I am not a motivational speaker, I am a teacher. I teach people skills that are not easy to transfer. I use my teaching experience outside the classroom. My attention was drawn to the workplace. When I entered this space, I found a lot of motivational speaking. My background is teaching. I wanted to teach both the employers and employees how to co-exist without being a threat to each other.
I realised that there was a problem but only dealing with the symptoms. The employees wanted to win just as the employer. The whole chain of transforming the workplace heavily lies on the employees. Your job is your enterprise this tends to be the truth for employers since they have a wider understanding of the word enterprise word.
Both the employer and employees tend to be frustrated by the way they each play their role. The employer seeks to win over the employee while the employee is pushed to believe the employer is the only reason to show up for work. Few employees were showing up for themselves. Often times, the employees feel disgruntled. They have issues they want to share but the ground is not levelled.
What value do you have to offer?
Employers want to know what the employee has to offer. Work is the opposite of leisure. Uganda is one of the countries that have a lot of leisure which means the work is not that much. We lack an identity in terms of work and management. Many people are employed but their minds are on the business they dream of creating. Their presence at the workplace is preoccupied with the dream which renders them ineffective at the workplace.
But we also have a number of organisations started by people who are driven by the “Be Your Own Boss” movement. People start business just to fulfil that desire. They never get prepared on how to handle employees.
Where it all started
This journey started in 2015. Andrew left the classroom where he had been for close to a decade as a teacher of chemistry. A few years before, he had figured out other things. He had worked with a filming company as a camera person and scriptwriter. At his church, he had actively aced his electric guitar playing skills. There was more he realised he could do with his hands beyond what he studied in class. Beyond the profession. He dared to go out to share this excitement with the rest of the world. In 2017, he released a book You Are Not Just an Employee. This book began the conversation. Many people wanted to know what more there was beyond being an employee. With more engagements came the insight of how diverse the conversation was and huge the gap too was. That is how Jobprenuership was born. The idea was simple: your job is your enterprise.
The conversation on jobprenuership is exciting since it addresses both the employer and employees’ needs but it comes in at a time when either party has varying interests which are way different from the other.
Andrew argues that the workplace should become a more open place where the parties involved are able to negotiate their interest other than assume what they the other wants.
Alone in the jungle perhaps…
It takes a long time for people to trust something new. Both employers and employees were excited about the new things they were learning but there was not a lot of visible change at the workplace. The workplace is about achieving results through others. This is one thing that the two parties should be receptive of.
Andrew is in this for the long run. He hopes he can inspire organisations to bring out the full potential of the employees. He hopes too that he will be able to inspire as many employees to recognise that their employers are individuals with targets to achieve. Until then, the gospel of Jobpreneurship continues bein