• Antoinette Minor

When Your Career Loses Album of the Year Because You Did Something Different

So, unless you were sleep under a rock last night you know that the Grammy's aired on television. Real talk, I didn't watch it because I fell asleep but then Twitter saved my life as usual. After watching Beyonce's performance 023943204803294 times I then learned through the Twitterverse that Beyonce lost Album of the Year. Despite the amazing work she has done, Beyonce has never won Album of the Year and this is the third time she has been nominated for this very award. Insert Adele here...

The super talented Adele took the crown for Album of the Year. This is also Adele's second time winning album of the year. In a crazy turn of events Adele dedicated her win to Beyonce. Adele is a Beyonce STAN and always has been but felt that nothing could have beaten Lemonade. #WeAllThoughtBeyonceWouldWinToo. Adele expressed her love for Beyonce's work and then made a statement that struck me. Yes, this has a tie to the corporate world... During her press interview following the awards, Adele asked what Beyonce would have to do to get her win and that she thought the Academy would lean towards a piece of work that was non traditional based on its quality and reception.

This got me thinking. Forget the past two times she lost. Lemonade was an entire visual album, movie and body of art! How could it have only won 2 out of the 9 nominated categories? Have you ever been in a situation at work where you were frowned upon for trying something new? Did the new thing work and you were still scolded because it wasn't done the, "right way?" Let me rephrase that. Did you get in trouble because you didn't do it the way your boss wanted you to do it? Yep! Been there, done that, seen HR and quit the job! 

It truly sucks to work in an environment that isn't progressive and forward thinking when it comes to work performance and outcomes. You know there is a smarter, faster or more productive way to do things but old habits die hard when it comes to employers sometimes.  Millennials are constantly stuck in this position because we aren't taken seriously. Seasoned employees think we don't have enough experience or that we don't know what we are talking about. Let me tell you about my previous position and how we were stuck using old tactics to bring in new business.

My sales job was an interesting, stressful but a very meaningful time in my life. I grew and learned so much from this position so don't think it was all bad. One of my VPs was very old school when it came to making new sales and producing new clients. His theory was that you should only focus on the top 20% of your clients to make your goals.  Hmmm... I'm going to let you guys sit on that for a moment. 

So, this meant that I called the same 20 - 30 contacts every single month. I even had to get permission to visit or speak with clients that were not in that 20%. Hmmm... Yes, that meant I was trying to sell the same product all the damn time. The product wasn't one that you could continuously purchase either. Yes, I could upsell but my numbers were based on new sales. I lived by the motto, "how Sway?" until he eventually left the company. I barely made goal and was held accountable for it instead of leadership trying to figure out why things weren't working with the ENTIRE team.

While, my VP was busy calling the top 20%, I was busy calling the clients with low hanging fruit. Clients that had a need or I hadn't seen in a while. I was WINNING with this formula until I was called out for being out of line. The sales were then not "good" enough and every other reason under the sun to not count them towards my efforts. The real reason being that I was beating them out on their own game by not doing things the traditional way. I was confused like Adele. If this wasn't okay then what the hell did I have to do to win?

At the end of the day it wasn't about how hard I worked or hitting the goal every month by any NEW means necessary. I wasn't doing it the way my boss liked so I was wrong in every sense of the word in their eyes. There was nothing I could do but try my hardest to build a case on why a new sales method was needed around these parts of town. Some people just don't want to give in to new and creative ways to get the job done out of spite and ego. Yea, I said it...

Guess what? That's okay! Its life. Bow out as graciously as Beyonce did and try your hardest to win again. At the end of the day I still won because I brought in new sales and made my commission. I mean, Beyonce ain't worried about no checks is she? Do what you need to do but this is also where you need to think about finding a company that aligns with your vision and respects your input. I now work at a company that is all for new ideas. The best part is... if you fail, you failed while trying! I love my job!

With that said, always try to do things the traditional way but don't be scared to improve the system and give your voice. You might be the one who brings the best ideas to the table and that can result in rewards. You may not be rewarded for being forward thinking and that's okay. Soon enough Beyonce will get her Album of the Year win and you'll receive the recognition your deserve as well.

See you at the top,

The Young Professionalist


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