5 Simple Tips To Improving Your Career in Any Sector

The fourth industrial revolution (4th IR) has many of us in a bit of a tizzy! Because we either do not know how we can keep our skills up to date in our various industry.

Or we are not sure whether we will have jobs once the full-on 4th IR movement takes over.

I would like to zone in on the financial sector, as we have seen cases of some big banks letting staff go in a bid to drive up efficiencies.

They also do this to give a customer-centric offering to their clientele and to meet their shifting expectations.

Gone are the days when your study designation has to be finance-related before you can get a job in the financial sector,

You can acquire both soft and critical skills in various other disciplines such as digital innovation, social media, digital marketing, communications, and PR.

In fact, the list is relatively exhaustive, a simple Google search should have myriad options pop out for you.

We are moving away from the era of traditional disciplines and working in jobs that require only one thing from you.

Now more than before, it works to your advantage to be savvy and knowledgeable in systems outside your focus area.

This not only makes you invaluable as an employee but challenges you to grow sis.


We are right on the cusp of digitization and the move for a business to be tech or digital-first, as more customers want to services rendered at the customer’s convenience.

Technological developments in the 4th IR do not necessarily have to translate into job losses and retrenchments in the financial sector, but rather encourage us to think about how we can collaborate and create better solutions to marry human activity with artificial intelligence.

As individuals, the following tips will ensure that not only do you remain competitive in your sector but that you are agile enough to move along with your organization as it expands and moves away from traditional modes of conducting business.

1. Never Stop Learning

You know that saying that says if you’re the most intelligent person in the room, move to another one?

You can never reach the point of ‘knowing it all’ continue advancing yourself and applying your knowledge base, even if it is through short courses. Stay learning, stay on top of your A-Game

2. Identify and Connect with Influencers in your Industry

Nothing beats learning from titans of industry. Identify someone within your business unit that you can shadow or learn on-the-job capabilities from.

This will put you in good stead should you want to take your shot at a different position within the team.

3. Show up for yourself.

Sis, be on time and put in the work. Most importantly, when you have gotten a seat at the table, make your voice heard, do not cower behind self-doubt or allow the dreadful imposter syndrome to cripple you.

Show up for yourself sis, be on time, put in the work. And most importantly, when you have gotten a seat at the table, make your voice heard, do not cower behind self-doubt or allow the dreadful imposter syndrome to cripple you.

4. Create a personal and professional development plan.

Ensure that you have your PBOB (personal board of directors) holding you accountable to keep on smashing those goals out the park!

5. Remember to self-care.

Everybody knows that fatigue ain’t one bit cute. Take time out to do things that rejuvenate your soul and genuinely bring you joy.

You can never underestimate the importance of rebooting in this fast-paced world that we live in.


Go out there babe, and be the corporate maven (or entrepreneurial queen) you know you are and secure the bag! Join the SLA #SecureTheBag challenge.

The Tech and STEM pioneer of Botswana

The goal is to have a national coding competition where all the students will come to Gaborone and showcase their projects. 

Captain Kgomotso Phatsima is best known in Botswana for her pioneering work as one of the few women pilots in the country. Her career began in the military, and she diligently worked her way up to becoming a real force to be reckoned with. 

Captain Phatsima’s work as a pilot and her passion for youth development led her to discover that there were very few girls who were adept at – or even interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, which are key for the aerodynamics space.

Not only are STEM subjects integral for becoming a pilot, or engaging in the aerospace industry, they are also essential for the development of human capital and the future of business in Botswana, Africa, and the world.

She founded the Dare to Dream Foundation (of which she is the President) in 2008 which deals with the advancement of youth, women and girls in STEM, aviation and aerospace as well as entrepreneurship development, with the intention to get young people interested in STEM-preneurship and the aviation and aerospace business.

Connect with Kgomotso Phatsima and her business on social media.


Why I founded Dare to Dream…

When I was growing up, I never had the chance to sit like this with a pilot or get into an airplane until I had the chance to fly one.

After I qualified as a pilot, I sat down and thought: ‘What can I do to give the upcoming generation – especially those who grew up in a village, like me – an opportunity to do that?’.

I started Dare to Dream to give back to the community and to try and open up their eyes to opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to.

On the ‘barrier’ to girls’ entry into STEM & traditionally ‘female/male-dominated’ subjects…

I will talk about myself and my own experience here.

When I told my parents that I want to fly and be a pilot, my mother said ‘In our time, a girl could never fly a plane. You cannot be a soldier!’

Sometimes it goes back to our upbringing and the culture. A girl must be domestic, and boys also have prescribed activities.

So we separate ourselves from engaging in these things. The same mindset goes on to say that ‘Some things are hard, and are only for men’, like piloting or engineering.

