By Vincent Nyangweso
For passionate and ambitious people, the opportunities and possibilities are boundless and while you could do everything, it is important to stop and do a self- assessment and see what exactly will allow you enjoy your work and give you most productivity.
When you figure this out and have identified your goals and aims, next is to do research on everything related to your next job or career. Information and knowledge is the number one resource and factor to use as we prepare for the next phase.
For example, study the trends, the newest technology to use, what the key requirements and capabilities needed are and how you can ace them. Ignorance cannot be an excuse for you not to move up the ladder.
Next is to find out who the big players are in the industry, key competitor companies and who are the industry experts and leaders to look up to?
When the opportunity presents itself take the first step and use the opportunity to be acquainted with them and pick a leaf or two from your chat with them. Where possible, follow them on social media and find out how they managed to make it because all this information will surely be of great help to you in the future.
Today a number of “big shots” out there are developing webinars to educate the new generation on how to challenge these issues, be part of them.
After you have identified some of the ‘industry’ legends, seek out one or two of them to be your mentor. You need however to understand the kind of approach to use when seeking their help and guidance to be your mentor.
This is especially important because they are busy and true mentorship is a time-consuming investment. It may also help to seek out a mentor who is little known as some are modest and prefer to remain behind the scenes while the much known mentors may not have time for you.
Endeavor to acquire minimum qualifications for your dream profession, especially when you are switching careers or are aiming for technical role, even when you have the required years of experience. This can be acquired through short courses, certificates, diplomas or professional courses applicable for the role.
It is essential to illustrate your capabilities – therefore, to gain prior experience, you may consider volunteering or taking up a flexible part-time job as this will help boost both your resume.
After setting, all these in place you need to learn how to network within and outside your circles. Good communication skills will be crucial at this stage; participating in both offline and online and offline industry engagements, attending conferences or seminars will also help to link you up with others in your field or career, and remember to make a friend or two.
Use social media platforms to grow your network as well as display your talent and skills because these platforms are good for self-marketing. Through this, a peer may most likely recommend you for an opportunity.
Building confidence and self-esteem are integral in the preparation process. A confident person can easily market him or herself. When you have high self- esteem, you are able to communicate and express yourself while pitching for an opportunity, during an interview or while contributing to a discussion on a topic.
With evident self-confidence, it is much easier for those around you including potential or new employers to be confident in your ability to deliver.
Personal branding cannot be overemphasized. Personal branding is the process where you make effort to invest in building and changing how people around you perceive you.
This may cut across personal, spiritual or professionally and will involve bettering your credibility, positioning yourself as an expert in the industry or becoming a reference for information and consultation. This however needs to be done with honesty and not superfluous self-praise.
Be prepared. Be prepared. Be prepared! As the old adage goes, opportunity waits for no man while preparing for your next assignment be great at your current assignment, the opportunity and openings might in some cases take a while.
Now, instead of giving up and halting your investment in this area, it is recommended that you remain on the goal and stick to the plan.
Any digression from this will put you in a disadvantaged position especially when an opportunity presents itself and yet you had given up.
The author is the head of operations at KCB Uganda.