First few years after school
My first résumé was a complete “daboo” – a technical term for a copied assignment in the university. I literally lifted the contents of a senior colleague’s résumé and did a few edits on the header and job titles to suite my taste – yes, my taste because I was really clueless about what I was doing. I had just finished off with my third year and I was applying for a contract job as an analyst with a pharmaceutical market research company. Interestingly, I had the chance to attend the interview and proved myself very well to land my first job. A year later, I applied for the same job again. This time round, I had a couple of engagements with my sister, who had leveraged her university’s career guidance and counselling centre to develop an outstanding résumé. At this stage, I began to question myself about why building an excellent résumé, although extremely important, was not given priority in school. I explored more by gathering views from my colleagues and friends, and I realised that the trends were glaring; poor résumés everywhere. Of course! including mine. This triggered my learning journey to find a long-lasting solution to this issue; provide guidance for young graduates, create an atmosphere where they are able to demonstrate their value through their résumés and earn decent salaries while discovering a purpose in what they do. What I saw as a mere résumé building activity has evolved into a total package of career navigation which includes introspection, career planning, interview preparation and measuring one’s contribution to organisations.
Over the past 3 years, I have dedicated my leisure to help individuals chart and navigate their career paths. A lot of people primarily see me as a Résumé Consultant, which in itself isn’t wrong, but just a little fraction of what I really do. I have helped over 70 people rebuild their résumés with the right content. While helping a greater proportion of this number discover purpose in their jobs and plan against their future career jobs, I have also successfully helped about 30 people out of the 70 to either secure their first job or attain a strategic career change or progression. While interacting with young graduates and even experienced professionals. I have made some notable observations. The top five are;
- Stunted levels of self-awareness.
- No career planning.
- Unconsciously overlooking the need to analyse, measure and document one’s impact on the job.
- Low self-confidence due to inability to visualise and own one’s own achievements.
- Insufficient networking skills.
I agree that the number of graduates churned out each year is enormous, 104851 (World Bank, 2017) and may not necessarily match up with the of job vacancies. The implication? High demand means higher price; you have to pay a greater price to secure a job; price in terms of efforts and time. You can also decide to be an entrepreneur. Whichever path you take, make sure you address the top 5 problems I touched on earlier. In the next series of articles, I will show you a stepwise approach to secure your dream job or goal: In actual sense, to increase your chances of securing your dream job because it is never a 100% deal.
After procrastinating for so many years, I have decided to prioritise the articles for 2020 and beyond. Don’t wish me luck because I am a man of faith. I prefer to hear “All the best of efforts”.
My name is Joel Kojo Abaka Anaman. A Pharmacist by Profession, A Salesman by Occupation, A Career Coach by Passion and A Techpreneur by Vision. It is my vision to reach 1 million students, new graduates and young people in active jobs with this initiative. Join me in this journey as we uncover some myths and activate some life hacks to propel us towards our career goals. Guess what?! This is not reserved for 9-5 workers; Entrepreneurs will also benefit massively from this.