There is no overnight success – even though our get-it-now appetite for news and influence grows. And there are precious few stories on how to make it as an African in Africa – and the world in longhand, from the source. This weekend, Fred Swaniker spoke to me directly, reflecting on his weekend at Middlebury College commencement 2017. He posted a recap of his journey, mostly about how he got to receiving 2 Honorary Degrees one month and two continents apart by the age of 40. With the privilege of living in this era of Africa’s rise, comes with the responsibility of curating our history and learning from one another. I found this snapshot heartening. Well in Bwana Swaniker.
One big part of Swaniker’s post revealed his start as an assistant to a tradesman and fast food salesman, working alongside his mother, scholarship to Macalester College, college summer internships (including one very boring – but skillsrich stint at an insurance company). He then shares some valuable lessons that each of us can take to the bank: including places to get great insight on how businesses work, where to build your professionalism and sense of work-ready requirements, and how to stay the course. I particularly enjoyed his description of walking backwards as a tour guide in college, which I also did in college sharing my experience with prospective students. Check it out below.
Oh, to answer the question posed by Bwana Swaniker; my first job was helping my Mom as a salesman in the family snacks business at a very young age in the mid-1990s.
Are you trying to challenge yourself to change your own CV and open up the next line in your career? Check out my recent post on getting hired.
Learning with you,
I am happy to spend a good amount of time helping family and friends with their resumes and CVs, and it is about time we all get to the good stuff – better skills and employability. I am most interested in helping youth and those yet to be gainfully employed to get ready to take on the job market.
Apparently, by now – 2017- all university & diploma graduates should not list computer literate and punctual on their resume. It is assumed that you can do a presentation, type and edit and post your own work (and all other computer functions) and that showing up on time should be second nature. Your resume should in fact aim higher and list other things at which you are skilled.
My friend M commented:
It’s not even for recent university graduates. I’m seeing it in “professionals” through age 28…. typing with 2 fingers, late to every meeting or shift and providing what is considered by the individual to be a legitimate excuse each time, inability to use Excel/Word/PPT, etc. And as people are getting their degrees at older ages due to financial struggles and other setbacks, their willingness to learn more than “college” or even to understand that learning doesn’t stop after college leans towards the apathetic. “But I’ve just worked so hard to finish college,” is their thought. The employer’s thought is “But you are still not compliant with state laws, best practices, and professional development requirements to meet your continuing job responsibilities.” And it is over and over and over again, same conversation, different employee.
Yes! to the UN Global Goals, which encouraged us to do more. I agree we can “By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all men and women including young people, and persons with disabilities and equal pay for work of equal value” – Global Goal #8
How Do You Get Started ?
I did a quick search and found a few gems:
- Barclays has built a great LifeSkills site to allow youth, parents and teachers to : Build a Job Hunting Toolbox, Identify Skills, Gain Experience, Be Inspired
- European Union’s Europass offers information for those seeking to develop and create EU based CV and other job-hunting credentials. This is useful for CV based countries outside the EU which operate on principles related to previous EU countries
If you already have a Resume or CV and ready to finally update it:
- Here is what TIME Magazine thinks you should be doing to improve your Resume (Jan 5.2017) including a nice free downloadable template shown below.
- Also, find out from the Interview Guys exactly what kind of resume you should be designing. This means, what structure by timeline, how long and whether you should have more or less on your resume.
All the best!
What other questions do you have about skills building, resumes, and creating impact from your presentations?