that you need to follow the already built and well-travelled yellow-brick road.
Although you have been warned about the potential danger and hardships you will encounter along the way you head off skipping and dancing to follow your dreams. Sometimes the road is smooth-sailing, sometimes it’s a little bit more like “bundu-bashing” and you have to cut back the obstacles to forge your own path, but you are certain that there is a reason you are on this road and continue with a steely resolve.
Along the way you meet the following characters:
This timid employee is loyal and dedicated. They have probably been in the company for a long time and know every pitfall. They are seeking courage. Looking for the courage to speak up against the ills in the office, the courage to make known their ideas and probably the courage to demand a raise or promotion.
This hardened and thick-skinned employee may seem ruthless and cold on the exterior. They are probably go-getters and do what they need to, to get the job done. They are seeking “heart”. The ability to empathise with the people they encounter on the way and form more connections instead of just moving up the corporate ladder.
This employee has probably been placed in one role as that is what they are seemingly “designed” to do. They are happy to do the same thing, day in, day out. They are seeking “brains”. I don’t mean brains in terms of intelligence, not at all. I mean brains in terms of inspiration to do something different, learn a new skill and perhaps break-out of the stereotype they have created for themselves.
This employee will blindly follow the leader of the pack. They will in all likelihood follow trends, be a little gossipy or “yappy” and would prefer the pampered life or being someone’s pet. They are in search of independence. The strength to themselves become the leaders and find their own “Totos”.
After meeting all the amazing and colourful (Techno-colour) characters on your journey to the Emerald City (which could perhaps be seen as the corner office with the view), you are finally about to encounter Management. As you may remember from the movies, it was an awe-inspiring event for Dorothy and her motley crew in meeting the Wizard. There was an all-knowing, all-powerful appearance to him and they were fearful upon approaching him. But behind that smoke-screen of illusions was a small, insecure individual dealing with their own issues and just as human as the rest of them (Ok well not all of them)
So after a long journey, much singing, dancing, drama, you realise that your reward was a harsh introduction to reality and that nothing is what it seems, and you are now able to afford a nice pair of shoes. So it’s time to move on as there is now nothing more to be experienced and gained from this world, on to your next Oz. Although your setting will be different, the characters pretty much remain the same.
In conclusion, don’t fear the Wizard, don’t fear the witch and don’t fear the journey of the unknown. Instead embrace each opportunity as an adventure and make sure you have an ecclectic group of individuals to share in your journey. Because although the worlds may change, your connections will always be there.
Disclaimer- this is just my opinion…written a little tongue in cheek.