We are all a little crazy and we all need therapy

We are all crazy and we need therapyI’m staring at my computer screen and my mouth is open, a cry of protest escapes from my lips.

Everyone turns to look at me and I’m like, “What is wrong with these people! Every time, dumb questions!”

That’s how most of my days go. Just when I was starting to have faith in the human race, I meet a new set of people – the fans on brand pages.

Let me introduce myself. My name is J. K. Rolling, and I’m an online community manager at a digital media agency. Don’t get confused; I basically have to keep people engaged on social media for brands and write content that I believe they will like.

I love what I do, but some of these dedicated fans make it a point of duty to make sure I go home frustrated every day.

I will never forget the day someone asked me whether to use a plastic cup or a glass for a certain drink.

“No, drink it in a calabash,” I responded – but only in my head.

Another annoying thing these people do is enter my messages and say hi. When I ask how I can help them, they tell me they just want to say hi to the admin. If only they knew how much work I had to do, they would leave me alone. The most annoying one was when I had to answer the same question 5 times in the same post. Do they have secret meetings and decide they are going to frustrate me?

Lucky for me, I work with a great team. We laugh about these things and see the humour in it. They are the ones who keep me from going crazy: They are my therapists.

You guys reading this may not have to deal with annoying social media fans, but I’m sure there’s something that gets you frustrated and angry at work. What I’ve learnt in this process is that not everything is worth getting angry over. Sometimes, just talking about it with your colleagues could give you a fresh perspective on these issues, or make you laugh about it. Life is too short to stay angry; we’re all a little crazy, anyway.

 

No Degree? Don’t Apologize

No Degree, Dont Apologize.pngYes, you heard me!

There’s more to education than a degree. There’s more to learning than the four walls of a school. The pages of history are filled with successful people who dropped out of school, and I have learnt that academic validation does not birth life validation.

Still not convinced? Here are a few reasons why you don’t need to apologise for not having a degree:

  1. Education literally means “learning.” Which is ironic because there are many people who go through the entire process of school and learn nothing. Many people are pressured into studying degrees they have no passion for, and in the end they graduate, dump their certificates and go off into jobs they weren’t academically qualified for.
  2. The world has evolved. You do not need a degree to be on social media, for instance, and there are many similar financial opportunities around us today. You define your own success, degree or no degree. As they say, if you are born poor, it’s not your fault, but if you die poor, you are responsible.
  3. That said, if you do not have a degree, you’ve offended no one, however, you would offend yourself and your future if you do not educate yourself and equip yourself with relevant knowledge. You can gain direction and be who you want to be without conforming to societal standards; identify your strengths and surround yourself with people you can learn from. You actually have an advantage, because you do not have to waste countless hours or years studying things that may turn out irrelevant.

Why am I writing about this?

Because dropouts taught me. 3 “idiots” inspired me. Steve Jobs inspired me. And, today, I am good at my job. I learned more from the dropouts than the degree-holders. They put in their best and give it their all. (A great book to read on this topic is: A students work for C students and B students for the Government, by Robert Kiyosaki.)

No beef against degree holders, but don’t let your degree status limit you. Whether you are a great student or a dropout, life does not care unless you have relevant success to show for it. Your degrees are of no value if you cannot defend it, and when you can deliver, no one cares about your degree.

21k Changed My Life

 

21k

“J. K. Rolling, get off that phone and come help me in the kitchen!”

That was my mother’s voice, one of the many voices that constantly brought me back to reality from my obsession with the Internet.

It all began when I joined Facebook. I had just finished secondary school, so it was great to see what was happening in the lives of my classmates, and I eventually became a Facebook addict. I would stay online all day commenting on status updates and posting pretty pictures of myself, and soon enough I became quite popular on Facebook. People would see me on the road and recognize me! It made me feel extremely important and gave me a sense of self-worth at the time.

A few years into my second year at the university, I became aware of another social media platform called Twitter. Apparently, Twitter was the next big thing and everyone was on it. I had even seen something on CNN about it so I decided to go check it out, but my first experience was pretty disappointing; the layout seemed drab and all I kept seeing were links and something called a ‘hashtag’. I tried to understand Twitter but soon enough, I logged out and soon forgot about it.

I got interested in Twitter again when I got my first Blackberry; a friend showed me how to use it and from that moment I was hooked.  All of a sudden, I lost my love for Facebook and I would jump on Twitter trends and conversations. I had a voice; people found me interesting and my follower count started to increase.

A few months later, I got a message from another Twitter follower asking if I would like to make money from my tweets; at that point I was having money problems so I jumped on the offer without a second thought. He added me to a Blackberry group and we started tweeting for money. I started to develop my account; I jumped on trends more and became more commercial with my tweets. I even became an admin for the student website at my school! I became known for my social media presence, and by the time I was in my final year I had over 12k followers.

It was this love for social media that led me to my career path. Having studied microbiology in university, I was technically unqualified to work in advertising or digital media. But when it was time to apply for work after graduation, it was my follower count that got me the most attention.

And with no formal training, I started my first real social media job, all because I had 21,000 followers.

“J. K. Rolling, get off that phone and come help me in the kitchen!”

Sorry, mum, I’m working!