With some of our families, their backgrounds are what can hinder the involvement of girls in certain subjects and limit girls to certain careers.

But as the times and technologies change, and with other women and organizations such as ours showing that it’s possible, there is more of an acceptance that you can be and do anything you want.

Is Africa / Botswana in a good position to keep up with the world’s “breakneck’ speed?

I think so because the demographic dividend of the youth in Africa indicates that young people make up most of Africa at 60 percent.

I think that the whole of Africa is at a good advantage to participate in the technological changes that are taking place right now.

There are a lot of young people who are interested in technology. I also think that Batswana are in a good position to take advantage of what is happening.

We just need to channel the youth in the right direction to take advantage of the technological era, and prepare them for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and the businesses of tomorrow, which will be different from the businesses of today.

How Botswana (and Africa) can prepare for ‘The 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR)’…

In other African countries such as Rwanda, you’ll find that coding and robotics are taught in schools and they are part of the curriculum.

Recently, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa stated that coding will be taught in schools. We in Botswana are a little slower in catching on to these developments.

At Dare to Dream, we partnered with Airbus to sponsor 1,500 students across the country in rural places and trained them in robotics in order to prepare them for 4IR.

We need to channel the youth in the right direction to take advantage of the technological era and prepare them for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) – @KPhatsima Click To Tweet

It was also important that they know that there are careers in the aerospace industry that are STEM-related that they can take advantage of.

We are looking forward to partnering with the Ministry of Education, but there have been some delays, which I hope will be overcome in the future.

Dare to Dream’s most engaged stakeholders…so far…

We have engaged Airbus and also partnered with Botswana Innovation Hub, the University of Botswana and Botswana International University for Science and Technology – BIUST.

BIUST created an initiative to encourage young girls to get into STEM subjects because they realized that the number of girls applying for these subjects was low. They had called 100 girls from Central District schools to participate. 

We form partnerships with organizations with the same mandate as us. For example, Debswana is interested in the 4IR and getting young people engaged in it, so we have partnered with them and they have assisted us to roll out our programs.

We have also done work with Major Blue Air, who own planes. The girls get a chance to get onto the planes, and I fly the children.

It’s not just about STEM, it’s about exposing the girls to new experiences and igniting the passion within them. There are other organizations doing work in the same area, and we are looking forward to also having them on board.

There is something very powerful about collaboration.

We have also recently partnered with EcoNet, who have chosen me to lead the Youth Development Programme in coding and entrepreneurship.

What we are doing differently is that we are teaching the kids how to code and build websites, but also entrepreneurship and leadership skills. We have enrolled the first 500 participants and we are starting in July this year. 

The role Dare to Dream is playing in the conversation (and action!) towards Africa’s readiness for 4IR…

Even though we have trained 1 500 students, we realized that there is a gap with the teachers, and so we are preparing to train teachers in order to fill that gap.

After going around the country and doing work in 40 schools, I realized that the teachers themselves don’t know about 4IR, coding or robotics. Coding isn’t part of our curriculum at the moment; only a few schools have robotics kits, but they don’t know how to use them.

So, then we pulled in Debswana and other sponsors to train the teachers for a week at the University of Botswana. From there, the teachers will go back to their respective schools and train the students.

The goal is to have a national coding competition where all the students will come to Gaborone and showcase their projects. 

How young African women can be a part of The 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR)…

We want young people to solve African problems using technology – @KPhatsima Click To Tweet

Also, we want to teach them that they can look around for themselves, and identify where the problems are, and create devices and apps to overcome them, and make money out of them.

The fact that we are training teachers and students is a good step because we are pushing them towards appreciating the importance of 4IR and the power of technology in building businesses.


Botswana is one of Africa’s success stories, from one of Africa’s poorest countries to a vibrant, developed, middle-income African state.

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Catherine Lesetedi: Botswana’s Boss Woman

Botswana

Catherine Lesetedi is a graduate of Statistics from the University of Botswana. She has built a career in the insurance industry since she joined it in 1992. Currently, Catherine is the Group Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL).

She has built her career from scratch, and over the years, she has been adamant that adopting a flexible style of leadership is beneficial for leading an organization and getting the best out of her team.

Her career so far…

Looking at Lesetedi’s career, nothing about her story and her leadership principles and philosophies are ‘textbook’. Her style of leadership is pliable and acrobatic. It lends itself to whatever situation she and her team are in.

She’s extremely driven, open and open-minded, preferring to lead from behind, pushing her team forward, encouraging their gifts and honoring their intellect, allowing them to innovate, to grow and give to the business what she cannot.

Catherine maximizes on their strengths and makes sure that wherever there are gaps, there are people who are passionate, willing and able to execute and fill them.

Her journey there…

There is nothing predictable about Catherine Lesetedi. Even her choice of Statistics as a field to study at the University of Botswana (UB) was a bit of a wild card, even for her.

