My Lessons From A Career Date


By: Ivy Makafui Agbozo, GIJ

A career date? Well, yeah! I was fortunate to have a career date with my mentor, co – mentee and a sports journalist. You can guess what the discussion was about, right?
We talked about a plethora of things mostly related to a career in journalism and beyond and I am going to share with you seven things I learnt during the time spent together.

Here’s what I  learnt:

  1. Identify your strengths – the world is moving at a pretty fast pace and sometimes you think you can’t catch up with all these people who seem to be doing so well. But you can make it work for you. Channel your energy into knowing who you are. Try a SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis and identify your strengths. Doing this will enable you to drive your energy into the things you are passionate about and then you can start doing them! Your SWOT analysis would also reveal the opportunities available for you to exercise and improve upon your strengths.
  1. Give your best shot – now that you have taken the trouble to find out what your strengths are, why not decide to give your best in the things you do? For instance, if you happen to be passionate about making events memorable, why not begin to take your company’s in-house meetings seriously? You might want to help plan such meetings and a whole lot more. The most important thing to keep in mind is to give your very best in everything you do especially the things that you are passionate about.
  1. Accept challenges as an opportunity to learn – There are times when you would be required to do things you are not comfortable with, even though, it will be beneficial to you. Challenges are designed to make you grow in life, thus, you must be able to look beyond the challenge and find an opportunity within that challenge. Learn to be comfortable even when you are uncomfortable!
  1. Psyche yourself for rejections – this is the hard part, right? There is the need for you to understand that not all people would support what you do or be passionate about it the way you are. Thus, try as much as possible to be quick to get over any rejections lest it grows into depression. Depression is not all bad, as far as you are able to fight your way out of it and pick a lesson or two from it. But if you can, try to avoid depression at all cost!
  1. Get a mentor or a mentee – if you’re just starting out your career, it is advisable that you get yourself a mentor. Not just any kind of mentor but one who is passionate about the things you’re doing and who is willing to share their knowledge and experience with you when called upon.  For other people who are at the peak of their career, kindly get yourself a mentee. Why? Because your legacy would best be lived on by someone you’ve nurtured and shared your knowledge with. Your mentee might not necessarily replicate your way of life but the fact that you contributed something to their success story should make you proud. Don’t be greedy so much so that you let the impact you can make in the lives of people die with you. Train someone who can use what you’ve taught them to keep making meaningful social impact!
  1. Weed out your circle of friends – Now, this is like the most “insensitive” thing someone could suggest, you think? Wait until your friendship with certain people deny you of opportunities that would make your life better. Try as much as possible to associate yourself with positive minded people who can help you get where you envision and not people who you would be ashamed to call  friends in 10 years time! Cut off people who drain your energy and people who do not contribute anything to your life. Also, make it a point to cut off people who make it look like it’s a bad thing for you to be happy or successful!
  1. Be unapologetic about your faith – in a bid to fit into certain lifestyles, most people tend to lose their faith and or be ashamed of it.  Why? I don’t have an answer. But what I do know is that there is absolutely no reason why you must be apologetic about your faith just because some myopic person somewhere doesn’t see the essence of your faith. Hold on to your faith and let it guide you in the things you do. Let it make you stand out and not fit in!

Be persistent and consistent in the things you do and believe in yourself.  I do hope this has proved useful. Ciao!



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