The Right Time to Prepare for Career Opportunities is When You Don’t Need It

If you don’t start building it in your 20s when will you start?


I have the opportunity to work mostly with teenagers for over 10 years through my Digital Skills Training Centre and I’ve always tried as much as possible to be friendly and most importantly I try as much as possible to mentor anyone of them who is ready for it.


One characteristic that is very common among them is their attitude towards building their career and their attitude towards making money. To some extent, I think environmental factors, as well as orientation, contribute to that mentality.


Part of what contributes to this common negative attitude is the ideology of been academically qualify before thinking of making money with the belief that once a teenager starts making money, it becomes difficult to learn. That may not be a bad idea but trying to apply the principle of focus to schooling and nothing is questionable because there are lots of other activities that not only complement academic performance but also augment future career development.


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But still putting money aside, building a successful career take more than going to school. The need for better orientation on activities that will enhance their opportunity to excel is missing. Whether to get a job, start a business, or horn a talent, one needs to while still schooling engage in other activities such as volunteering, internship, skill acquisition, etc, to prepare ahead.


Once you know what you want, getting it becomes easier. According to Benjamin Franklin, he said “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” He also said, “I will prepare and some day my chance will come.”


Preparation is the key and that is what we are missing. What we eventually result in doing is preparing when we should be ready and moving. This approach enhanced crime because people are preparing to make money when they are desperately in need it rather than ahead. A Yoruba adage support this ideology by saying “A maa npon omi sile de oungbe ni” meaning, we get what ready ahead of thirst.


Nothing come by chance, “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” says Seneca.


Opportunities are Reserved for Youths

By the way, have you registered for the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund Programme? If you have not, please do. But before you go, I hope you are below 35 years, if not, don’t stress yourself because you can fake your age anymore. With your Bank Verification Number (BVN), Nigeria is on her way to get things right. Once you supply your BVN, the system will verify your eligibility mostly which has to do with age among other things. Another challenge you may encounter may be a discrepancy in the data available on your BVN which you can verify at Nigeria Inter-Bank settlement System with just an N25 payment with your ATM cards.


That is one out of thousands of youth opportunities to excel out there, if you fail to prepare towards utilizing those opportunities in your 20s and 30s, when will you. Any programme that gives people in their 40s a chance to participate expects you have reasonable achievement academically and more on your profile. So, if you are still waiting to be spoon-fed in your 20s and 30s how will you be able to qualify for those opportunities.


Preparing Ahead of Your Peers

It is true that “Leaders are readers” but not all “readers are not leaders”. Although by reading to this point, you have demonstrated and take a step ahead of others to excel because many people who saw this post only see the picture. But to crown that you to take action on what you read.


If you want to get a good-paying job after graduation, forget about the general ideology of having an influential relative, if you have one, congratulation. But if you don’t have, you can create one yourself through engagement. Start soliciting for an internship, volunteering for activities to improve your career within and outside the campus. Yes! Connection fuel career success and the only way you can network for such opportunities is to engage where such opportunities exist.


There is no right time, every time is right. If your scenario is different from what I describe above, you can still start now! If you can afford six (6) to seven (7) figures for schooling, you should be able to afford not getting paid to position yourself for opportunities that will earn you six (6) to seven (7) figures monthly.


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