She describes it saying, “when we were making choices about what to study at varsity, we didn’t really know much about careers, to be honest with you, I didn’t know anything about Statistics until I got to the Department of Student Placement at the Ministry of Education.”

“I was late; my father and I had run out of fuel. By the time we arrived, I was out of breath, and I had forgotten my initial course choices. My brother, who I really admired, had studied Public Administration and Political Science, and that’s what I wanted.”

“They said that that weird combination didn’t exist, and told me that I was going to do Statistics and Demography.”


“If you think something is difficult, it becomes really difficult. If you think you can do it, sometimes you even surprise yourself.”
– Catherine Lesetedi,
CEO, BIHL Group

Her life experiences…

She studied Statistics at the University of Botswana, and even though her journey into that field was incidental, once there, she made the best of her situation, excelled and gleaned many things that she took forward with her into the rest of her life.

Certain experiences and her mindset set the stage for her early career and propelled her forward.

According to her, “in terms of decision-making, logical thinking, the confidence, and aptitude to learn; the program grounded me.”

“I may not use the formulas every day, but there are skills that I gained that I apply on a daily basis, even if I don’t recognize that ‘this is Statistics.”

The mathematical element empowered her to be able to engage with budgets and numbers, and not shy away from that aspect of whichever job she did.

Her philosophies for life…

All of the disciplines in the world are interrelated, so having a good understanding of what is going on across the board is beneficial for one; especially if a young woman wants to build herself up and build her career.

This is something she practices herself because, throughout the course of her career, she has gradually improved upon her leadership skills, attending leadership courses and taking on the responsibility of self-improvement.

Doing this has encouraged her to take a deeper look at herself; what drives her and pushes her beyond her own limitations. This outlook has put her in good stead as a leader, as someone who encourages others, ensuring that they are able to get the best out of what they need to do.

As a mentor, both personally and professionally, the story that she tells, the
example that she sets, is one of “show up and do your best.”

Ms. Lesetedi is big on recognizing talent and putting it to good use within the BIHL Group. These are some of the elements that make her up as a woman, as a leader, and these are some of the things that she has imparted to her mentees.


Botswana is one of Africa’s success stories, from one of Africa’s poorest countries to a vibrant, developed, middle-income African state.

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Think, plan and intentionally work towards your career goals: Jane Egerton-Idehen

Jane Egerton-Idehen is the founder of womenncareers. A platform that supports women globally in growing their careers through career advice, practical tips, tools and resources from different female executives

She is an accomplished Executive of thriving divisions within two Fortune 500 firms, as well as an advisor, spokesperson, and board member of nonprofit organizations.

Jane Egerton-Idehen is also an expert in the Telecommunication industry with over seventeen years of experience. She is currently the country manager Nigeria for an international satellite company, Avanti communications limited.

Recently she was celebrated as one of Nigeria’s “50 Leading Ladies in Corporate Nigeria” by Leading Ladies Africa. She has an MBA from the University of Warwick and an Executive Education from Havard Business School.

In this article, SLA contributor Anwuli speaks to Jane Egerton-Idehen as she talks about her impact on young women as she’s helping them in their career growth.


“Your career is a marathon and not a race so don’t beat yourself up” – @nk_amadi Click To Tweet

Since founding Women and Careers, what unique challenges have you helped women tackle in their growing careers?

Since starting Women and Careers, we have seen a lot of awareness about issues facing women as they grow their career.

Most women in their mid-careers, are seeking skills and a support system to help them grow their careers while they manage their home and family. While the single ladies are seeking to combine a career with building family relations and obligations.

I have noticed that most women in the early part of their career need guidance and some form of mentoring to guide them as they grow. To consciously invest in developing themselves and maneuvering the dynamics of the office place.

These challenges form a wide spectrum from like microaggression at work to lacking sponsorships for leadership roles.

We also have the impact of the patriarch in the workplace and society at large. There are also common ones like work-life balance.

I recognize that we need to talk more about these issues, share our stories and support each other through the journey

What level of progress has Women and Careers achieved in reaching out to women globally?

Since officially starting in 2017, Women and career has taken our passion to a larger audience. Our passion is to support women to grow their careers and encourage young girls to start one.

We have touched a lot of lives through our events and activities. We also celebrate a lot of women who are successfully paving a way in their fields no matter how unpopular those sectors or industries are.

WomenNcareers has worked with outside organizations to discuss these challenges women are facing bringing awareness to them and making sure relevant stakeholders are involved to support in addressing these issues.

We have co-sponsored events like TEDXAjegunle women, Sozo Networks Before I Turn 18 program for teenagers. To reach out to women and young girls in underserved areas.

We have just finished a mentoring program for young female undergraduates at the University of Mines and Technology in Tarkwa Ghana.

