Whilst an increased pay could be a motivating factor for most employees, some however have proven that their dedication hasn’t been driven by money. Even though they look forward to earning more than they currently do, they never allowed that to get in the way of delivering their work.
We had a better understanding of this when we interviewed Dele Babalola, a HSE/M Officer with over six years of experience. Even with the many responsibilities attached to his title, from identifying all risk causing factors that could delay work progress, bring harm to staff, damages to equipment. Basically, he handles the maintenance and repairs of all hospital equipment and property as well as logistics for the hospital operation and demands, and still, Dele ensures that he executes them all excellently.
“Work has made me target oriented,” he said, indicating how his work has impacted his life.
It is one thing to start a career but finding a need to be met in that chosen career is something most employees often don’t think about. Dele, on the other hand, has found a need in his profession and as such has never considered a career change. “There are health challenges and staff wellbeing to consider,” Dele said.
Even though the progress he has made in his career so far has been accompanied by more demands, Dele believes that it’s all part of being an employee.
“My work has been filled with promotion, more responsibilities with little financial increase. They said the benefit of a reliable employee is more work.”
As regards his finances, Dele said, “it has been a steady growth,” and quickly added, “an increase in pay never hurts.”
Despite the challenge of low pay, Dele desires more knowledge that would increase his efficiency, “More training would help me become more efficient.”
When asked if he has a side hustle, Dele admitted, “yes, because salary no matter how much is always budgeted before it even gets to you.”
Dele Babalola ended his interview with these simple words of advice directed to young career people, “keep being focused, constantly improve your skill set, certifications go a long way. Be humble, diligent and dedicated.”
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Mrs. Chika I. A. started out her teaching career as a care giver but has risen through the profession to becoming a well-experienced expert in educational management and a proficient developer of start-up schools convincing and increasing the confidence of parents/guardians to admit their wards and thus bringing in more money to school owners in Port Harcourt. She is currently a consultant manager for schools within and outside Port Harcourt metropolis and is a staff of the Universal Basic Education Board where she teaches in one of the State Primary Schools in Port Harcourt. With over 20 years of seamless dedication, we’ll see what drives and sustains her passion in one profession most young Nigerians wouldn’t want to venture into.
As earlier mentioned Mrs. Chika began her career providing care to 0 to 1 year old babies in a private school in Port Harcourt, more than 20 years ago; long after obtaining her GCE (General Certificate of Education) in 1990 and having before then, obtained a Distinction in her first school leaving examination. With little or no degree in education, she had a rough and slow ride in advancing her career as a teacher and went in and out of teaching, sometimes freelancing as an assistant teacher (which is more or less the job description of a teacher) in some private schools paying peanuts in Port Harcourt. Her dedication, hard-work, touch of excellence and eagerness to learn and adapt to the 21st century advancements in education teaching methods, gave her an edge over her counterparts in the teaching profession. This skyrocketed her career growth and she began working in the full capacity of a Teacher and had taught for several years before obtaining her National Certificate in Education (NCE) in 2010. During our interview with her, She stated that most of the schools she taught in had parents giving good reports and recommendations as she made tangible impacts in the lives of the pupils and proprietors found it difficult letting her go. She says:
“In fact one of the proprietors I worked for, that wasn’t faithful in salary payments, almost created a scene when she knelt down on the tarred road – in public view – pleading that I should come back teaching in her school; promising to pay on time; but I had gotten a bigger offer to manage a start-up school then, so I couldn’t stay.”
Mrs. Chika developed one of the most prime and quality schools in Port Harcourt in terms of infrastructure, sophistication of teaching materials; serene, beautifully painted and well decorated child-friendly classrooms, safe playing ground and well protected balcony’s, going on to conducting and supervising the recruitment process of quality staff, developing the curriculum/scheme of work for each class, utilizing various curricula combinations (American, British, Montessori), liaising with suppliers of educational materials and getting the best deals in quality, emphasizing on the importance of extra-curricular activities, vocational skills, musical instruments prowess and ballet dance skills, swimming skills, excursions, e-learning, efficient teaching methods for special kids, amongst other educational advancements. She went on to establish more schools in that regard. Her taste for knowledge drove her to getting various educational certifications and then she applied for a Bachelor’s degree in Education. When the employment offer by the government came, she had to make a tough decision of leaving her position and its pay to a position offering less than half her pay then. This shows vividly that her passion for teaching isn’t driven by money. She resigned and is currently a staff of the Rivers State Government under the Rivers State UBE board touching the lives of less-opportune children.
