10 Lessons That I Have Learned In My Career — Lionesses of Africa

by Naike Moshi 

If there’s one thing we all have in common, it’s that we all make mistakes along the way (and hopefully learn valuable lessons from them). But if you’re smart, you’ll learn as much as possible from the mistakes of others and spare yourself some of the grief. Some of these lessons can applied whether you are employed, self- employed or unemployed.

So, without further ado, below is a look at the most important lessons that I have learned thus far.

Network , network  and network – it took me more than a year and a half to get my first job. It was through the power of networking that I was able to land my first job at UNESCO.

Life is short and it’s here to be lived – Life is too short to spend being unhappy. If you have a job you hate, a boss who discredits you, or a career that isn’t taking you anywhere, do something about it today. You don’t want to wake up one day and regret not making a change when you could.

Building a personal brand and thought leadership – While I am still learning (and I don’t intend to stop), the biggest lesson I have learned so far is that personal branding is so important in your career this includes securing board member roles and other opportunities. Building a personal brand, takes time. Start now.

Choose working in a startup over a well-established organization – When I started my career, I received two job offers on the table, to either work in a start-up or large established international organization. Guess what, I chose to work in a large organization and ended not learning as much.  I was growing horizontally. Working in small settings or startups, will provide you with more responsibilities.  You will be instilled with the value of hard work, ownership, and self-sustainability. 

Work hard – There is no elevator to success.  And know that every successful person has also worked incredibly hard to get there. So do you your part and contribute to the growth and success of the organization. And yes, it’s up to you to make that company grow.

Find a paid mentor and a coach – Paid mentors are much better as they are totally committed to ensure you succeed and reach your potential. The difference between paid and voluntary mentors is access. Paid mentors work in blocks of time. Because you are paying them, they set up a structure to meet with you at specific and mutually agreed-upon time blocks. Since they are being compensated for their labor, they view your meetings as a priority and show up prepared to serve you.

Always stay relevant with your profession or career – The world is moving at a fast pace, if you decide that you are “done” learning, you will be left behind within a matter of years, if not sooner. Learn and apply. Don’t become ancient or irrelevant within your profession or career.

Diversify, learn, and apply – Hand in hand with learning, if you stick to only doing what you know, or what you are good at, you may quickly find that you’re only good at one thing. We need to be agile, nimble, and interested in many different things. Learn and apply your knowledge.

Embrace failures and mistakes – Failure is part of the journey to success. Most people have a hard time admitting that they have failed at anything. We should normalize failures. Be valuable and solution oriented, companies are always looking for problem solvers, leave a mark.

Be valuable and solution oriented – Companies are always looking for problem solvers, offer solutions and become valuable. Make sure you leave a mark.

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