Our hope is that this can inspire and motivate a lot of women to work their paths as well.

What kind of support would women starting their careers in STEM fields need from professionals in the field?

Firstly Organizations need to be more deliberate about the pipeline problem especially in STEM fields.

Data shows that women are still underrepresented at the entry levels. This requires that companies relook at their hiring process.

A study by Women Matter states that;

Men are often hired and promoted based on their potential, while women are often hired and promoted based on their track record. This may be particularly acute for women at the start of their careers when their track records are relatively short.

Secondly, we noticed a lot of leakages when it comes to female talent in the STEM fields. Women starting their careers in the industry need a lot of support from the organizations they work to ensure they grow their careers in the field.

Quite a lot of them leave the field when they start getting married and probably having kids. One of the main challenges is managing their young family with the continuously demanding professional life.

Organizations can consider flexible working hours. They can consider maternity and post-maternity policies that are supportive of such women.

I would also recommend women in this phase seek a lot of support from loved ones and seek mentors that can guide them to navigate this phase.

Metaphorically I would relate the discussion about Women in STEM fields to what Charles Blow, an American Journalist for the New York Times, once said;

It requires that you fight on two fronts; trying to reduce the size of the hill and climbing the hill – Jane Egerton-Idehen

This is how I have always felt about women who try to grow their careers in the STEM fields.

I have come to acknowledge that it is a constant battle to have this. With all the challenges, they must face, it feels like climbing a hill.

It needs to be recognized that we ( Policymakers, Corporate organizations, etc) need to reduce the hill for women who in the past century have started to branch into these fields where the rules of engagement were created with male folks in mind.

What lessons can other women take from your journey when they feel discouraged?

I would say “your career is a marathon and not a race so don’t beat yourself up”. Life will throw you curveballs, There will be highs and lows. There will be upward movement and sometimes lateral career moves. Learn to keep pushing forward no matter what.

Invest in your personal development, as you grow and become better your confidence increases, you become more valuable to your organization or industry. – @nk_amadi Click To Tweet

Be in the driver seat when it comes to your career. Most times we look for a boss, organization, etc to cart our career path.

We should learn to intentionally think, plan and work towards our career goals.

How do you effectively combine work, pursuing your passion and the home front?

Whatever we feed or spend time in, grows. One of the secrets is daring to be bad at somethings and not feeling guilty about it.

Decide what is of priority to you. Focus your time on things that are of priority. That for me is key.

Also learn to seek support, delegate or outsource activities that are less important or impactful. This will free up time for family, work and your passion.


Missed our Facebook Live on August 22nd on how to drive social change through your business/career? Click here to watch here.

SheaMoisture Spotlight on Finance Queen: Anie Ufia – founder of Kolo Lagos

SheaMoisture is the enduring and beautiful legacy of Sofi Tucker. Widowed with five children at 19, Grandma Sofi supported her family by selling handcrafted shea butter soaps and other creations in the village market in Sierra Leone.

Sofi became known as a healer who shared the power of shea and African black soap with families throughout the countryside.

She handed down her recipes to grandson Richelieu Dennis, who founded SheaMoisture and incorporated her wisdom into the brand’s hair and skin care innovations.

SheaMoisture products and collections are formulated with natural, certified organic and fair trade ingredients, with the shea butter ethically-sourced from 15 co-ops in Northern Ghana as part of the company’s purpose-driven Community Commerce business model.

SheaMoisture has partnered with She Leads Africa to support and showcase Nigerian women who support their communities.

About Anie Ufia

22-year old Ufia Aniebietabasi is the CEO and founder of Kolo Lagos. She is a Mass Communication graduate from the University of Lagos.

After an experience where she was shocked to find out that she had no savings of her own in a bank or anywhere else, Anie made up her mind to create a system that will make savings fun and a priority for her. 

Seeing the immediate results it had on her finances, she was determined to help other young people like herself, take control of their finances.

You are sure to either catch Anie preaching the gospel of financial freedom or on the lookout for opportunities with which she can drive social change.

Connect with Anie and her business here Website, Instagram, Twitter


Tell us about Kolo Lagos.

Kolo Lagos is a proudly Nigerian brand that is passionate about bringing back the saving culture in a unique way.

We aim to achieve this by encouraging people to save money in a piggy bank, popularly called “Kolo” in Nigeria.

Our kolos are made from quality tested wood and specially handcrafted with love in Nigeria to help people curb overspending, grow a saving habit and stay disciplined while at it. 

How did you turn this habit into a business?

I started Kolo Lagos during my final year at the University. I suddenly realized that I had zero savings, not in the bank or even in a piggy bank.

This made me buy a piggy bank for myself and discipline myself to save money. I bought one from a carpenter that was introduced to me by a friend.

