Studying while working-is it worth it?

Well there are a few things I have discovered about this new path in my life…the first one is the realization of the magnitude of the opportunity cost of doing something you should not/ do not want to do; and the second one, much related to the first is, things get a bit clearer when you hit 25 because you no longer have the leisure of time that you once had when you were 18 (yes, 25 is still young you may say, try convincing a rampantly ambitious millennial).

The underlying outcome of both of these realizations is that you get to know yourself a bit better. All of these wild thoughts and ideas I’ve had, and thought I really wanted to achieve, when I look at how valuable time is, I have had to sit myself down, have a DMC and ask “why?”… why is achieving A,B or C so important to me? Yes it generally is a good idea to study further, buy property and get married, but is it a good idea for me and does this generic life- template apply to my life, and why?

While studying and working can be a rewarding experience, Some important things to clarify BEFORE going down that path are:

  • “Why am I doing this?”
  • “What do I expect to get out of this experience/ investment?”
  • “Will the short-term sacrifice lead to MY PERSONAL long-term satisfaction?”
  • “Can I live with the opportunity cost of my decision?” because you must be able to derive some benefit in the end otherwise its a foolish decision.

The answers to these question, your “why” are exactly the things that will see you through when your fellow classmates are dropping out like flies, when you have 4 hours of sleep for two weeks straight and when you’re lying in your bed stressing about how the hell you’re going to make it through the next 24 hours. Your “why” in conjunction with your sacrifices will truly be worth it, and you will appreciate the journey so much more if you are doing what you are doing because YOU know why, and it isn’t a societally enforced requirement.

“If it were easy, everyone would be doing it and that is why the rewards will be so much sweeter.”

I can tell you right now, working and studying 70% of the time is not fun. You really do miss out on life, quality time with family, giving 110% (unless you are me) at work and still having that time to relax and recoup. My family has coined me as “Miss I don’t have time” because thats the one phrase I say so often this year. All this sacrifice and missed time must really be worth it or else you’re honestly just wasting your time.

The last thing I wanted to touch on was the part around things getting clearer with time. Besides getting a year older, I have had this dull panic around being “somewhere” before my 30s. The self- inflicted pressure is really teaching me how to make decisions over a short period (5 years) and logically think through the pros and cons of my short- term satisfaction vs long term pleasure. Studying and working makes you such an efficient person, your body and mind learn to do things you never thought were humanly possible if you are hungry enough to take yourself there. However, in those extreme states you really learn to quickly see what in your life is a waste of time, what you hate as well as what you truly love. you learn the power of your mind, the power of positive thinking and you also develop the skill of making decisions….quickly.- something I really struggled with as I am an avid rabbit- hole explorer!

I personally still have 7 months to go on my business school journey and I can say with certainty that I love it and it has been one of the best decisions in my life. very challenging but because I am in the right state of mind and my “why” supersedes and doubt, turmoil or stressful situation, the ROI  of my experience is exponential.

Wishing all you fellow multi- taskers nothing but the best on your journey! Stay strong and focussed! If it were easy, everyone would be doing it and that is why the rewards will be so much sweeter.

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How to wear Burgundy shoes to work

how to wear Burgundy shoes

Depending on how adventurous you are or the culture in your workplace is, one might find themselves feeling a little out-of-place if they step out of the black, blue or grey trend in the office. I recently bought a pair of Burgundy shoes from Zara which have been receiving raving compliments at work and here is why.

As mentioned before, my wardrobe consists of predominantly black clothes and shoes,  it’s what I feel most comfortable in.  However, very recently I decided to step out of my mould. My wardrobe needed some color and a new pair of shoes so I thought why not, let’s go ox blood-red/ burgundy!

Because of the style of the shoe, which has quite a low heel, I have found my shoes to very easily be adaptable to both formal semi formal and casual attires which I love. One day you’ll find me wearing them with a pair of chinos and the next day with a pair of distressed jeans, maxing out that ROI I tell you!

One of the ways I love wearing them though is with my soft pink cigarette pants (as seen below) which I pair with an off white blouse. I feel this look is quite different to my constant black, but also very soft and feminine while maintaining the professional look which I like.

Burgundy shoesIMG-0499IMG-0497IMG-0501how to wear Burgundy shoes

What do you love to wear when you want to take a break/ diversify your corporate look?

Millennial Consumers Determine the Fate of Harley Davidson

Harley Davidson

*Firstly, I want to start of by clarifying that I am by no means a fortune-teller/ marketing expert. The contents of my article today are merely based on my own opinions and research I have conducted around the company and do not reflect or indicate in any way with absolute certainty the fate of the organization being discussed. it’s a wild world and anything can happen :). COOL…

As I settled onto my bed to prepare for one of my Business School lectures, I had already prepared my mind for a half an hour of critical thinking and active reading.

This time around the business case I had to go through was based on Harley Davidson-The history, the journey and “the future”.

What I soon realized on the first page of the 12 pages of information, was a very dangerous situation. You know when a company starts sinking and they can see it but they don’t know what to do? Something like Nokia… Blackberry… HTC….MySpace….MXIT…The crux of the case focussed on the concert the leadership team had around their aging client base and felt that over the years they had neglected their existing millennial fan base who would prove to be crucial in taking the brand to the next level; as opposed to relying so heavily on its former glory days where the fans in the 80s lived and breathed the brand due to influences from pop culture.

