In this cold weather, nothing beats a Saturday morning. No work, so the natural plan is to pull over a duvet, and keep sleeping.
This specific Saturday, however, I couldn’t enjoy all that despite waking up with freezing legs. I had made a commitment to attend a career seminar in the afternoon. But because the devil is a liar and the number 1 enemy of progress, thoughts of missing the event became more tempting.
Luckily, when Jesus shed blood on the cross, He condemned the devil to perpetual defeat. I wasn’t going to miss the seminar. Just to be sure, I called my mentor, who reiterated that I should go, gather knowledge, and later share it with her.
So, case closed. Out in the cold. There were a few hurdles like getting to the venue a few minutes late but it all turned out well. In the end, the seminar was really worth the time.
Welcome to the Centonomy career hub, and here are some standout lessons from the phenomenal speakers of the day;
Ken Njuguna:A young successful attorney with Microsoft who did not mince his words when it came to giving us advice.
Most of us have been interns or rather on our first jobs, and to be honest it’s almost like a testing period. I mean people look down on you and test your nerves. It is a period that can either make you or break you and for Ken, it made him. His last day as an intern a lady requested him to bind her books and he did it even though it made him feel so small. He later had an interview with a good company and little did he know that one of the decision makers was married to the lady he helped bound the books. For that, the lady put in a good word for him. Moral of the story: Shrink yourself, be humble.
You are a constant advancement of yourself;
I was born like this (sic); I really don’t like mornings or I can’t survive in another industry. These are some of the excuses people come up with when faced with a new challenge. Do not limit yourself to the one thing you were taught to do. We acquire skills from life’s experiences, so there is basically nothing you can’t do as long as you pump effort into it. Most people struggling in their careers are in their 20s, which is the right time to take chances and try new things even in other countries.
There is no way one can say they are interested in a certain field and not know the trending news in that field. To be a step ahead, monitor your industry’s latest trends. Get to know where people are getting jobs lately, and keep your LinkedIn updated, for it is the new hunting ground for potential employees. We are at an advantage because the internet makes it easy to stay updated.
Everybody is constantly improving, getting advanced degrees and chasing professional certification. Do not be the dispenser at the corner of the office. Find your niche and stand out in it. People remember your impact in the office or in business, long after you leave. They remember the energy you exude so go out of your way to create such memorable moments. This, in some cases, makes you indispensable.
Ken concluded by advising us to find our mantra, something that we believe in and that will push us to become the very best version of our self. He did remind us that we will never find success in our comfort zone. If your plans to become successful do not scare you, then they are not big enough.
The next speaker, Dr. Kiplangat Sigel, said so much in less words.
Acknowledge that you do not know everything.
There is a famous saying that if you speak too much you are repeating what you already know but when you listen you learn something new. Sigel did give an example of how he lost a good job opportunity because he went for an interview feeling himself a little too much. The achievements and experience you have gained can never be too much. There is always something that you do not know.The moment you acknowledge that you do not know everything is the moment you make it easier to learn new things.
Sell your strength
Realize that you are a product and so you need to sell yourself as one. Improve the skills you have acquired and do not shy away from including them in your resume. Let people know your achievements and what you have to offer regardless of how small they may seem. Stop playing small, there is nothing enlightening in that.
When it feels scary to jump that’s when you jump. Most people are scared to go to the next level concerning their career or relationships because of uncertainty of the outcome. We are scared to pitch that project to our boss, or to connect with people that would benefit us. Well, am guilty of that. The good news is the worst that could happen when you jump is that someone will say NO. Having already known the outcome then go for it and you never know, it could lead to greater things.
The last speaker of the day was Connie Aluoch.
Connie exuded class and sophistication which, as a personal branding expert, is expected. She had a few lessons on how to market oneself as a brand.
Invest in your image.
This is a department that I have not been so keen on, so I needed the lesson. Dress the part, people will take you seriously. Dress like a used clothes salesperson, and only buyers of such will notice you. Dressing professionally makes it easy to connect with others. It’s innate in humans to be attracted to neat people, those that have the smell of ambition. The main thing though is the confidence that is evoked by the feeling of neatness and looking smart. The way you dress affects your brand.
Connie however did add that your brand can be different from others. One could be into art so you dress like an artist so people can relate to you as one. Clients, peers and investors perceive you as you present yourself. Put on decent clothes and if you need make up to complement your look, let it be attractive. Not scary. Pay attention to your body size and wear accordingly.
Your brand is on 24 hours.
There is dress down Friday where you feel the need to show some skin or maybe put on that dress that brings out your curves, but remember you don’t get a holiday to represent your brand. There is need to ensure your business casual can attend a meeting or represent you well to investors and clients too.
Connie concluded by emphasizing on the need to always be in your best behavior when out there. This should be the goal of every person, I mean be kind to one another, because you never know who you are dealing with.
Image source: Lifehacker