 Since it worked for me, I told my friends about it and everyone wanted a piggy bank so they could save money as well. 

That was how the journey began!

Having a niche business, how do you make your brand stand out?

At Kolo Lagos, our kolos are crafted and designed to promote the rich and beautiful culture in Nigeria and Africa. They have also added an innovative touch to an old approach of saving money which was used since the days of our forefathers.

The reusability of our Kolos has also added a modern twist to it and is the ‘WOW’ factor that attracts our customers

Can you share with us 3 things you struggled with at the start of your business, and how you overcame them?

The major challenge I struggled with at the start of my business was building brand loyalty. It was a new business and with the prevalence of online fraud, most people are scared to make a purchase from an online store.

However, as the business grew, people began to trust us enough to refer us to friends and relatives. I have now moved from selling kolos to just friends and family but to people who discover us via the internet.

Another big challenge I struggled with was finding artisans who knew their onions, could deliver neatly done jobs, and deliver them on time.

I am glad that I have overcome that challenge since I have a particular one I now work with…

Tell us about a personal experience that translated to a  business lesson for you.

My first business lesson was before I even began my business. I had given a fashion designer a fabric and style to make an outfit for me.

I decided to come to get it at the allotted time the tailor gave me, but despite the sufficient time I gave, my dress wasn’t ready.

It was quite annoying and frustrating, to say the least. So I took that lesson with me to Kolo Lagos when I started it.

Working with artisans means that I constantly have to follow up, make calls and even go there physically if need be, just to ensure that everything is done well and on time. That experience stayed with me and has been a major lesson that has helped my business.

What impact have you made in your community since starting your business?

Since starting my business, I have impacted my community by speaking at workshops and seminars to both young and old people about money, and why it’s important to maintain a healthy saving lifestyle.

What is your 2019 goal, and what have you done so far to achieve it?

My goal for 2019 is to get more local distributors within Nigeria and at least one international distributor in order to achieve the goal of selling 2,000 kolos this year.

I am currently speaking with someone who is interested in becoming an international distributor.

Share with us 3 fun facts about yourself

  1. I love food. Food loves me.
  2. Food makes me happy.
  3. I know how to play drums.

What’s your fave skin care routine?

My skin care routine is done at night when I get to nicely cleanse my skin with my organic skin products, and prep for the night before going to bed.

How do you feel about promoting your brand on She Leads Africa, courtesy of SheaMoisture?

To be totally honest, I am still in utter shock even as I type this.

I remember when I applied for it and a part of me wasn’t sure if my business would be selected, but I applied anyway.

I am deeply and sincerely grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Thank you so much, Shea Moisture. You ROCK!

Describe your business with one word…

The word is UNIQUE.

Missed our first Shea Moisture Spotlight? Click here.

You can find SheaMoisture products at Youtopia Beauty stores nationwide and on Jumia


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High-Level Networking 101: How to Spark a Conversation that can Lead to Long Term Impact

Everyone knows that high-level networking is a critical part of building a successful business, project, or brand.

Decision-makers at all levels want to feel confident in the person they are hiring or bringing on board for their projects, and in many cases, all it takes is one chance meeting to seal the deal.

It is also common knowledge that high-level networking is awkward. That uncomfortable feeling of scanning a room and deciding who to walk up to, what to say, and how to present yourself.

High-Level Networking is a true art form, that requires both practice, and trial and error in order to find your own secret sauce.

I attend lots of events, so I am always on the giving and receiving end of that first greeting.

Here are some high-level networking tips that can help you break the ice, keep a good conversation flowing, and ensure a rapid follow up -@lizgrossman87 Click To Tweet

Dress your best, be unique and spark confidence:

Simply put, when you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good, your confidence shines through.

Need I say more? I also recommend wearing something unique that grabs the attention of others.

In my case, I typically wear one of my custom made African pieces because it’s both flattering, and also always acts as a conversation starter allowing me to share a bit about myself right off the bat.

You may have an article of clothing or accessory that always gets complimented, wear that and it will almost always serve as an icebreaker.

Do your homework

Make sure you find out as much about the event as you can before going. Who is organizing it, who is attending and what opportunities are you looking for?

Prepare different pitches you can potentially deliver to attendees, bring the appropriate materials (brochures, pens, business cards, etc), and focus on your goals.

Knowing what you want to say and showing up prepared will increase your confidence, showcase your level of seriousness and leave little room for frivolity.

Be natural, not transactional and pushy

People like to joke, smile, converse and mingle without feeling pressure, and the most impactful connections start like that. 

You want people to be attracted to your personality, and not feel hounded by business right from the get-go. The key is to place an emphasis on relationship building.

Earlier this year at a crowded event, I ended up sitting next to a lovely woman, sharing a few laughs over coffee while the event carried on.

