Today on #CareerConversations with LLA, we chat with Funmilola Kehinde, Career Coach and Founder ‘CareerswithFunmi Consulting’ a talent development and recruitment consultancy firm focused on helping youths with career dreams. She shares among other things more ways women can lean-in at work, how to go about mentorship and key principles for those starting out their careers.
Can you briefly describe yourself and what you do?
My name is Funmilola Kehinde, I am a Certified Career Coach and the Founder of CareerswithFunmi Consulting. I help people have a more fulfilling life through their jobs and I also teach people how to use Linkedln to land their dream job. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Covenant University, Nigeria and a Masters in IT from Kingston University, London. I would describe myself as someone who is kind, helpful, strategic, empathetic and very value-driven.
Great! How did you start out in your career, and how long have you been in the ‘corporate world?’
I have been in the corporate world for about 8 years now but I started out as a Website Designer in an IT then moved to working in Retail then back to IT. I also worked in an NGO in the United Kingdom for about a year before moving back home to take up managerial roles in Tech and Retail.
What are some of the things you love the most about being a career woman?
I love that as a career woman my work speaks for me through the people I coach, train and mentor. I also love that what I do as a career woman brings me fulfilment and is in lie with my purpose in life.
Essentially, doing that which God has purposed me to do as a Career brings me joy.
And the downsides – what are some of the challenges you’ve faced, and how did you overcome them?
In my career, I have faced challenges with working with difficult people, having your ideas rejected, I have faced having to work with a very temperamental boss and unprofessional colleagues. The list of challenges is endless, but one thing that always keeps me afloat is that I tell myself that the job is just for a season and I am majorly here for the learning. With this mind-set, I have been able to overcome all the challenges I have faced. I also pray about them to God and follow my heart in making decisions.
Of course, we’re going to talk about mentorship – what’s your view on it? Important or nah?
Mentorship is very important, I have grown under the mentorship of really great people through meeting them physically, reading their books and also listening to their messages.
I believe mentorship helps to get ahead faster than others but only when you have a plan. Seek mentorship from people who are doing what you want to do, or have values similar to you so there was be a great synergy between you both.
Two things – that have been your best and worst career decision – and what did you learn from each respectively?
Starting my business CareerswithFunmi Consulting has been one of the best decisions I have made because I get to help people gain clarity in their career as a Coach and also help them land fulfilling jobs of their dreams. The worst decision would be taking a role because of the high pay, what I learnt from that was money could be my motivation to take a role but wasn’t enough to keep me happy.
In both decisions, I learnt that doing what you love made me happy especially when it entails helping others become the best they could be.
Do you have a “side hustle” and what’s your view on having other interests outside of work?
CareerswithFunmi Consulting is my full and side hustle. Although, I run a Foundation called Star Girl Foundation for young girls in junior secondary school where I mentor them on career choices, purpose and employability skills. I consider Star Girl Education Foundation a calling and not a side hustle.
In what specific ways would you advise women to “lean in” more at work?
I would advise they speak up more, and this is based on my experience of working with a few women in a mostly male-dominated industry. I realized most of my female colleagues had so many great ideas but were always so scared to share at meetings we had.
I would also advise you ask for what you want, don’t be afraid to ask for a pay raise or a day off work if you have really earned it. It all comes with the perks of adding value in the workplace if you work hard and have earned it then ask for it and unapologetically too!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In the next 10 years, I see myself as the best Career Coach in Africa, has helped thousands of people land fulfilling jobs, gained career clarity and trained them on employability skills. Helping millions to achieve career success and workplace happiness. I see myself as an Author, World-class Trainer, Coach, Speaker and Life-changer.
What in your opinion are key success principles for upcoming career women, or those just starting out their careers?
A few of my values are Integrity, responsibility, value, empathy and love and these also function as my principles and guide my decision making in my career.
If you are just starting out in your career then it is important to know what you want to do, if you don’t then seek help from a coach who can guide you. Always seek God when taking a career decision because it could make or mar your life. Take lessons from every mistake you have made, no one is perfect so don’t beat yourself up too much when something fails. Also, failures make your success story sweeter so don’t be afraid to fail.
The Leading Ladies Africa #CareerConversations Series is a weekly interview series which focuses on Leading women of African descent in the corporate world. It showcases their experiences across all socio-economic sectors, highlights their personal and professional achievements and offers useful advice on how to make life more satisfying for women.
It is an off-shoot of Leading Ladies Africa, a non-profit that promotes women empowerment and gender inclusion for women of African descent.
Do you know any woman of African descent doing phenomenal things? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we just might feature her.