The 2nd week in January 2015 marked my 4th year of working at my current place of employment. It has been a roller-coaster of good times & not so good times, a quick look at my career shows that I’ve been nomadic in nature, always on the move from one job to another in quick succession. In fact the longest I’ve been previously is 2 years when I was in Ghana between August 2008 & December 2010, prior to that its been less.
I am driven by challenges, I love to tackle the so called “impossible” tasks or projects & overcome the insurmountable. During job interviews, when I’m asked about my nomadic nature & if I will be able to stay for more than 2 years, my response has always been the same… “It depends“.
It actually depends primarily on the type of challenges I face & if I get bored doing the job. In some previous employment, I got bored after 18 months since I had tackled all of the challenges & there was no more room to re-invent myself or take on bigger tasks & responsibility.
In fact my father & brother-in-law will regularly ask me about 1 year into a new job if I was bored already…lol! I remember a meeting I had with him ( Father-in-Law) when I was about leaving Nigeria in December 2006, 3 weeks after my son was born to go consulting in Congo Brazzaville for 6 months. He was really concerned that I’ve completed college, studied engineering, got married to his daughter & got a good job in a mobile telecoms firm & I’m leaving after about 18 months for the “unknown”.
He said ” A rolling stone gathers no moss” & that I needed to stay & work for like 5-10 years, retire & get gratuity. I politely said NO & explained that IT & Telecoms operates a flat structure & if the person on the next rung of the ladder doesn’t move, you are stuck in your place. Also that things have really changed from his time.
I needed to take greater & bigger challenges & that the unknown is a challenge I must tackle & overcome. I wanted to prove to myself & to others that I am good at my job & an expert in my field. So I promised him that if I failed after the 1st 6 months, I will be back in Nigeria to look for a job.
Well that was in 2006, that decision ( the most difficult I’ve taken so far) took me from Congo Brazzaville to Chad Republic & finally Ghana a total of 4 years. Due to pressure from family, I finally decided to come back & take a job in Nigeria ( actually had 2 offers) & I have been here since January 2011.
I am enjoying where I am right now just because of one word.. CHALLENGES. I totally love an underdog story, a Moses from the backside of the desert, challenging Pharaoh the most powerful man of his time. Little David with a sling & stone, challenging & defeating Goliath ( a warrior from his youth). The story of my current job is exactly like that, against all the analysis & predictions, we came from nowhere to challenge the industry status quo & take the lead.
I have contributed my very best to the business & I am happy about the state of affairs. I have a goal in mind, a destination to reach as regards my career & time is really not on my side.
The morale of this story is this:
1. Have a goal in mind. Set a target that you want to reach when it comes to your career. ( I have a post about personal development planning, please check it out)
2. Know what drives your passion when it comes to your career. I am driven by excellence & challenges. Get to know yours.
3. Map out a plan. You must know how you are going to get from where you are right now to where you want to be. Do a lot of research & consulting. Talk to people who are where you want to be, learn from their experiences. You need to know what is required to get there, is it professional certification, additional academic degree, specialized training, e.t.c. & be ready to do all it takes.
4. Be focused ( actualize your plan). A conductor of an orchestra actually backs the crowd & focused on the task at hand. You need to be very focused, don’t worry about the crowd, they will eventually applaud you when you are done. Have the tenacity of a bull-dog, bite hard & don’t let go.
5. Enjoy the journey. The journey most times is much more important than the destination. Learn to enjoy where you are right now, always strive to add to yourself. No knowledge ( good or bad) is lost, there is always a lesson to learn in any situation.
This is my current state as I start this new year…. I am not where I want to be, but I’m not where I used to be.
I am enjoying where I am on the way to where I am going….
This is my snippet, I am SHALOMESQ