Later, I learned that she is a very high ranking official at the UN, but our relationship had already been solidified in a friendly, convivial tone. When you get to the event, go get yourself a drink or a snack, relax.

Don’t focalize on the VIPs. 

Please, you do not want to be the first one to bumrush the speakers after they immediately after they finish their presentation- they will not remember you.

I have watched attendees wait fifteen-thirty minutes for their chance to simply say hello or offer their praises to my clients, wasting an opportunity to make more meaningful connections in the room. 

Networking Tip: Meet the people sitting next to you, because those are usually the ones who will be on the stage at the next event – @lizgrossman87 Click To Tweet

If you would like to introduce yourself to one of the heavy hitters, patiently wait your turn. Know what you want to say, find a reason to follow up, and find the best method to get in touch.

Have an appropriate business card etiquette.

Effective networking is not about collecting or distributing a million cards, so the first thing you do should never be to hand out or ask for a business card.

After you have established a connection and potential for collaboration, that is a good time to hand them your card. If they do not have one, but you wish to follow up, ask them for their email address or phone number on the spot.

If that does not happen, connect immediately following the event on social media with a follow-up message.

Follow up within 24 hours

Most people forget that networking does not stop at the event, it requires diligent and thoughtful follow up.  Jot down notes during the event about the people you have met, and write them the next day to recap your conversation and propose a next action point.

This could be as simple as staying in touch, suggesting a meeting, or a direct ask about something which was discussed.

Since people are busy and attend many functions, it needs to be done within 24 hours to ensure they remember you and your conversation. 

Finally…

Always remember to stay calm and cool. Chances are slim that you will land your dream job or sign a big investment deal at a high-level networking event, but they are great places to plant the seeds that can grow into your next opportunity. 

Always remember your value, make friends, and have some fun. It may turn out that people start lining up to hand you their business cards!


Missed our Facebook Live on August 22nd on how to drive social change through your business/ Career? Click here to watch.

NNENNA OFOEGBU: 5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING

Nnenna Ofoegbu holds a BA Hons degree in Public Relations and Communications and has recently started her own Events business.

She loves writing self-help themed articles and is a mentor. Nnenna is the founder of Yes You Can! A platform that inspires others to live a more focused, goal-driven life.

She also has a long-term passion for fashion accessories and has started her own fashion jewelry company called Exquisitely Yours London.

Nnenna is a huge advocate for giving up personal time for free in exchange for gaining valuable experience, knowledge and career advancement.

Through volunteering and interning, she gained some connections, opened doors and opportunities she would never have been offered otherwise had she not volunteered her time to work for free.

And that is why she thinks one should consider volunteering if they have never done it before. Whether you’re already employed in your dream job or you’re a fresh graduate looking for your first dream role.

It could be through a professional internship at a global organization or by volunteering in your spare time with an NGO.

There are many advantages to volunteering like being offered a job within the organization. Bringing your expertise in one area or learning a new skill in another area you’re interested in can benefit both parties.

You’ll also get to meet new people and expand your professional network.

However, opting to volunteer may not be a financially viable move for everyone. Although a lot of organizations can allow you to work remotely if you are expected to work from the office than expenses like travel and feeding may be left up to you to cover.

This can be off-putting especially if your finances are restricted, but there are ways around it. You could suggest agreeing to volunteer for a short period like two weeks for example, or on a part-time basis like one day a month. Do what works best for you. This will help you to limit your costs.

Nnenna Ofoegbu decided to #volunteer with a well-known charity to upskill her CV after being out of the UK jobs market for a year and not being able to land an interview. Read more… Click To Tweet

She was fortunate as the charity offered to reimburse her for her travel and feeding expenses, and she worked on a part-time basis of two days a week.

She thought it was going to be a piece of cake – oh how wrong she was! It was hard work and challenging. But she had a great mentor who helped her work on and improve her skill set.

It was all worth it in the end when she got to walk a well-known British celebrity down the red carpet at the charity’s annual awards ceremony and go to St James’ Palace for a private garden party.

There are some perks! So, why should you consider volunteering?

Here are Nnenna’s 5 reasons why you should volounteer.

1. Gain or improve an existing skillset

Taking up a corporate internship or volunteering with a social enterprise will give you the opportunity to level up your skillset.

Whether it’s your I.T proficiency or presentation skills, use volunteering as a valid way to learn something new or improve an existing skill.

Working with other skilled colleagues will also enhance your skills and improve your interpersonal abilities. 

Top Tip: Keep a list of any new skills you have gained both soft and hard as it will increase your market value.

By keeping a journal during your time volunteering you will be able to self-reflect on your personal and professional development.

Make sure you update your CV, as additional skills add value to it.

