Whenever I get the opportunity to give an introduction about myself to young and upcoming professionals, the audience stands in awe at how fast I rose up the corporate ladder of success. Yeah, I became a manager for a multinational financial institution at the tender age of 28, three years after joining the firm as a junior clerk!
The first question I am always asked is how I made it and if I really had “connections” to enable me ascend the ranks. But my answer is always in the negative. Neither did I work hard to earn the rising…but I chose to work smart.
The avalanche of queries led me to do my inaugural book, “Passionpreneurship Demystified” (available on Amazon and via https://mokinda.wordpress.com/2017/07/15/passionpreneurship-demystified/ where I elucidated clearly on this secret.
Well, it is common notion that for one to be noticed at the workplace, one must have the appropriate papers or be known to some authority that would prefer favours on them to rise. Others take it that one has to really work hard to deliver and overachieve to literally earn a promotion.
When I got employed as a graduate clerk back in late 2007 (October 11th to be precise), I realized that I was not on boarded to the company because of my qualifications, but my capabilities. I underwent rigorous aptitude testing and interviews until I eventually made the cut to be a graduate clerk and posted to a remote area to start off my career. The irony of it all was that I was a medical degree First Class Honours holder yet the banking industry required educational skills in banking and finance related subjects.
I set out to learn my job well and develop passion around my job roles as a way of having an easy time in the organization. It was a choice I had to make, including adjusting attitude and putting myself to task about my expectations in the office.
Now where do we go wrong as employees? How comes many of us stagnate in one position for years? The first misconception as I have mentioned is the notion that for one to employed or promoted for that matter, one has to be a thick curriculum vitae of academic qualifications. But then, place yourself in the shoes of the employer with several employees and direct reports with huge files of qualifications but minimal delivery….what will be your next reaction? Sack all of them, or is it not? Well, that is how useless it is to be so learned with nil skills and competencies. Employers do not employ for papers. They do because of the employees’ potential to deliver. It therefore means what sells are not the academic qualifications but abilities or competencies. It is your skills that sell you not the papers you hold!
The world has come to appreciate this fact: a few years ago, leading business consultancy firm, Ernest & young, removed the requirement that for one to be legible for employment, one has to have a degree. PricewaterhouseCoopers too have followed suit. This is a strong pointer of the importance of anyone keen on rising up the ladder of corporate success, to work on improving their output delivery ability.
How then do you go about boosting your ability to perform so that you get noticed? I will answer this question exhaustively in the second installment of this article. Keep tabs on his blog for the second part of this!
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The writer is an acclaimed business author of Passionpreneurship Demystified and Business Networking: How to maximize on your contacts for Business and Professional Growth. Both books are available on Amazon. He is also a Personal Branding and Business Coach with PBL Africa. In case you need assistance to give your business or profession a jump-start, he can be reached via the following contacts:
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