Having quite an interesting career trajectory, Mrs Chika threw light on the impact and challenges she had encountered so far on her career journey. Speaking on how working has impacted her life, she declares;
“I have gained experience over the years which have made me work with much more confidence, contributing to my expertise and making me highly sought-after by school investors and directors. So, the experience I have which can’t be taken away added to my wealth of knowledge in my profession and the financial aspect – though not much, has been of great impact to me.”
In addition, she spoke on the challenges that she encounters whilst working.
“The non-supply of teaching aids and learning materials has been a major challenge so far. My employer supply what they think is basic like the board, just recently more desks for the children were brought in, and a conducive classroom. But there are some other teaching aids and learning materials that needs to facilitate teaching and learning which they ought to supply but they don’t; so it hampers the teaching and learning process. Also, the meager salary paid in these economic times is a challenge. We have to live within our means and save ahead and also stock the kitchen ahead of time because we aren’t certain when the next salary would come. ”
When asked if she faces any challenges with teaching stubborn children, she has this to say:
“In education, we don’t tag any child stubborn. Every child is unique in his or her own way.”
PROFESSIONAL ADVANCEMENTS IN TERMS OF PROMOTION and FINANCE
Besides the challenges Mrs. Chika faces whilst impacting knowledge to the upcoming generation, there has also been a stall in promotional benefits of staffs. In fact it spreads across the civil service and we know that with promotion comes an increase in finance. Expressing her disappointment, when asked her career trajectory in terms of promotion and benefits, she has this to say:
“As a civil servant, it’s not in my hands to detect. It’s the government that carries it out. Though, there ought to be promotion after every two years during which promotional interviews are conducted; but for the past 10 years now nothing like that has happened. So I depend on God who doesn’t disappoint to reward me better. Aside the loans which are given once in a while, I’m unaware of any other benefits.”
HIGH POINT OF CAREER
When asked the question: ‘What has stood out for you since you started working, in other words, what’s your best experience so far?’. She has this to say:
“The outcome of my teaching on the lives of the children and teaching itself gives me joy. Children don’t need to be grown-ups to reflect the teaching even there and then, change occurs. Education is all about change and when this change manifests in the children’s’ lives it gives me joy. When you tell a child – if it’s in the moral aspect – that this is not good, and you see that child adjust and there’s a change in behavior, you know that you have achieved your goal. When you’re teaching a subject which the child had no previous knowledge about and at the end, that child becomes a guru on that topic, you’ve achieved your goal and achieving goals makes you happy and satisfied with your job”.
As a wrap up, our interviewee gave her advice to those seeking to build a career in Teaching. She opined;
“Have genuine love for the profession and passion also. If you don’t love teaching don’t go into it. Don’t go into teaching because you want to make money. You can’t make money in the classroom. You can’t turn those children into money or you’ll be tagged a ‘ritualist’. God has a way of blessing teachers. I can’t quote in ABC terms that this is how God blesses teachers; God has his own unique way of blessing teachers. So don’t go in expecting huge mega pay because you may be frustrated but go in with the intention of helping those young ones grow in knowledge”.
Mrs. Chika added that teachers should open themselves up to opportunities for career development.
“The world is changing and so every aspect of life changes with it. We should not be rigid but easily adaptable to technological advancements in education and teaching techniques”.
From Mrs. Chika’s Perspective about the work place, it is quite obvious that growth in whatever career path you’ve chosen is driven by your passion, taste for excellence/knowledge and not just the money. In fact the money shouldn’t be the prime focus especially in the teaching profession and happiness comes when you’ve met your goals.
Written by Rejoice Emmanuel
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The valentine season is here and as usual lots of love birds would be flying out from their love nests. Funny, but some may be total strangers while some of them may be long-time friends, and then some may be colleagues at work.
