How has it been?
Welcome to September! As a lifestyle blogger, it is imperative that I share the things I have learned over the years and the experiences that help make me, me! It’s Monday and I want to talk about a few things I have learned since I graduated and started working in 2010.
I studied Mass Communication in CU and there are times when I wish life was as simple and clear cut as it was back in school. I mean, Dorcas Hall – Chapel – Class – Cafe – Library or patapata FT. Where else? During NYSC, I worked for the Government and I have since worked in Integrated Marketing Comms (or, Advertising to some people), E-Commerce, Oil and Gas and Banking. Yes, all in 6 years. So, what are the things I have learned so far:
- You do not have to know it all at graduation. You do not have to have the master plan immediately. It took me 4 years to finally realise what I wanted to do. It does not have to take that long, but do not stop trying to discover. Do not stop testing yourself. Also, not knowing did not stop me from working – I considered every job I did in this period an opportunity to learn. Use the skills you have to get a job. For example, being a customer service rep really took a lot from me – I discovered how rude I had been as a customer and how best to diffuse tension over the phone. I learned how to pick up Non-Verbal cues and cross sell other products to customers. I use that knowledge in dealing with others today.
- Money is important: Honestly, experience is nice… Really nice, but having experience while earning good money is not bad either. Negotiate your net pay i.e. after all is deducted – pensions, taxes, health insurance contributions e.t.c, how much will I have? Remember this: No matter how much you are earning, manage your money right. Have a money plan (click here) and save at least 10% of your earnings. Have an emergency fund – look, life is unpredictable, but you can predict the financial cushion you can have. Read this.
- Read the fine print a.k.a Contract. Have a lawyer explain it to you. Talk to someone who has worked in that company or industry. Ask questions. “What is a bond? What does it mean?” – Remember the debt I talked about here? I did not read the fine print well and I was desperate… It caught up with me.
- Work smart, because perception is key. How good is the work you’re doing? Is this not dependent on what someone else says? Put in the work, and make it known. Help others, give your time and talent to help people achieve their goals. How you look, who you talk to and what you say also add up to the mix. Matthew 10:16 contains the advice Jesus gave the disciples before he sent them forth –“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves”. Listen twice as much as you speak.
- You need People – No, your colleagues are not your friends. You can choose to build a deeper relationship of mutual affection a.k.a friendships with a few persons that you work with, but know the risks involved. If one of you gets promoted and the other is not, will it affect your relationship? Can your inner petty rise above this? Yes, your inner petty – sometimes, we are the bad ones. It is also very easy to fall into the rut of complaining about your life, partner, work, bosses and colleagues with other colleagues. I want to say “don’t complain” , but let’s go with complain at home! Also, everyone needs a tribe – a network of people in various industries that you can learn from, be of help to and/or receive help from. Connect!
- Grow yourself – Observe the times and understand where your industry may be heading to. Plug yourself in! Case in point: Before PMP certifications became a rave in Nigeria, some people had prepared themselves for the era of the Project Manager. What is next in your current industry or the industry you have your eye on? I understand that learning can be expensive, but it can also be free. Click for free learning opportunities on the internet! Have an active LinkedIn profile – as you are growing your social popularity via Twitter and Insta, do the same for your career. Take a cue from the Third World Profashional here.
White Blouse: Eve and Tribe || Jeans: Pre-loved from Yaba || Shoes: New Look from Asos
So, there it is! 6 key things I have learned so far… Share with me and others what you have learned so far in your career path. We have to build ourselves up!
Discounts, Sales and Bonuses,