2. Shows ambition

Generally speaking, ambitious minded people are more likely to get ahead in the workplace. Whereas the passive and unassertive person tends to be overlooked for promotion.

Volunteering helps you to create the right impression within the organization. It shows that not only are you willing to give up your time for free but that you’re career-minded and take your professional development seriously.

It shows senior management that you’re focused, responsible and enthusiastic member of the team. It shows assertiveness.

Now all you must do is bring your A-game and add value to the organization by positively contributing to the team.

Top Tip: Set some goals or list the things that you would like to have mastered or achieved during your time with the organization.

Discuss them with your supervisor and come to an agreement on what support you will need to achieve your goals.

3. Improves your network

Volunteering can be a useful way of expanding your professional network. Get involved and try to participate with any department or team activities, social gatherings, and work meetings.

This is also a good time to look for a career mentor if you don’t have one already. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a senior manager.

It could be your co-worker or a colleague from a different team or department.

Top Tip: Add your co-workers and managers (if appropriate) on LinkedIn and ask them to endorse you.

4. Boosts your confidence

Not only will volunteering boost your skills, but your self-confidence will also benefit. It takes guts and tenacity to get out there and join a new organization as a volunteer.

It’s a positive achievement and something to feel proud of. It will make you feel good about yourself and confident in your capabilities.

Top Tip: Don’t feel undervalued because you’re not being paid a salary, rather see it as a chance to be a fly on the wall.

You’ll get to see behind the scenes which could inspire you to suggest some ideas like for a charity fundraiser or a corporate social responsibility activity for example.

5. Brings you closer to your dream job

Whether it’s your first role you’re chasing or you want to pivot into a new career sector through volunteering, it’s the sum total of all your newly acquired skills and connections that will bring you closer to where you ultimately want to go career or even business-wise (even if they don’t offer you a job at the end of it).

If you are looking for employment, then volunteering with the right organization certainly helps.

Top Tip: Add your voluntary work to your LinkedIn profile with any relevant links to the projects or work you’ve been involved in.

Volunteering shows potential employers you’ve got the initiative to do something constructive about your career path and sets you apart from those who haven’t volunteered. Read more Click To Tweet

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You better get your Hot Girl Summer on, Motherland Mogul

Summer or no summer, you MUST live your best life.

You are a boss and keeping up with the trends in the digital world is the major key!

You must have come across the term Hot girl summer over the past month. If you’re not sure what everyone is on about, we’re serving you the tea in this article.

What is #HotGirlSummer???

The phrase #Hotgirlsummer was coined by American rapper, Meghan Thee Stallion. She used the term to tell women (and men) to be unapologetically themselves and fiercely go after their dreams and goals.

It simply means that summer or no summer, you MUST live your best life.

The term first appeared on Twitter after one of her fans posted a photo with the caption “I hear it’s a #HotGirlSummer”. Since then, the term has since caught on like bush fire.

Men and Women around the world are now posting fun and happy photos of themselves on social media with the same caption. The phrase represents women living out their best lives at their own terms, to make it the best thing to ever happen to them.

If you are looking to have your own Hot Girl Summer season like the Motherland Mogul that you are, here are some tips to get you started.

1. Review and Define Your Goals

In order to live life unapologetically, there must be a goal or vision that you are looking to achieve.

It is important that you have a vision of where you are going and come up with a plan of how you will get there. This may involve improving your current skill set or going back to school.

Choose your path and glow while pursuing your goals.

2. Put Your Best Foot Forward Where You are

In most cases than not, it will take time to get to your dream job/businesses/bosses and/or clientele.

While you are building towards your goals and dreams, it is essential that you grab every crucial opportunity that comes by. The journey to achieving your dreams is a culmination of all the work and effort that you are putting in now.

Use your current position to build a richer network as this will make your journey much easier.

The phrase, Your Network is Your Net worth should come in handy where you are now and when you finally get to achieve your goals.

3. Put In the Work

Nothing works unless you do.

To achieve anything in life, you must be willing to put in the effort and work required to get where you want to be.

It is also important to ensure that your voice is heard in meetings and in boardrooms. As you put in the work and effort, it is also very important that you are taking credit for your achievements.

You are much more memorable when your voice is heard, therefore, going forward ensure that you are the lady who takes credit for her work, contributes ideas and always have engaging thoughts in any meetings and conferences.

An organization or client will always value someone who adds value. Your work is then to add value. 

4. Have Fun While Doing It

Girl, work hard and play hard while you’re at it.

Going after your goals and choosing to be outstanding is definitely not always fun.

There is a lot of unseen hard work and in some cases, you are your own biggest cheerleader.

But, how about making it fun for yourself by having a weekly gratitude list?

Each week, write down something you are grateful for and also tick off a goal that you have accomplished. It is the consistent cumulative effort that eventually pays off and keeps a smile on your face.

