Does Getting Your Dream Job Get In The Way of Your Creative Process?
I wish I could answer yes and back them up with solid truths or say no and point out the excuses I’ve been making for not ‘being’ as creative as I used to be.
Hello there. I am Adebola Williams, and I work in tech. I am the Brand Storyteller at Moni.
Moni is a fintech startup headquartered in Nigeria using Community Finance to make financial services available to SMEs, mobile money agents, and everyone.
The entire world is built on communities — groups of people with similar values and interests. Communities have been the backbone of societies since medieval times. They have also extended beyond proximity because, in this interconnected age, distance is no longer a deciding factor in how people become community members. With technology, people from different races living on different continents form communities because of shared values and a dream to build a better world.
For example, Jide, an engineer in Lagos, connects with Jason, an engineer in San Francisco. Together, they create an online forum for engineers all across the globe to talk, inspire and mentor engineers who join their forum. All an engineer needs to join is a Google account.
People are bound by social capital in communities. It’s the money they spend and how they interact with one another. This social capital is at the core of our operations at Moni, and that’s why working at Moni is a dream job.
Moni isn’t just another fintech banking the unbanked. Moni is an innovation of the already existing and already succeeding plugins in our world. The dream at Moni is to contribute to the prosperity of the African continent by using this community model to give access to credit, loans, accounts, savings, insurance, and so much more.
Moni is the only fintech in this part of the world doing this. Yes, ISWIS!
In the past year, we have successfully used this model to disburse loans to mobile money agents and businesses across Nigeria, Benin Republic, and Guinea, and now, as we launch our consumer Community banking features like Moni Vault, where people can easily save and enjoy high yielding interests, we have only just begun to see the power and possibilities in CoFi (Community Finance).
This ingenious work that Moni is doing makes it a dream place for me to work.
I am a multifaceted human with many unrelated interests; I worked in Early Childhood Development before I embraced the fact that my heightened creative needs would only be satiated in the Marketing & Advertising world. In the marketing world, I have gone from being a Content Analyst, Content Creator, Content Marketer, Copywriter, Creative Writer, Creative Director, Script Writer, and Social Media Manager to freelancing in all these capacities, a marketing executive for a hospitality brand and now, a Brand Storyteller in tech.
I always dreamed of working at Google, but in all my dreams, I never had a role. I would see myself living all the sweet life I have seen Googlers share, but I never saw myself doing any specific work. I always knew that my dream job was going to be a job where all of the things I had, knew, could do, and was interested in would intersect. That is happening at Moni.
However, before I started working at Moni, I used to publish articles on Medium or LinkedIn every other day. I would host seminars about writing or the creative process. I had a growing newsletter community. I would sit to create my content calendar for each month. I would design carousel posts for my Instagram account way ahead of time. I would write guides and ebooks that would help other creatives. I was even on my way to becoming a LinkedIn Influencer.
But since I started working at Moni, I’ve only been able to publish three articles. I have become the most inconsistent creative on LinkedIn, and my newsletter community is tired of my apologies.
This is why I have so many questions:
- Is having a dream job denying me the ability to be creative just for myself? For my personal audience?
2. What exactly is going on with my personal brand?
3. Did I grow my personal brand to get a dream job?
4. Is having a job with so many creative demands affecting my ability to create in other capacities?
I don’t have the answers yet, but I’ll be sharing the lessons I’m learning on my way to finding the answers.
The game is different now, and so is the mindset. Before I got my job at Moni, I worked at one of the biggest Nigerian brands in the home essentials sector. I was overseeing the digital experiences of our customers. It was my job to ensure that the customers had a good experience every time they interacted with the brand online — website, social media, email newsletter, and online shop. I worked with a content writer, a web designer, a graphics designer, and some sales personnel. Now at Moni, I can’t summarize my job function so easily. There are lots of strategies, operations, and day-to-day activities that go into the overall work of brand storytelling. The demands on me are different now. My biggest concern now isn’t social media content or trying to go viral. The things that keep me up at night are different now too. I am juggling multiple advanced skills as well, skills like Product Marketing, UX Writing, PR, and lots more. It’s not the same sports anymore. It’s not like I was playing in the little league and now in the big league. It’s more like I was playing hopscotch in my backyard with my neighbors’ kids, and now I’m doing the long jump in the Olympics. There’s more at stake, not just for me but for my company. Just as in Olympics, I’m not only representing myself, but I’m also representing my company.
Knowing this initiated a mindset change. I am no longer just a personal brand. I am a personal brand inside of a global brand.
It’s no longer just Adebola Williams; it’s Adebola Williams of Moni. This is so true, even on very simple levels. When people see me, they call me Debola Moni. They have linked the company I work at to my person subconsciously, and I’m not mad at it. I am no longer serving only myself but also serving my company.
This mindset brings us to the second lesson.
If I can do it at Moni or for Moni, I should do it for myself.
As a company, Moni has quarterly objectives and OKRs, and out of these, I have derived the KPIs for the Storytelling team. Why didn’t I replicate this for myself? Each month, I have articles, storyboards, and content planned for Moni. Why aren’t I doing the same for Adebola Williams?
No one is in the way of my creative process. The ideas haven’t stopped coming. I haven’t stopped getting inspired.
What I have stopped doing, however, is executing. Writing and publishing those articles. Collaborating with creators, writing and selling guides. Hosting webinars and being out there.
If you’re like me, who got their dream job and can’t seem to be in the face of people like you usually were, it’s time to look through another lens. Take a look from another perspective. It’s not that your job demands so much from you that you can’t create; it’s because the stakes now are higher.
So what do we do?
We put processes in place. We think, plan and create ahead of time. On weekends, we plan and write. We establish similar work processes in our personal brands.
One of the processes I have put in place is joining ADPList. It’s another way I create content. I have a mentor’s account on ADPList where anyone from anywhere in the world can book a session with me on my own terms and ask me questions about branding, communications, brand storytelling, marketing, writing, content, and working in tech. I may not be able to attend to every DM or email, but on this platform, I get to meet people and help them on their journey to getting their dream jobs or creating their dream life as well.
I don’t have all the answers, but I hope you can meet me where I am right now. I hope you haven’t given up on building your personal brand because of your dream job. You can have the best of both worlds. We can, and we should.