Business, they say, shouldn’t be mixed with pleasure, but a research carried out in 2017 revealed that more people are getting involved in office romance as the days go by. This is often traced back to the fact that most workers spend eight to ten hours a day and almost every month in a year in the workplace with the same set of persons. They have no other option but to share the same space with others. However the problem arises when they go beyond office work and begin to create a romantic atmosphere around themselves within the workplace.
A research carried out by a professional platform, CareerBuilder, highlighted that 41 percent of employees have dated a fellow colleague thereby failing to maintain a professional relationship. It was also recorded that 12 percent of these relationships started while working extra hours into the night, 10 percent began after a happy hour, while 9 percent started during a lunch outing and 10 percent started after meeting by chance outside the work environment.
Though most cases of office romance involve colleagues in the same level or department, studies have shown that 29 percent in-office relationships are between someone in a higher position and a junior colleague. It also revealed 15 percent have had an intimate affair with their direct boss. When caught or exposed, 37 percent deny the relationship and 63 percent admit it.
Interestingly it was stated that 30 percent of these relationships end up in marriage even though most fizzle out with time. The outcomes are never predicable but still a hard question stares us in the face, should there be room for romantic relationships in the office space?
Over the years most companies have frowned at the concept of in-office relationship and have continued to search for ways to eradicate its roots from their workplace. They believe it would destroy the image of the company and so have employed different measures to handle cases like these such as by banning it, penalising culprits or even firing them, making their employees sign a contract forbidding office romance, and so on.
However, CEO of Engage PEO, Jay Starkman, stated that placing a ban would only encourage more secret relationships in the organisation. He suggested this instead, “an employer should establish a clear policy that requires reporting of the relationship to HR so that it can be monitored and people can be properly advised on how to conduct themselves.”
Even though some company polices may seem harsh, most times they exist in order to prevent unpleasant situations from occurring. Like Roy Cohen, a career counselor and executive coach, puts it, “Many organizations have rules about dating colleagues not because dating a colleague is a bad thing. You may share common interests and motivations and you may both love the organization. The rules exist to avoid any messiness that might arise when the relationship ends, when one of you gets promoted, or if one of you has access to information that should not be shared, especially if it might benefit your partner unfairly.”
Most often than not, most organisations try to avoid issues like this but then they keep on reoccurring and could be a source of distraction from the main company’s target. Well a one sided judgement is usually not the best so what’s your take on this as an employer or employee? Should the love birds be allowed to fly freely or should they be caged? Leave a comment below.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Different life’s phases come with strings of uncertainties urging us to travel over and make sense out of them. This process is often what we refer to as self-discovery. Just like every other phase, the career phase also requires some level of discovering in order for us to fit into the perfect picture we desire.
While self-discovery may take a very long time for some people, it could also take a very short time for some other persons. Within a space of three years of working, Kosisochukwu Ikeme, our interviewee for this week, has explored quite a number of career options which she is certain has helped her know herself better.
Kosisochukwu believes that her working experience so far has impacted her life positively both on a personal and professional level, “I have gotten better at organizing things and managing people. I have also become more independent and the confidence to take on new things has greatly increased. My confidence in myself is getting better by the day and I have realised I can actually do anything if I set my mind and apply myself consciously to it even when it is an unfamiliar territory.”
Notwithstanding her educational background, Kosisochukwu approached the career world with an open mind, embracing different opportunities that came her way.
“I have a BSc. in Human Nutrition and Dietetics and I am a Registered Dietician-Nutritionist but I presently work as an Administrator/Human Resource Management Personnel which is totally off from Nutrition. I have never really seen myself working in the hospital as a Dietician, I had plans of working as a Freelance Dietician and offering Consultation services that is if I decided to practice Dietetics. Years after graduation, I was stuck in limbo of cluelessness; had no idea what I wanted to do or what I was good at. So I went from working as Customer Service Executive in a Courier Service company to working briefly as a Dietician to working presently as an Administrator/Human Resource Management Personnel.”
