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Monday, 10 August 2015

Jack Of All Trade?...(2) By Sandra Ikeri

Guest writer, Sandra Ikeri is back with the second and concluding part of "Jack of All Trade", if you missed the first installment, check it out Here.

Enjoy the piece after the cut...

Hehehe first-of-all a Disclaimer; This write-up is not an all in one formula to give you answers to all life questions, but a pointer, say a guide on how to get started on the right course, so don’t get comfortable yet. Your journey just began.
The jack of all trade syndrome infected me, so in my lowly despair I sought for answers. Some I found within myself, some I found in reading and some I found from asking questions. (I have been told severally that I ask too much questions, but how can I not ask, you know how costly assumptions are).
Mostly people are not happy with their jobs or they are just doing it to hold body-and-soul-together, which I totally understand. Tyler Perry recently took a picture in front of a building and posted it on Facebook, He said ‘I had the same dreams as I do today while I worked here’.
Some ideas might be seen as queer, they might even be daunting to you, especially if you do not have a clear picture of where you are going. But remember only you have the power to initiate the desired change in your life.
Once you begin to approach late teen there are two broad aspects of work life, either Profit making professional career or a Career with Civil Society/ Non-Governmental Organizations.
I would like to begin with some few tips on how to get clarity and decide on what you want;
ü What do you have a flair for? What do you just do naturally with ease anytime? And yes it might be unconventional.
ü Is there any good in it? Does it make life better? Is it legal? 
ü If the answer to the above question is Yes, begin to gain knowledge about it
ü Google is everyone’s friend, use it, and read up texts and publications about it.
ü Ask questions, nothing is new under the sun, it is good to learn from the knowledge of people who have gone ahead of you in a particular field by this I mean a mentor (am still searching for more). It’s advisable to have mentors for different aspect of your life.
ü Create a knowledge base of everything that inspires you that relates to this interest of yours, be it magazine cover, online images, writes ups, newspaper clips, just keep a record. You will definitely need it.
ü If you can afford it, hire a consultant, they would offer you professional advice and can even carry out a research for you.
ü But most importantly write out the little ideas that come to your head, they might come in odd hours, type them on your phone (I know our phones are always handy), it helps build up new ideas as your idea flow better and connects easily from where you last stopped.
Now that being said back to the broad categories, at this point it is assumed that you now know what you would like to do with your life.
For professional careers most of us are influenced by our parents or one great aunt or uncle. But the basics are;
*   Pass with good grades both in college and university…failure is an orphan.
*   While at undergrad read articles that relate to your field, honestly, your lecturers can’t teach you everything, in fact read wide ‘even sef’ ask Dr. Ben Carson He would be able to tell you something’s about reading.
*   Intern and volunteer with organizations that are operating in line with your intended profession, the benefits are immense. Not only do you learn, you build network of people that are in line with your goals. Such that even if you want to be an entrepreneur the skill set you have acquired from interning would help you manage your own firm better than one without any experience.
*   By the time you are graduating, you should have known what criteria you need in order to work with your dream Organization or in that field of business (Honestly if I had known all these earlier I guess I would be much better now)
*   And if for some reasons you don’t get an employment or can’t start up that business immediately,  build capacity while waiting, get professional certification, write articles, attend seminars/workshops if possible intern with that particular firm. Someone once said luck is opportunity meeting preparation.
*   And when you get the job or Start the business, deliver like a professional that you are. EXCELLENCE is the standard.
For non-profit organization: In chapter 3 of My vision Challenges in the Race of Excellence, the Author Rashid Al Maktoum wrote…”many great leaders never went to school but gained their knowledge from the university of life and by carefully observing everything that went on around them…”
This kind of career is unique because it is mainly fueled by passion not necessarily a degree. It is birthed by our experience. Our experience whether good or bad, to a large extent exerts a major influence on our life. When we reflect on them the good ones, they make us better people, while the bad ones gives us a signal that there is a gap and a need to be met either in our personal lives or the society. Alas! An opportunity in a bad experience, and because there are lots of other people with such experience people can easily connect to it. First step in this direction is;
*   Volunteer to work with organizations that you are passionate about. Here you get lots of technical experience, such that even if you decide to run your NGO the skill set acquired overtime helps you manage it properly.
*   Read/make research You know what they say about reading, you communicate with people you never see, share in their experience,see life as they did and thus helping you make informed decisions.
*   Develop Network pay courtesy visit, interact at seminars, look for people that sponsor the course you are advocating.
*   Take short courses online
*   Do survey to help you know where to direct your energy.
*   Learn to use social media platforms to get and spread information about what you do.
*   Learn to professionally write proposals to request for Grants.


 I hope you find this useful. Drop your feedback on the comment box or tweet @ikeriikeri

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