Galavanting About – South African Website


There is a saying that goes along the lines of “people don’t leave jobs; they leave shitty bosses”. Sure, I might be paraphrasing but you get the point, right? I’ve been fortunate enough to have superiors who have been invested in their employees, even long after we have left. Below are lessons I have learned from three different bosses I have had which, unlike Pythagoras or the anatomy of the bug, have actually impacted my life in addition to being practical and useful.

Lesson 1: Practice makes perfect

Sounds generic but that’s only because it’s a fact. The year is 2016, and I was at my first big girl rodeo. I had made it particularly clear that numbers made me glitch so I would be happy to do everything and anything as long as the numbers were kept to a minimum. Well, the role I was in was HEAVY on the digits for the first 4 months. Do you know what it is to cry? I mean like, really cry – I was dehydrated often, my already small eyes would barely see said numbers and, AND Excel was dribbling me on X-games mode.

Ready to fight, (argh, can you tell I was young?) I took the matter to my boss – and she was amazing. Simply put, her speech comprised of her saying something to the effect of ‘why do what you are already good at? The whole reason you are here is to learn. You highlighted a weakness and we’re going to work on it until it’s a strength because if it comes up and you are not confident in your ability to at least try it, you will tank. It’s either you get with the program and practice, or …”.


Since then, I have filled in my own daunting ending. Practice consistency or you’re doing all this for nothing. Practice your Portuguese or all the money you have been spending is wasted. You get the point.

Lesson 2: Don’t strive to be the smartest in the room in your professional life

If you’re always arguing, you learn nothing other than the various ways in which your voice can project. That’s what my second boss used to say. This is not to be confused with shutting down your ideas. Express your views but try hard to be in spaces where your mind is blown, often. It encourages you to develop a raw curiosity, which is never a bad thing.

From a mind full of questions all you see is an opportunity, adventure, and intrigue. From there, you start taking initiative in ways you had not previously thought of, and the learning process just becomes blissful regardless of the subject matter. If you’re the smartest in the room, get out. Go on an adventure.

Lesson 3: Start early

My third boss brought the silver lining through with her financially focused words. When you are young, you do a lot of things for money and adventure. Do all that you can to ensure that you financially prepared for the future and you know what helps with that? Time. But compound interest and time as a combo? Winning. Buy shares with extra money and forget about it until you know better to actively trade them. Whatever you lose, you will at some point make back but learn as you go along (see how points 1 and 2 come in? scenic). Use investment vehicles like TFSA’s and RA’s that are convenient for your budget right now and let time do it its thing. Make your money work for you in little ways the way you work for it.

The whole point of adulting is learning, because let’s be honest, growing up is the absolute ghetto and consists of putting out a series of fires – all the time.

I’m prone to panicking even before I know what the scenario is but having words of wisdom from well-established adults has made a significant contribution to both my mental stability and overall approach to life.

We are winging it, so taking (and implementing) advice from as many adult veterans as you can trust is a worthy task.

10/10 would recommend.

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