Due to her willingness to learn from scratch, Kosisochukwu continues to make tangible progress at work,
“I went from working as a Volunteer to an Intern and then a Full-Time Employee in the firm where I presently work.”
Kosisochukwu, as a result of her ability to dare, has served in different capacities, graciously pioneering each role even without prior knowledge. She indicated that this experience has improved and refined her to a great extent.
“Working with the firm where I am presently is my best experience so far. Here I found a platform to explore and learn things about myself that I never knew. I have grown beyond my imagination, I dare say. Taking on a role/responsibility of heading a department with no prior experience/knowledge has helped me realise that it’s in our own minds that we stay limited. I have learned, unlearned and relearned and still undergoing the process as I work understanding the system and getting grounded in it. My Boss has been beyond amazing, it’s not every day someone takes a chance on you and sees a million and one things in you that you don’t and never gets tired of nudging you to do and be better.”
As expected, her new role at work did not come without challenges which practically demands she learns on the job.
“Considering it’s a role that I have absolutely no experience/knowledge in, it’s still a bit of a struggle finding my feet and setting up the HR/Admin system of the firm,” Kosisochukwu admitted.
Concerning her finances, she had this to say, “I won’t say there is an improvement in my finances but I have learnt to be more frugal with my spending, be very conscious and intentional about saving and I’m also learning to invest.”
Having learnt some quality life lessons from her experience, Kosisochukwu shared some piece of advice to those who are just starting out their career, “Be open to learning. It pays to be teachable. Nobody really has it all figured out but you have to be willing to take on opportunities when they come, seek to improve yourself and trust in your abilities.”
From her perspective, we can deduct the fact that in life, sometimes, we probably have to test different waters and cross several seas of uncertainty before getting to the final destination. It is during this journey, we acquire the knowledge and experience that eventually adds to the quality of our person.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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The engineering profession which officially dates back to 1390 has always had a strong label attached to it, “The Man’s World”. This meant its doors were shut to women and that made it almost impossible for females to get involved. Fast forward to the twenty first century, its doors sprang a bit open and accessible to females all over the world. Queen Ochuba, our interviewee for the week is one of the few females treading confidently and leaving footprints in the engineering field.
Knowing the odds and hurdles she would have to cross, Queen took out time to lay her foundation properly and be well-grounded in her chosen career. This has opened the doors of opportunities she has walked through over the years.
“I have a bachelor’s degree in Petroleum Engineering and an MSc. in Petroleum Engineering and Project Development. I’ve previously worked as a petroleum engineer (before and after my masters) and I currently work in a business development role for a petroleum engineering software development company.”
With a good number of years of experience under her belt, Queen has continued to make a bold statement and build her relevance professionally.
“I’ve developed my technical skills and I’m better at managing relationships. I’m also more independent, more confident, more out-spoken and I can blend into just about any circle.”
Big things they say start small and oftentimes it is in the small things that our level of commitment is tested. Queen’s progress so far can be linked to the level of commitment she has poured in the minor roles she has had to take on in the past.
“I started out as a Petroleum Engineering Graduate Intern in 2014, went on to do a master’s degree in 2016 and in 2017, I got a Graduate Trainee role in an oil service company after which I got a permanent offer towards the end of 2018. The benefits and conditions of service have been better with each offer.”
In the process of working, she has had some remarkable experiences but the one that stood out for her is the endless possibilities learning opens us to.
“I worked on a project in 2016 with my team. A few weeks later, I casually wrote a scholarship test and 85% of the questions were in the same area I had just worked on. Naturally, it felt good to know that I had learned a lot from the project, more importantly, I got funding for my masters as a result of being in that environment at that time. I learnt the value of information.”
Speaking about her financial life, Queen simply mentioned how she has been able to manage her finances as a working class lady. “I’ve developed financial discipline overtime, I’ve learnt to plan better and I’m able to contribute to my community.”
When asked about the disadvantages in her work, Queen couldn’t pinpoint any but rather made a suggestion on how things could be done better.
“I’m struggling to pick out a disadvantage. If I had to change one thing though, it will be to make working hours and location more flexible.”
