This is a Short Note.
For graduates, a key thing I have learnt for getting ahead, in careers, is not necessarily what you studied in universities. But rather, how adaptive and anticipatory you are, as you move on your career.
As a boy that grew up in a village with many military people, I saw success from the lens of military service because many of them in my village were “successful”. Good enough, someone taught us that we could get ahead by doing well in our traditional schools. We listened.
There are people that believe that unless they work in banking, telecom or energy, nothing will work for them in Nigeria. That is not really bad, but obsession with that mindset could be dangerous. There are many paths to getting to those “good sectors” in life. The key is making sure you are moving and not just static. When people waste two years after graduation waiting for jobs from the likes of Shell, GTBank and MTN, passing over little ones, from smaller companies, they may not be making the best decisions.
We read of robots, AI and other emerging areas in technology. We hail engineers and other wickedly smart people building these systems. But behind these geeks is a rush for liberal arts people who are humanizing the systems. They are helping to make science fiction become realities in our daily lives. They do write the sci-fi, engineers do not write sci-fi. Without them, the chips will be hardware with no nice games to power.
I have come to see that what matters, in career advancement, is pursuit of excellence in what you do. Sure, there are areas that make finding opportunities easier, in our modern global economy. But the fact remains that anybody can be anything. Your life tenacity matters more than what degree you have in the bag. It is dangerous to have self-pity because of your degree or the school you attended. Looking into the future and finding energy to advance your life is what will drive you into abundance in your career.
There is abundance in Africa, across our cities with their hidden acres of diamonds. You will not notice if you are always looking up. Sometimes, careers advance when you look a little bit downward. Good luck.
I used to be in this situation, wanting to work in the best of NGOs, not really because of value but for the status and prestige. I eventually discovered myself, found out about my unused potentials and found out that those other BIG places can come back to even start chasing you with much more. But first, you have to situate yourself as a personality that can create value and sustain valuable discussions. It’s all about finding the untapped potentials in Africa.