Last Friday (24th June) , i was invited by my friend Stella Iwuajoku to facilitate a Whatsapp career development seminar. This blog post is a product of that event.
I finished secondary school in 2009.
I wrote both Science and Arts subjects in my WAEC and NECO examination. That was because I realized I had some interest in arts in my Senior Secondary (SS) 3, even after doing science from SS1. I was basically confused; should I do what my parents wanted – Study in Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), or should I follow my recent discovery about my interest in Arts?
Did you have this experience?
Well I eventually applied for Project Management Technology in FUTO and failed. Staying at home for 1 year wasn’t funny. But it was at this period of staying at home that I made another discovery about myself.
I began to read self-help/motivational books and learning online marketing. My passion for personal development and business was birthed. I was getting this leading to help enough other people build a thriving career. This leads me to my first advice (or lesson) for you if you’re a Jamb-writing student or related to one who is.
Are you ready for it?
Don’t waste that period in between leaving secondary school and gaining admission. That is a strategic time in your life to make strong career decisions. If you’re “failing” to gain admission, instead of brooding and being stagnant, start doing something to better yourself.
Enrol into a computer training program, look for a job (to gain working experience), start reading books (self-help books to be precise), Start learning another language (Spanish…just because it’s my favourite); Just anything to improve yourself.
So back to my story! I eventually got admission to study Economics in University Of Nigeria, Nsukka (Alvan Campus). I did Economics because that’s the only course I loved that’s related to my new found love for Business. Secondly, because it gives me a lot of career/job options.
Now I’m a graduate but the funny thing is I’m not directly using anything I learned in school. That’s because I answered a call and started my own ministry in personal and business development. I’ve coached and trained hundreds of people in these areas and that’s essentially why I’m here today to teach you.
So I want to serve you my special recipe to help you build a thriving career that horns your passion.
Menu Item 1 – Discover & Follow Your Passion
I know some of you have heard this a lot, but have you actually discovered yours? If you’re good in and passionate about dancing, instead of going to study Zoology, why not enrol into a professional dance school? If you are passionate about ICT, there are a lot of good ICT training institutes in Nigeria.
I’d rather learn computer in a professional computer institute than in a University. Please let me sound this to your ears – Companies now are looking for guys who can do the job well, not just degree carrying graduates.
But for most of us, our greatest problem is how to discover what I call “Your Expert Zone”; That which is your calling or passion. If you’re struggling with this, here are some tips.
In what area do others ask you for help in? (Most times your relations, colleagues and friends always run to you for assistance in this area.) You might even go ahead to Ask them for their views.
What Activities are you engaged in currently that gives you joy? (e.g. Dancing in a group, playing an instrument, driving, swimming, repair work etc.)
What would you still be doing, even if nobody pays you for it? (Do you think Lionel Messi could ever stop playing football?)
To learn how you can develop your gift or talent fast, you can read my blog post
Menu Item 2 – Create A Career Plan For Yourself
I almost get annoyed when I ask an undergraduate her plan after graduation and she says “I’ll look for a well paid job”. Please tell me who is not looking for a well paid job? But which kind of job? Which company or organisation?
You need to be specific about your career goals. When you know the kind of job and company you want, you’ll know the kind of actions you must take to get it.
Do you want to work for someone or you want to start your own business? If actually you want to run your business like me, there is still nothing wrong with taking a paid job just to fund it. It’s called a side hustle; a job that gives you money to fund your dreams.
Menu Item 3 – Update Your Life | Stay Ahead In The Game
Some of you are still living old fashioned lives and want to get new fashion high paying jobs.
Here is an assignment for you. After this class, take a pen and paper and write your CV. Write it and see how qualified you are for your dream job. A friend of mine asked me once to help her write her CV.
I was amazed that her highest qualifications were a university degree and a computer program. See my friends, even now in Nigeria, a masters degree is not enough. Some of Dangote’s driver are masters degree holders.
Make your CV Irresistible! You can do a free 3 weeks certificate course with a foreign university right from your bedroom with your Smartphone.
Go to www.edx.com or www.coursera.com and you’ll see various courses on different fields. You’ll only need to pay between N15, 000 – N30, 000 for the certificate. Imagine if you could do 4 of those courses related to your field in 1 year.
But it’s not just in being the most qualified on paper, but also in character. There are top qualities employers lookout for; do you possess them?
Menu Item 4 – Hire A Coach, Mentor Or Accountability Partner
This is especially for the people who want to start their own passion-business and be independent. Some of you think you can build a successful business all by yourself. You need to tap from the expert brains. I’m not telling you this because I’m also a coach, I’m telling you this because I too suffered for not having one.
I wouldn’t have gotten to the level I am if I had not coughed out about N40, 000 to travel to Lagos and sit under a coach for 6 hours in his house.
Let me challenge you… If you can pay a reliable coach N10, 000 each month for 12 months to help you grow your business. DO IT! If you are not earning 3X that amount in 12 months, I’ll personally refund your money. Ehhhmm (clears throat), I’d like to be that coach sha!
But seriously, as an undergraduate or fresh graduate, you need to invest in things that make you an asset and not just another ordinary person. Be extraordinary!
A man once said “It’s not what you don’t have that limits you, it’s what you have but don’t know how to use”
I currently have 2 mentors who I speak with every week. They challenge me! We discuss faith, business, relationship, health etc. It helps to have someone to talk to. You’re in-charge of your life but you don’t have to run it alone.
Menu Item 5 – Network Like Crazy
This is not the age of sitting in your house every weekend to watch Telemundo or English Premier League. You only do those things when your career and life has taken shape; You can then sit with your boo or bae all evening with some chilled drinks and enjoy TV. (Damn! Now I feel like getting married)
For now, you’ve got to get up and make friends. Whether it’s a wedding, seminar, Old boys reunion, please attend and bring along your networking spirit. Some of you don’t have friends outside your church or school. Join event planning committees and meet new people.
You don’t know who’ll offer you the next job opportunity or who’ll be sitting in the panel for your next job interview. If it’s someone you met at your Old Boys Reunion event, you could just be landing the job.
And don’t tell me you’re an introverted person or you’re not good at making friends. That’s an excuse for mediocrity.
Download and listen to my podcast episode titled How To Build Your Credibility And Make Friends In An Event
Also Listen to this – Building High Value Relationships On Facebook
There is not an excuse today for anyone who seriously wants to build a thriving career. Every resource is so easy to access. The question is – Are you ready to grab them?
Question: What steps have you taken (or taking) to build a thriving career for yourself?