Moving on to spot out a major challenge which she faces at work, Queen said, “I occasionally struggle to keep up when there’s an avalanche of events going on at the same time. Overtime, I’ve learnt to use to-do lists, group similar tasks, prioritize, and maintain focus through it all.”
Queen is not the regular kind of petroleum engineer who only depends on the oil money for her survival, she is skilled up, has her side hustle intact and juggles both work and it smartly.
“I love order and I’m great at organizing. Following this passion, sometime in 2013, I did a 3-month training in decorations and event management. By the end of the third month, I was already getting juicy offers to decorate for events and the rest they say is history. Interestingly, most of my jobs are on weekends and I’ve been able to assemble a team so it’s easy to juggle both.”
Ending her interview, Queen gave a short and precise advice to younger folks starting their career. “First, know the basics. Put yourself out there. Get mentors. Keep improving yourself and always have a positive mindset.”
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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The career world sometimes, if not most times, isn’t a straight-line graph easily plotted. Our interviewee for this week on the column, Walter Aloh, is a typical example of those whose career path haven’t been straight but he’s been able to make the most of his experiences within just four years.
“I have been working for close to four (4) years now. Though I have spent close to 3 years at my current place of work (Deloitte & Touché), I must say it has been a good experience for me. Working in a BIG FOUR has tremendously improved my work rate, load capacity, exposure, confidence, professional skills and tolerance level. For instance I could be on a phone call and still multitask in between different activities. Also I wasn’t so confident speaking to people at a certain level some few years ago, but today the story is so different” Walter narrated to us.
Walter has changed jobs just once and it was as a result of a better opportunity that presented itself, in his words “I changed my job due to the promising career path I could see in a BIG 4, and the opportunity to work there, alongside the well improved pay.”
Walter is one of many Nigerians who change from their original profession and he attributed it to the Nigerian system, implying that most people in Nigeria never get the fair chance to practice what they studied in the University. He went further to expatiate his previous statement by giving a brief summary of his background from what he was trained in school to how he has been able to adjust to different roles which are to some extent worlds apart from his initial course of study,
“I was a technical/engineering student and majored in Petroleum Engineering in the university, but today I’m a forensic consultant. At my first place of work, I was a Digital marketer. So you see that they all don’t square out that way, and this ‘story’ isn’t unique to me. There is an unpopular saying out there meant for Nigerians living in Nigeria; that the university education basically helps to test if you can read, write, understand difficult concepts and still produce results. That is to say, if you attain a degree with a 1st class or 2.1, or 2.2 or acquire a Master’s degree, and you are within a certain age bracket, you can apply for jobs in Nigeria, regardless of what you studied in school, whilst some places are very specific with what you studied in school. However, I do not believe that a person’s final grade in school is a true test of their capabilities. This is Nigeria, anything to survive as long as it is moral and legal”
Despite the detour along his career path and the challenges that come with it, Walter can clearly say he has made tremendous progress in every area of his life, “well, it’s been good so far. Like I explained earlier, my knowledge and capacity base has really expanded. Promotions too has been very good, and in this environment which I’m sure is the same with other places, you constantly have to keep pulling your weight and churning out results, because it is an extremely competitive environment. The monetary growth too has been very good. One lesson I have learnt is to mind where I invest my money. If the investment company is not insured by a top insurance company, I won’t invest with them, even if they promise a million naira per week.”
He quickly emphasised the importance of having a proper career plan before one decides to make the move to whatever they may think is better, “I must add that one has to also be very strategic in terms of career plan and not be too comfortable on a job or what they have to offer. Things can change rapidly, and it’s normal to feel a bit jittery when you see how other colleagues move up, change jobs or go for more qualifications/certifications so as to get better pay or career interests, but once you start with the WHY in mind concerning your long and short term career/life goals, you will be just fine.”
On a lighter mood, Walter acknowledged that his experience so far has been quite remarkable, recalling some events that have stood out for him, “I have had a lot of good experiences. I’ve had the opportunity to work with a good number of cross-cultural colleagues from other countries, and also have developed a broader view of the world thanks to the different work related trips to other countries.”
Highlighting some life lessons he has learnt within the years he has been working, he said, “I have learnt to differentiate between friends and colleagues at work. One should be friendly and also firm in their decision making. Don’t be too trusting, and above all trust God to guide you all the way.”
