The Struggle to Be Corporate



It’s a Monday morning. I barely make it to work after practically dragging myself out of bed, but not before being faced with the problem of what to wear. I am bombarded with decisions as I add and subtract from my outfit: Is this too formal? Is that too out-there? Is this dress too short?

Eventually, my brain tells me I have made the right decision. I pick an outfit and head to work, hoping I managed to look at least average. I’m very tired and want to go back home and sleep (Monday blues), but as I start to work, I hear a voice from behind me say, “JK Rolling, why don’t you ever dress corporate?” I look at myself and realise that I actually don’t look corporate. I have been fooled by my brain once again.

I decide that I’m going to look better the following week, and start to strategize and make plans on how I want to dress. After my internal strategy session, I am hopeful. I mean, how hard can it be to put together a formal shirt and simple trousers? Next thing I hear is, “Baby girl, what are you wearing? Why won’t your hair stay combed?” And I’m just stumped, like, ahn ahn, I really tried. What’s going on here, and why isn’t anyone praising my effort?

Back to the drawing board for me.

I’m not exactly a fashionista. In fact, I’d probably be the worst dressed in magazines if I was famous. But after struggling so hard to figure out what to wear, daily, I finally figured it out!

Here’s how I solved the problem:

After a lot of research, I decided to have a work uniform with similar outfits every day. I bought a few pairs of trousers, 2 skirts and lots of chiffon tops. I also kept a pair of heels in the office in case I was ever accused of not wearing heels. This simple decision has made my life so much easier! I now have items that always match, look formal, and I don’t have to stress myself out over getting ready anymore because everything looks pretty much the same.

Since I made this change I’m now cool with everyone (thank God). And not only do I feel great about what I wear, I no longer spend time thinking about what I wear! If you’re like me, and you struggle with work-appropriate fashion, I hope you learn from my process!

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.