Hey LADIES. Weekend great? Awesome! Today on the blog we will be highlighting key points from our just concluded Career Conversations IG LIVE series.
The Career Conversations IG LIVE Series is a weekly Instagram Video series that showcases career women from diverse industries share lessons from their career journey. The series which runs for one hour every Saturday at 11am WAT is a Question and Answer Interactive and engaging session. So far, we have held two editions featuring TWO amazing women; Director of Strategy- Lagos State Employment Trust Fund- Abosede George- Ogan, African Technology Expert- Candace Nkoth Bisseck
We held our third edition this past weekend with Human Resources and Business Development Expert- Ivie Martins Ogbonmwan.
From Ivie’s session we learned quite a lot on subjects like resume writing, preparing for interviews, office politics, making lateral transition in an organization and so much more.
We have curated some key points from the conversation. See below
1. Your resume is a professional document that sells you to a prospective employer. It MUST be compelling. Similarly, in writing your resume, leave out personal information that feed biases such as age, state of origin, religious affiliation, marital status, sexual orientation. Keep your resume as professional as possible. Ensure it is up to date and highlights relevant professional experiences concisely and very clearly.
2. Research the organization you are applying to before going for an interview. Have a solid idea of what they do and how your role ties into the big picture. Avoid over dressing or under dressing. Smell good, look smart, professional and very importantly, look like the organization you want to work for. Similarly, ensure you are self-aware, have a basic understanding of etiquette be it social or otherwise. Remember, beyond getting the job, and executing what is on your job description, you are also an ambassador for the organization.
3. No certification can give you the practical insights you need as much as learning on the job will avail you. This is not to say certifications should not be prioritized but as much as you are bagging these degrees, ensure you are self- developing by taking on more practical opportunities. What this does on the long term is that it makes the practical reality of what you have learnt real by providing real life situations you can apply knowledge gained. Never discredit the place of learning on the job . It is very important and more valuable than any certificate. Stay learning and equipping yourself.
4. It’s okay to be scared when transitioning or trying new things but don’t let it deter you.
5. If you are unsure of what you want to do at the early stages, it’s okay to explore. Explore different industries and roles until you find something that resonates. Volunteer if you must but ensure you are taking steps in finding what resonates with you career wise. It is very important you are working for a cause you believe in and intrigued by. On the days you are tempted to throw in the towel, it will help you. Beyond finding a job that pays you well, find a job that excites you, a job that even if you are not paid for it, you will still be doing it. For some people, they have a job that affords them the life they want and then they have a creative outlet for their passion. Some others are privileged to get both money and passion in one job.
6. Be clear and intentional about your goal when transitioning from one job to the next. If your reason for transitioning is to get a higher pay, be focused and do not settle; if your reason for transitioning is to get refined through on-the-job experiences, understudying the work ethics of managers, and trainings that comes with a role, stick to it. Be resolute about achieving that goal. Even if the organization doesn’t meet your standards in other regards but can help you achieve your goal, stick to it.
7. While it is okay to stick through things, if your current work environment is toxic, please leave. If your boss is verbally abusive such that your esteem is threatened, (s)he constantly puts you down and makes you feel no other organization will want to have you, leave. Do not stay with a boss who verbally abuses you, no money is worth the trauma.
8. As an employee it is important you understand seasons/phases and act accordingly. There are seasons on your career journey, you have to put in extra hours, go above and beyond; literally pour your heart and soul into ensuring you are giving executive expressions to an organizations vision which in turn will generate revenue for the company.
For entry level employees/interns, your primary task is to optimize work flow procedures and simplify tasks for your manager/supervisor. Do it and do it well. Create a brand for yourself, let it be known that when a task gets to your desk /has your name on it, it will be executed promptly, efficiently and excellently. Develop yourself personally. Attend conferences, seminars, workshops, masterclasses; do it for you, you are worth the investment. Build capacity, ask for more tasks, challenge yourself, come up with solutions for organizations problems, be on the look out for creative ways to impact company’s processes and practices. Be a star employee.
9. No employer can ever pay you your worth. What a salary is at its truest sense is an estimation of your worth based on the perception of the organization about you and how your role fits into the key processes of the organizations vision. Once you understand this, your perspective about work changes and it helps you in getting the job done.
10. What a lot of people call office politics in the corporate space is leveraging emotional intelligence and internal stakeholder management in getting the job done. Emotional Intelligence is a skill that everyone needs to learn.
11. If your boss is sexually harassing you, make sure you have proof before going to the HR. Always have evidence.