5.Take a Selfie and Don’t Forget to Hashtag #HotGirlSummer

Lastly, while putting in the work and securing the bag don’t forget to take a bomb selfie as you live your best life, on your own terms.

It is always relaxing to get the perfect selfie and keep the movement going for all the women who are making it happen for themselves and their communities.

Have yourself a Hot Girl Summer.


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Navshika Beeharry: Adding accountability and value to foreign volunteering efforts in Africa

Navshika Beeharry is a British-Mauritian blogger, speaker, and interculturalist.

She shares her experience of volunteering overseas and advocates for intercultural awareness to be at the heart of charity and aid efforts to improve foreign assistance in the motherland.

In this article, she also provides consultancy for sustainability advice, strategy development and/or content creation.

Shika, as she is fondly called, believes it is important for NGOs to develop empowering stories of self-managed income/resources to challenge the mindset that success derives from external donors as opposed to the people themselves.

In 2015, when she returned home from a volunteer placement in Tanzania, she founded “Becoming Africquainted” as an initiative to candidly recounting the life-changing memories she made, including some difficult observations of when Western intercultural communication goes badly wrong.

Since then, it has grown into a platform of its own that provides discussion and resources to all aspiring volunteers or expats, encouraging them to undertake their service overseas responsibly and respectfully.


Shika on Intercultural Awareness

For Shika, intercultural awareness is an unmissable step that any foreign volunteer must be willing to take to better know their own cultural limitations and how to healthily navigate new ones.

However, this must be reciprocated by host communities within Africa too, by ensuring they take responsibility for their own narrative and how they wish for it to be told and remembered long after any volunteer exchange has ended.

It will take time to help visitors to form new associations of Africa they see, but the benefits to sewing two-way intercultural connections are fruitful and increasingly necessary for the prosperity of the interconnected world we live in.

Volunteer exchanges can be measured by the quality of relationships being built – @Shika_Bee Click To Tweet

To be a successful foreign volunteer, Shika believes it begins with an understanding of yourself / skillset and a genuine desire to be of service to someone. Such a person is often thought to be self-sacrificing with care for their wider community and an unrelenting passion to contribute to a cause bigger than themselves.

However, to be able to add accountability and value to foreign volunteering efforts in Africa, one needs to;

1. Have a good knowledge of the country and organization whose aims you would like to champion.

Each summer in Africa, this ‘higher cause’ has all too often displayed itself as ‘saviourism’, ‘privilege’ and ‘Western ideas’ – to name a few.

What usually begins as a selfless summer trip quickly manifests itself into self-serving behavior when culture shock takes over, conditions become unfavorable to live in and personal expectations are not met.

These circumstances fuel a type of instinctive desire to fix things that do not exist ‘back home’.

Though the intention may come from a good place, the means by which it is executed becomes misplaced and frequently results in misunderstanding and conflict.

Why?

A lack of intercultural awareness. A large number of young people in the West – diaspora included – are conditioned into thinking that volunteering overseas is a worthy extra-curricular life experience or a means of personal development.

These reasons are problematic because they refer to an underlying tone of personal gain that volunteering is based upon.

The emphasis is rarely ever to learn about culture itself – something which really should underpin any healthy volunteer exchange.

2. Acquire traits that enable you to observe, recognize, perceive and positively respond to new and unfamiliar intercultural interactions.

Some markers of intercultural awareness within international development are:

  • Humility – being receptive to, and accepting of, new and unfamiliar situations
  • Patience – in recognizing that positive outcomes take time to reveal themselves
  • Humanity – acting humanely with a trusted concern for the community being served.

These traits are not something we can quantify or expect anyone to learn quickly in a crash-course.

But volunteer exchanges can be measured by the quality of relationships being built, along with their participation and respect for our cultures once they arrive.

One indication of this lies in how well volunteer behaviors are recognized and reciprocated by the communities which they serve.

3. Volunteers should be given guided self-reflection time.

This is to serve like one-to-one inductions in a paid workplace where their observations and experiences are discussed to foster a dialogue which enables them to explain their realities so that they can be better understood.

Doing this not only prevents them from distancing themselves from problems they see by claiming ignorance, but it also provides a space for healthy goals to be set, contributions to be assessed and accountability to take place.

This is important to help redefine the negative African post-colonial perceptions that many foreign volunteers have unconsciously grown up with.

After all, what better way to rewrite the story than if told it ourselves to those who do have a desire to listen, by virtue of visiting the continent first-hand?

A good start for non-profit-organisations is to offer their own guides into standards of behavior that outlines an interpretation of volunteer ideas and expectations during their stay.

This formalizes the process whilst mitigating the risk of volunteers unhelpfully referring back to their (often biased) perception of problems and methods of solving them.


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