As we know, regardless of the path we choose, there will always be challenges which necessarily are not meant to bring us down but could serve as check points. Walter identified some of the challenges that came with his, “There are quite a number of challenges, from daily demand to always make an impact and be valuable, to the unannounced competition with colleagues on who’s the better performer, to keeping up with part of the dress code which includes a hairy person like me having a clean shave all the time and down to satisfying client engagement objectives.”
One aspect most employees get wrong is managing their finances. Walter on the other hand seems to have become quite skilful in handling his finances. He had this to say about his financial life, “I must say that I have done my best to live within my means, live modestly and invest more in my future. I try as much as possible to assist people in need, and once in a while give myself a treat, along with family and friends. If one isn’t careful about their financial life, you’ll find that they would be living from pay check to pay check which is a disaster waiting to happen.”
Like it is often said, virtually everything has both good and bad sides to it. The work life unarguably has two sides to it. Admitting to this fact, Walter stated, “Some of the disadvantages which are not unique to me alone are; stress, very little time to spend with friends and family, average work-life choices (I won’t say balance) and little time to rest with so much to do.”
About having a side hustle, Walter indicated that there was no obvious one currently but eventually hopes that there would be one soon, “At the moment, I have no side hustle. When I say that, I actually mean it’s not reaping out value yet. In the fullness of time you will hear.”
To round up his interview, Walter had these pieces of advice to share with those about to start trailing a career path, “My first advice would be that they should trust God and not rely fully on their knowledge. Due to the expectations for new hires to immediately learn to swim in the big river and start making impact early, pressure would set in, which would potentially result in making too many mistakes on the job. Also, most work related environments are ‘perception oriented’ meaning that one’s first mistake could live with them for as long as they are within that environment or company.”
He further pointed out that patience and ability to learn will help those who want to climb the career ladder, “I always advice new entry level hires to be patient, take things easy and work with senior colleagues who they perceive to be more experienced and are good teachers on the job. I would also tell them to be fast learners, and do as much work as they can so as to make mistakes early and learn a lot in a short time. Depending on their career goals, they should invest in continuous learning and advancement so they can be relevant in their chosen career path.”
Lastly, Walter inserted, “Relationships are important, so I advice people to invest in good networks/relationships and find a mentor within the workplace who must not necessarily be a senior colleague in their department.”
From Walter Aloh’s perspective about the workplace, we can conclusively say that one’s career life is basically what they make of it. So whatever career path you have chosen, it is how you tread that matters in the end.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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One of the rarest things is seeing a young person with five years experience in a challenging field like mechanical engineering. With the effect of the rising unemployment in the country, most graduates are left handicap hoping for when the grass gets greener. But that doesn’t seem to be the case for John Jimoh.
Whether it’s a stroke of luck or a result of competence, John Jimoh didn’t have to stand in the queue of unemployed populace. He actually began to take bold steps towards his career path before he answered the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) call and continued his journey immediately after that. “I have been working for 5 years. I started before I went for NYSC and continued afterwards.”
To add to his full cap of good chances, John didn’t have to settle for any other filed asides his field of study. “I studied mechanical engineering and I currently work as a mechanical technician in a manufacturing company.”
For him working has awakened a sense of independence and has equipped him financially.
“Working has impacted my life in many ways. I must say, since I started working, I feel more responsible and independent. I’m not dependent on anyone especially for financial support. I can only mention but a few.”
Measuring his growth since he started working, John had this to say, “In terms of growth, I have really developed into a better person. In school, we were only taught theories but in the field, you handle real life situations. I have been given the opportunity to identify and solve problems. Doing this often has increased my level of commitment and confidence.”
Expressing his scepticism about promotion owing to the fact he is still finding his foot in his field, John said, “Well, promotion has to do with time and many other factors are involved. I can’t possibly say much about this.”
In the area of benefits, John believes there are several aspects of the daily work that can be categorised as benefits which may not necessarily be what most people consider to be one.
