Business Monday: Building A Successful Career
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Business Monday: Building A Successful Career

Today on our business Monday edition, we will be talking about how to build a successful career. Many times, I have had discussions with undergraduates, most especially the ones in their finals and most of the time those who are observing the mandatory one-year National Youth Service (NYSC) as it is seen in Nigeria, West Africa about what is next when they are through with their university or NYSC program. The response I get is “I have to get a job" Some will even say nonchalantly “Start working or what do you think"?

Well, it's fine, but many of them only think of getting a job rather than building a successful career. They are only bothered about finding what to eat through a paid job and less concerned about making any sense out of it and rising to the peak of the ladder.

It can be argued that one needs to get a job first before building a career out of it. This is very correct, but career building is a mindset that goes beyond earning money at the end of the month.

The essence of this write-up is to make us understand how to identify a career path, be successful in it and grow to the peak. An individual who needs a job or who is presently undergoing a management trainee of any organization should plan how to grow in his or her chosen career. Having said all this, it is expedient to understand what a career is.

A career is an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.

From the above definition, we can see that a career is what one needs to find passion in doing and be willing to pursue for a very long period, say 10 years on the minimum and plans to retire from it. That means a career is a long-term occupation one intends to undergo.

As a second-class upper division graduate of philosophy, one would wonder what kind of job to do or what kind of career to undertake, but I found myself being Salesperson starting with one of the prominent Telecommunication companies in Nigeria.

Contrary to what most people believe about sales jobs being tedious, demanding and hard due to monthly targets to be met, I found it interesting and fun. Been doing well on it for over a decade now having gathered experience in all aspects of sales: Key account management, Business Development, B2B and B2C sales.

In some of my articles and books earlier written, I had strongly advocated for self-employment. However, the fact should be that we all are not destined to own businesses, cos if we all do, many organizations will be left without workers to work there.

Therefore, there is a need for people who won’t bother their brains about raising money to start up a business but do everything possible intellectually and professionally to manage other people’s establishments. These people can also be great and become wealthy if only they stay focused and try to rise to the peak of their careers.

In my book “Business Made Easy” I said these three things about learning the trade before going into any business. Having a paid job before starting your own business may bring an avenue to have the required funds to start instead of the pain and challenge most people face to begin.

Secondly, learning about the business can bring the needed connections and network. When you learn about a business, it may enable you to know where you can get raw material, those to buy from and also help to know where and those to sell to. Learning about a trade or business enables you to have technical know-how and be able to run professionally and profitably.

From the aforementioned, we can see clearly that getting a paid job is also useful and can be of help financially and professionally when one considers starting a business. I can boldly see that my professional experience has greatly helped in start my little business and has helped me to grow it over the time. I have also been able to leverage the training I have gotten over time and put it into practice in my business.

Having a career before retiring to start one’s business can also help one to know the right person(s) and give the needed connection.

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