Hells Angels

Decades later, having neglected the marketing aspect of their business and not staying in touch with the evolving client base, the leadership in the company which was responsible for Harley Davidison’s strategic direction woke up to realize that their base was growing older and thinner by the year, their competition was eating their lunch (despite their local government assisting them with foreign tax implementation) and in regions where they had chosen to expand with their “more relatable” Buell, no previous research was done of competitors or of target audience preferences. The company had made the very big mistake on relying solely on their powerful and established American brand, not realizing that there was a possibility of customers all the way in Asia/ Africa/ Europe, who needed a customized story and message fit for their context. The HD brand and philosophy was just not landing with my fellow global millennials.

Read more posts related to consumer trends: Why is butter so expensive?

As I read on, thinking that there would be some kind of comeback strategy, to my disappointment, the case ended by subtly suggesting two brand revamp strategies which I don’t think have been implemented at all to date and quite honestly I believe, if done correctly and effectively, could win back the grace and image of the brand in diverse international regions.

Although this case is a bit dated. Having left the reformation to so late, I think it’s going to take more than a brilliant marketing strategy to reform the brand (effective execution is key) and the WSJ seems to agree, with projections of the company’s profits taking a downward spiral as can be read here .

Sometimes it’s better to bend. With new developments, the brand needs to take the millennial voice into account during product proposition design and execution (and it will take more than just paintng the whole motocycle black to win back the client base) or else I’m sad to say, will become obsolete and irrelevant for the future.

See the new Harley Davidson commercial which aims to target their younger client base, while still remaining relevant to their existing base. Do you think it will be enough?

Guest Post: My travel, my truth (tips for traveling with and without friends)

Travel
Photo by STIL on Unsplash

I have been privileged enough to travel overseas twice on someone else’s budget. My first overseas trip was to the USA in 2014 and my second trip took me all the way to Portugal in Europe.

On my first trip, I had 9 other companions and we were all friends so there was no doubt that it was going to be fun. All of us were heavily involved and committed to making the process perfect. Upon arrival, we were mandated to be in Boston for 4 days for a Young Leader’s Summit, but hey! We were finally in ‘Merica and we absolutely could not let this opportunity pass us by without some kind of exploration.

We had a grand ol’ time in Boston but as fate and “the spirit of YOLO” would have it, we made a pit stop in NEW YORK, (yes NEW YORK CITY the big apple) and boy was it magical!

Friends
Trip to ‘Merica with my friends

TRAVELLING WITH FRIENDS

There is something special in travelling with friends. A dynamic you can’t really attain when you travel with family or work acquaintances. Here are some of the elements I found most enjoyable when travelling with people who are your friends:

  • Flexible itinerary– having the freedom to change the itinerary depending on how everyone feels that day with no hard feelings.
  • Prior planning– we knew how much it would cost if we were to go to every tourist attraction in NY and Boston.
  • Work hard play harder– we made time for work and time for fun. We also made time for people to rest when they needed to.
  • Friends bring familiarity and some sort of security– traveling to a different country can be overwhelming but having people you can call “friends” brings a sense of calmness and adventure.
  • Shared interests– Prior conversations around the trip ensured that expectations were laid out. We all knew what each of us wanted out of the experience and it was so comforting when the boys made time for the girls to do some shopping ☺
  • Picture perfect– We all wanted to share every moment so we became each other’s professional photographers.

I do not believe that these benefits would have been as prominent had I travelled with individuals with whom I did not share a common interest. So this trip really set the bar high in terms of how I would like to experience traveling in the future.

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Musings in Portugal

My second travelling experience was pretty interesting… I had an opportunity to travel again, but this time it was to Europe for a work conference.  I was tasked with hosting 4 delegates who would also be attending the same conference I was going to and had little to no time to plan my itinerary. So here I was with 4 complete strangers and a colleague in Portugal. FUN. To make matters worse, unlike with the USA trip, I didn’t know much about Portugal except that Cristiano Ronaldo, the famous football star was born there. Despite all of this the extrovert in me remained optimistic and hoped for the experience to turn into another perfect opportunity to make lifelong friends (Boy could I have been more wrong…. haha).

TRAVELLING WITH ACQUAINTANCES

The city was beautiful and there was so much to do and explore but because the sense of “shared interest” and of familiarity which I spoke about earlier was kinda missing, the trip was a complete dud. Looking back on my experience I would say there are definitely some key learnings and take outs. It is possible to have fun travelling with acquaintances and here is what you can look out for in order to ensure the greatest time:

  • Preparation is KING– but also leave some room for spontaneity. Have a plan in place but also allow yourself to be moved by adventure. The last thing you want to experience when traveling is the monster called frustration.
  • Understand the most optimal means of transportation in your destination AND ENSURE YOU ARE ALL ON THE SAME PAGE ABOUT THE DECISION- you know why? So you avoid that thing again, frustration :).
  • Have a budget and communicate this with others around you so you all can participate in things that will leave you breathless ☺.
  • Pre travel drinks– If you will be traveling with people who are not your friends, make some time for a quick hangout over drinks so you get familiar and understand expectations.
  • Have fun– try to make the most out of any situation; after all you’re stuck together in that country, truly be open-minded.

Traveling is priceless it enables you to take a pause from your normal life and experience how other people live. The benefit truly outweighs the cost. After all, “We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” So it’s okay to go beyond how you regulate your life on a daily basis but travel with people who will make the experience unforgettable.

Girl traveling

                                                                                           Guest Post Author: Faith Tembe

Faith Tembe is a vibrant young professional with a passion for purpose driven work.

She holds an honours degree in Industrial Psychology and currently doing a Masters of Management in Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation.

She draws her experience from the corporate environment with specific focus on Innovation and Transformation management.