“I think the main reason we work is to earn. If you’re not earning, you’re not working. So the work and position occupied is what determine the benefits. Besides the financial benefit, the experience gathered is a benefit on its own. It’s a tool to get opportunities in the future.”
As regards, having a side hustle, here are his thoughts, “It is not advisable to put all your eggs in one basket. Having other source of income is good in order to meet every one of our needs.” From this reply you can tell that, like most employees, John is open to increasing his opportunities to earn more.
Since he has embraced his work with all diligence, John boldly indicated, “I would say every day was an adventure for me. So I can’t specify only one remarkable experience. I see work as a part of my life. It is fun. I learn every day. I always see myself as a learner and not pro. With this attitude, I have really evolved and what I used to see as problem, I now see as opportunity.”
He went further to expatiate the reason behind his appreciation for his work by identifying some qualities it has added to him so far, “for example, before solving a problem, you have to think. Thinking itself is a lot of work. You don’t jump into a problem without troubleshooting because if you get it wrong, you have to start all over again. Where I work, we work with time. If you spend too much time solving a problem, you’re probably going to be queried for it.”
One of the joys of the work life is earning and John is not left out of that excitement, “my financial life has changed greatly ever since I started working. I handle my finances with care because I know how it feels to work and earn. My needs are met and I feel independently responsible.”
Like they say, life is not a bed of roses. No matter how good a thing is, there are challenges to it. John pinpointed this about his field, “it is exhausting. I once posted on my Facebook and WhatsApp status these words, ‘Engineering is not for babies, it is for those who can chew meat; if you are not physically and mentally strong, you will fizzle out quickly or get sick regularly.”
Lastly, John gave a piece of advice to the youngster hoping to build their career, “my advice for young people is for them to identify their passion or their talent. Either of this two will pave a way for a career. Don’t choose a career that you don’t have passion for. So passion is the key to locate the right career. After identifying a career, then focus is needed in order not to deviate. You have to stay put except you are considering a career transition.”
With the above perspective from John Jimoh, we can’t help but emphasise the need for business owners to ensure that the recruit they best match for their brand.
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Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
EMPLOYEE INSIGHT: “I HAVE ALSO GOTTEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPAND MY NETWORK AND NET WORTH,” – MR STEPHEN HEART
For a number of workers, the workplace could be the most dreaded place they have to put up with while others see it as a place filled with lots of opportunities. For this week’s employee insight, Mr Stephen Heart, who has over eight years experience under his belt in the aviation sector, shared his perspective about his work place and work life in general.
“I work in the airport, an environment where you have the opportunity to meet and interact with people from all walks of life – the high and mighty, the movers and shakers, and all. Having to meet and interact with these set of people made it easy for me to decide on the kind of life I want to live and make for my family. I have also gotten the opportunity to expand my network and net worth,” Mr Stephen said to emphasize the level of impact his work has made in his life.
Unlike most people who set job hunting as an after school plan, Mr Stephen Heart joined the labour force early and has continued to advance since then, “I actually started working while I was in school and I have grown in my department.”
When asked if he had changed his career before, he replied, “For me, I know this is where I need to be for the big picture and I’m flourishing and sincerely I have never thought of leaving.” From his words, you can tell that Mr Stephen finds satisfaction in his workplace.
Many employees are driven by several factors as regards the quality of work they deliver. Arguable statistics have shown that ninety five percent of working class people work mainly for compensations and benefits while the rest work to add value. Mr Stephen can be classified under the five percent who seek ways to improve in order to add more value to the company.
“Completing and passing the ‘ICAO AVSEC Instructors Course’ made a huge difference in my career. The feeling of knowing that I’m impacting the people around me by imparting knowledge as a certified instructor gives me a sense of fulfillment and relevance.”
Giving some insights about the impact his job has made in his finances, he said, “the idea of having a constant and assured inflow (salary) at the end of every month avails me the opportunity to really plan my finances well. Earmarking comes with ease for me because I know exactly how much I will be having at the end of every month. So, it has made me a better financial planner and a prudent spender and of course my work has increased my net worth.”
