I was out over the weekend and I met a young lady (Tolu) who shared the
story of how she discovered her career and grew in it. I thought I
should share with BIE readers, it just might inspire someone.
Tolu told me how she studied Accounting while she was in University not
because she had a passion for it but because she didn’t know exactly
what she wanted to do. She wanted to become many things ranging from a
fashion designer, to an actress, to a model to becoming a banker. She
was still unclear about what she really wanted by the time she graduated
from school and went for her National Youth Service Program. After that she
was faced with the question “What next?”
She started learning how to sew in the meantime instead of mopping about
at home. After some time she got a teaching job close to her house which
made her happy; ‘happy but not fulfilled’. Happy because the experience
gave her the opportunity to learn and impact lives, but unfulfilled
because she wanted to do more.
Shortly after that, she got a job with a consulting firm and that was
where she started discovering herself. She discovered that since she
enjoyed impacting lives and interacting with people, she could build her
career in Human Resources Management. She started studying and paying
close attention to HR practices in the organization. Soon she got the
opportunity to start training people, of course developing herself in
the process. She grabbed every opportunity to learn; registered for
online courses, pursuing certification courses relevant to the HR
industry etc but before she got the job in the consulting firm, she had
paid a price.
new laptop when she heard about a graduate school which needed to be
paid for. It was a tough decision but she decided to choose acquiring
that knowledge over getting a laptop. She participated in role plays,
presentations and other class exercises. During her presentation in one
of the courses, she was noticed by one of the facilitators who happened
to be an HR Consultant. The consultant was recruiting an assistant at
that time and that was how Tolu got the job with the consulting firm.
Today, this young lady is doing well in her career and continues to
develop herself so she can stay relevant and updated in her industry.
Things I learnt from her
1. She didn’t relax after NYSC, she wasn’t laidback. She looked for
something to do instead of sitting down at home doing nothing.
2. While she was learning tailoring, she got a job with a small pay and
she took the job. She didn’t wait to get a job that would pay so much
because she knew she wanted to learn and gain experience. Many fresh
graduates feel too entitled to start small, all they want is a job that
can pay very well not considering what they can offer the organization.
3. Personal Development: This cannot be over emphasized. She was torn
between buying a laptop and training herself. Eventually she decided to
develop herself first because she knew that if she got a better job
after training herself, getting the laptop would not be an issue. She
placed her priorities right.
4. After discovering herself, she didn’t relax. She continues to train
herself so she can remain relevant in her career.
There’s probably someone out there thinking, “What’s out there for me”?
“What can I do”? “Am I really useful”?
“Is there something I’m born to do that can make me stand out”?
My answer to these questions today is “Get up and look for
opportunities to work even if it’s for free.”
Sometimes, you never know what you can excel at until you are pushed to