Beyond working and earning monthly salary, there is a deeper desire for most workers, which is Self-sufficiency. Most people aspire to live above insufficient funds, daily toil, and tirelessly strive to attain a certain level of financial freedom. When the desire for self-sufficiency is not attained, dissatisfaction creeps in and then work becomes a tedious monotonous act.
This week’s guest, Ezeugwa Gerrard, strongly believes that self-sufficiency comes through one means, deliberate and consistent hard work. To drive his point home, Gerrard shared some personal experiences during his interview. Brace yourself as we get to know more about this young driven man.
Ezeugwa Gerrard, is a Software Engineer who specializes in building software, developing websites and deploying them. “I write programs in modern programming languages and I maintain best practice in all that I do,” he emphasized.
Having made critical changes along his career path, Gerrard is not your regular kind of worker. He has courageously explored different career options all in different industries. “I had series of changes in my career. From the Oil and Gas sector to Banking Sector then finally Information Technology, the journey has been breathtaking and eventful.”
Gerrard indicated that he had no initial plan to divert from his course of study to his present profession. “I mean I never set out to be a Software Engineer. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Gas Engineering but today, here I am.”
He went further to express his thoughts concerning academic pursuit, indicating that the school environment served as a platform for self-discovery. “I feel going to college was just a mere certification exercise that laid the foundation for self-discovery. I feel I went to school just to find out who I am, my strengths, weaknesses and what I can do happily even without income.”
From his exposure, Gerrard now views the workplace as a school that facilitates all round personal growth. “Working is a school. It teaches you how to grow and do that very fast. You learn time management, personal development amongst others.”
He explained further giving an instance of an experience that stood out for him with focus on the lessons he has learnt from it, “For example, last year I worked in a Nigerian multinational bank. My most remarkable experience here thought me how to be patient. The most discouraging task involved parsing and rearranging business files that could sometimes take weeks to complete. I took the job just to fund my dream of working as a Software Engineer. I did not give up. I knew it was just a phase.”
Gerrard shared some tremendous ways his job has enriched his personality, “Working has given me the opportunity to understand the individual differences that exist among people and how to manage them. It has made me patient, more bold, outspoken and emotionally intelligent. I now know how to patiently and intelligently work my way to the top while leveraging the various situations I find myself.”
Financial wise, working has made Gerrard fiercer in his pursuit for self-sufficiency. He indicated that he has become more cautious in his choice of activities in order to earn more income. “Work has made me self-sufficient. It has also given me the ability to be of assistance to those who genuinely need assistance. I mean no one wants to be a liability, or stay around a liability.
It made me a purpose driven person. I am now time cautious and every activity I indulge in has to be a money maker else I abandon it.”
He also mentioned some benefits that accompanies his job. “On my current job, I became a full time staff within a short space of time. Free lunch, accommodation on request, and others are my benefits. Since then my growth trajectory has been on the y-axis.”
Gerrard shared some of his challenges with underpayment topping the list. Nevertheless, he proposes that working regardless of poor remuneration was better than being idle. “Remuneration is very poor. Opportunity for employee growth is also very poor, but I am patient because I have a goal. I know where I am going. I cannot say because the job pays a penny, then I sit back at home like a King, waiting for manna from heaven. God will bless the works of our hands, but when he sends his angels down to come and bless us, what does he find us doing? selling groundnuts? working in a construction site? or relaxing like the Sultan of Sokoto at home?”
Despite the disadvantages of his job, Gerrard remains optimistic about the future. “I’m blessed. A better move is on the cards and soon, the whole story will change. The story of poor remuneration and opportunity for growth will become history,” he said.
Gerrard admitted he has several side hustles which gives him some level of sustenance. “I have side hustles. I do quite a lot to keep my pockets friendly all the time. Most times I end up earning triple the amount I earn in my work place.”
Backing his reason for relying on other sources of income, Gerrard said, “As a young person starting out life, I learnt that hard work is the key to self-sufficiency and satisfaction. Hard work truly pays. If I depend solely on my work place earnings, it will not fund most of the courses I take for personal development. I mean, I have to grow, and do that very fast.”
Gerrard sternly admonished young career beginners on the need to scout for or create opportunities for themselves as against the watching and waiting attitude. “Don’t stay at home. Go out there and do something. Learn a trade or volunteer at events. Opportunities don’t come by staying at home but they come when you step out and get involved, meet people and learn new things.”
He advised that they start with the available jobs in their reach while they continue to aspire for the bigger paying jobs. “It is a common trend today where young people hold out for the job with the perfect pay, rejecting potential life changing offers along the way. The perfect job will most likely not come. Time is of the essence to any purpose driven person. Take that job, build yourself from there and move when its time. Do not sit back comfortably like all is alright. It might be too late when you realize your mistake.”
What is your route to self-sufficiency? Would you rather sit and wait for the ideal job or would you be a goal getter like Gerrard and make things happen?
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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