DAILY LIFE LESSONS
Like every journey with lessons to be learnt, Mr Stephen sees his workplace as a learning ground full of thought provoking lessons;
“meeting and interacting with different kinds of persons; happy people, angry people, good people and not so good people, proud and humble people, wealthy and not so wealthy people, etc. has been remarkable. I have learnt the importance of not judging a book by its cover, that appearance can be deceptive and most importantly I have learnt the importance of cultivating and nurturing relationships both with colleagues and clients.”
While advising the young people in the area of career choice, he had this to say; “the environment should be very important to you when trying to make a choice. Is it an environment that allows room for growth? Is it an environment that avails you an opportunity to meet people of great minds, both colleagues and clients?”
“Look for and find a motivating factor about your job and hold onto it with everything. This is because after all is said and done; it’s your motivation that will help wake you on Monday mornings when you really don’t feel like reporting to work that day.”
THOUGHTS ON SIDE HUSTLE
“Actually for me, my job is my side hustle while my business is my main hustle,” he said amusingly. “Don’t be in a hurry to conclude,” he continued. “Remember I told you about choosing your environment wisely and getting a motivation on your job. I already knew what I wanted to do and become in life before I started working but I needed a platform, a facilitating environment.”
“My job environment is an enabling one for my vision. My job is a shift job; it gives me time to focus on my private business while also carrying out my job functions accurately and excellently without one affecting the other.”
He concluded by adding, “at the end of the day, it boils down to what you want for yourself in life. I mean the decision to have a side hustle or not to have one.”
As an employee, understanding that you spend a greater part of your life in your workplace should help you plan your life better. So finding the right place that makes you fulfilled should be your priority.
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Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
While most employees these days struggle to pursue a career and retain a job for a few years, Engr. Boladale Abiodun Adegbenro has followed his career through for over thirty five years.
“I actually started working before I left the university; I was doing a part-time job then. Ever since, which is over thirty five years now, I’ve always been working,” he said at the beginning of the interview in his office at Aero Contractors’ branch in Port Harcourt.
Engr. Boladale admitted that during the course of working with both machines and human beings, he has learnt patience and to build relationships with several people from all walks of life. “I have worked with all kinds of individuals, some easy going and some as tough as a nut, but in all those experiences, I have become better at building relationships.”
He went further to share his first experience as a project leader, “another thing I have learnt while working is how to handle challenges. During my early years in practice, I was put in charge as a trainer to manage the assembling of an aircraft, Air Beetle, which was new in Nigeria as at that time. I had never done anything like that before and by far the most challenging project I had ever faced.”
The Growth Process…
When asked about his career trajectory, Engr Boladale admitted that he had to flow with the tides of change that came with his career and simply embraced the opportunities that came across his path.
“There is no straight way in life and that goes the same for career path. You can change your career and explore other options along the line if the need arises,” he said. “I was trained to be an Aerospace Engineer but later on, I switched to aircraft and helicopter maintenance engineering then went on to become an administrator of operations.”
“I have also had to change my location several times. I first relocated from the United States back to Nigeria, then from Kaduna to Lagos, and down to Port Harcourt. So you see, it hasn’t been a one way traffic,” he added.
His View on Side Hustle…
Unlike most people who believe one cannot live on a single salary income and that a side job is needed to sustain one’s self and their family, Engr. Abiodun begged to differ, “when you are passionate about what you do, it pays you and meets all your needs. You have to be satisfied with your job.”
He noted that the reason why most workers have financial issues is as a result of their way of life. “Your way of life will determine how you spend your money. Be contented with what you have, plan within what you earn, and go for things within your reach. For me, working has made positive impact on my financial life.”
And on Job Security….
From his confidence level, one would think Engr. Abiodun is one whose life is banked on job security believing that the job is always available. However, he debugged this ideology. “No job is secure,” he said. “From the first day you are employed, you should be prepared to pack up and leave as well. Which is why I say, ‘always have a plan for your life in case anything happens’.
To end his interview Engr. Abiodun shared some words of wisdom to young people looking a career path. “I think many young people are too ambitious and want to make fast money,” he pointed out. “They need to be ready to learn and listen attentively because there is no rush in life.”
Like they usually say, it’s different strokes for different folks. What’s your perspective? Please leave a comment.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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