Within the past year, I have asked a number of young people in Nigeria about their career and the responses have been overwhelmingly similar; they hope to be successful at whatever they do.

But beyond just being successful at what you do, leaving a legacy that stands the test of time in your chosen career is simply amazing. For me, it is the way to go if you would leave visible footprints on the sand of time. So how do you achieve that?

Use your career to solve problems

Whatever your career is —whether you’re a singer, entrepreneur, writer, civil servant, lawyer, healthcare professional, artist, engineer— it should a source of blessing to others. I mean your career should be the solution to that problem that keeps many people awake in the dead of the night. Simply put, whatever career you have chosen should be to impact the lives of as many people that come your way.

That’s why I can’t agree less with Denzel Washington who once said; “At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished. It’s about what you’ve done with those accomplishments. It’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.”

As a writer, I craft words to make the readers of my articles see beyond their horizons, to make them leave the zone of despair and connect with their dreams. Similarly, as a transformational speaker, I make people think less of what and what does not work in their lives and instead, create the kind of future they prefer to live in.

After all, the future is not uncontrollable despite what many people believe. You can deliberately build the future you want.

Stay in the know, always

If you’re going to build a great career, it doesn’t come easy. I’m not saying it’s impossible, I’m only stressing the fact that it’s requires a lot of hard work. You know nothing good comes easy. The hard work here means you’ll have to be up-to-date as far as your field or industry is concerned.

To stay in the know, you must be a voracious reader consuming all the latest stuff. The world is moving at a pace and if you are not fast enough, you might not catch up. You have to keep yourself abreast of the latest developments in your line of career. From hard copy books to E-books, there are lots of useful information on the internet.

Attending conferences, fellowships, meet-ups, workshops, seminars will also give you the kind of exposure you need to move your career to the next level. There, you would hear from the leaders in your industry, network with the people that matter, and leverage on new opportunities. They are a great way to build an inspiring career.

Take the risk, be unique

It doesn’t matter what kind of career you have chosen, you have the right to make the huge difference that no one has ever made. But whether that will happen or not depends on you.

It all depends on whether you really want to establish a never-to-be-forgotten career record. Take a look at this ageless quote by Robert F. Kennedy; “There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”

If you want to build a great legacy for yourself, you will not only have to go the extra mile, you will also need to be a trailblazer. While others in your line of career are asking “why,” you should go ahead and ask “why not.” Always think out of the box— be innovative. And it doesn’t matter how challenging it seems, make sure you don’t feel comfortable with the status quo. Try out new ideas at all times.

kenya smile

Your purpose and passion and vision are unique, so should your career

As a young entrepreneur, use your business to solve problems, connect people with their dreams and leave a lasting legacy. As an artist, use your drawings and paintings to tell stories that inspire others to work on their dreams. As a musician, let your music give hope to the hopeless and lift up the downtrodden.

It doesn’t matter what you do, you can still make your career a huge source of inspiration to the many people you come across. But there’s a price to pay, you have to stay in the know and take risks.

You might not end up as Folorunso Alakija, Ibukun Awosika, or Tara Durotoye, you can end up better. Your name will also go down in history as one of the greatest of all time in your chosen field. It doesn’t matter what career path you have chosen, you can do it, too. It’s in you; you only have to bring it forth!

tumblr_nsh5s7OpSY1u54yv0o1_500Go ahead and build an awe-inspiring career and the world will be better for it.

What are your thoughts? I’m eagerly waiting to hear from you.

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