By Olawalium | Olawalium | 10 Sep 2022


I got asked this question and it's not as simple as it is sometimes because we would always have different opinions on this depending on who we are and what motivates us. I shared my own perspective and how I would approach the matter. I would love to read about yours.

Topic: "You're behind on a project at work and it could seriously affect your career but you can make up the time on the weekend. The problem is you are committed to a family function and cannot do both. Which do you do and why? Remember, doing both is not an option."

There is an adage that says "Look out for yourself because everyone else is taken". I've never been a social function kind of person and most people know this. A lot of people know how I can be when it comes to a social function, so they don't take it to heart when I don't show up even though they wish I can show up. I don't take undue advantage of this and I try to be as honest as I can be.

I've done so many best man duties in my life that I've lost count on the number of suits that I have bought. Do you know why? Because they know I might not show up for the wedding, they ask me to either be the best man to commit me or be one of the groomsmen so I can be "forced" in a way to come.

I am sometimes critical of those who put social function ahead of the most important thing to do. The good thing about me missing out on certain social functions is that I know how to make up for them. I want to say I am generally a nice person so it makes it easier for people when I make them understand certain reasons why I can't show up for certain functions. There was a commitment that clashed with my childhood's friend introduction and it weighed me down because I knew he might not be happy with it. I had to call him that early morning to explain the situation of things to him through video call. For such a situation, a video call would do justice to it and that was what I did. He cared enough to understand and it was the same wedding I later went for as one of the groomsmen.

I think when you are dealing with people that understand you, people that are open and not rigid, it wouldn't be difficult to explain to them why you might not be in certain functions especially when your life or career depends on it. If I were asked to pick between my career and a social function that wants to make me look good, I think I would make the obvious choice which is my career. What's the point in attending a social family function when my life hangs in the balance? What will I explain to even my family members as to why I derailed on my path due to trying to make up the numbers in a social family function?

There are many more family functions that I will still attend but I only have one career path. Even my family members should understand this after I've explained to them what's at stake. Losing my career to make up for the number at a function doesn't sound wise because I doubt they would come through for me when I am struggling to get by. I've seen a lot in the short space of time that my dad passed away to know that it's every man for himself. There is no one that would bear your burden because they also have their burdens. Everyone is trying to get by so they would prioritize themselves over me, it is logical for me to do the same.

If it's a family function that is so important that I can't go, I would ask my wife and daughter to attend on my behalf while I sort out the things I need to do at work and beat the deadline. I can't do both so I would gladly pick my career that puts food on the table for my family, that makes other family members want to relate with me because of it. If I wasn't doing so well and great, I doubt they would even want to include me in that family function, to begin with so I wouldn't want to drop the standard just to look good.

If it was a fixed family function between my wife and I, we would gladly reschedule because I believe she would be the most understanding on that part since my source of livelihood can be affected and she wouldn't want that because she would also be affected in the long run if anything goes wrong.

It's about how we choose to explain it. How we sometimes explain determines how others receive things and if they still choose to receive it in a way that I didn't expect, I would take solace in the fact that I've done what I am expected to do and if they spin the story even for an outsider, I doubt any reasonable person would take their side by saying I should attend at the detriment of my career.

I would look out for myself first because my career is important and along the way, I would seek ways to make up to them. I can visit the couple (if it was a wedding), I can visit the family later on (if it was a burial) and if it was just a social family bonding moment, I can shoulder the responsibility for the next one that I would plan after a month or so just to make up for the one I missed. It's okay to put yourself first but I won't disrespect them by not making up for it or explaining to them why I am doing what I did. It all boils down to making them realize and understand my view of things by apologizing for it and looking for how to make up for it.

The choice is clear to me, I would always pick my career over any family function.

Thank you for your time.

My pen doesn't bleed, it speaks, with speed and ease.

Still me,

My tongue is like the pen of a ready writer.

Olawalium; (Love's chemical content, in human form). Take a dose today: doctor's order.

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Writer. Motivational speaker. Farmer. Relationship coach. God lover.


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