The single years can be fun and productive, but in some societies, the stigma that arises when you start getting close to a certain age can become overwhelming.
Beyond that, how can you make your single years transformational and fruitful before settling down? Here are some tips to help you:
1. Give more than you receive
This is the best time to start practicing how to share. When you get married, you’ll have to share your life with your spouse and if you have always felt that people were invading your space, this is the best time to start practicing.
Smile more, show courtesy, give out some things that you don’t need and volunteer with your time.
2. Start working on things that challenge your self-worth
Do you have issues with being confident? This is the best time to seek therapy on that. Do you feel you’re not tall or beautiful enough?
This is the best time to start seeing yourself in a positive light. Take time to evaluate what makes you feel less and start appreciating it.
In marriage, you wouldn’t want your spouse to be the source of your happiness because sometimes you’ll need to learn to enjoy your alone time. Nobody can complete you so start learning to love yourself.
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3. Learn to manage your money
If you spend without a budget, plan or savings then you want to learn to manage your finance. You can start saving and investing now.
You can research on apps that allow you to save and invest and also learn more on business opportunities.
4. Learn to manage your home
If you can’t clean your space, then start owning your space well without the intention of your spouse arranging everything for you.
Learn to clean every corner of your house and practice good and healthy hygiene.
5. Be a praying person
Marriage has its own battles and you don’t want to go into marriage with an entitlement mentality.
You want to start praying for yourself, your spouse and children ahead. Learn to build a relationship with God in your single years so that you don’t build your world around your spouse alone.
6. This is time to work on your insecurities
There’re people who’ll get married and try to control or manipulate their spouse because of trust issues. This is time to stop projecting your fears on your partner.
Seek therapy and closure. It usually stems from your past experiences and it is better to seek for healing before you settle down.
7. Let go of pride
If you’ve pride issues, this is the time to start seeking professional help. Pride kills the beauty of marriage.
Don’t assume that your excesses will be managed. Pride comes before a fall.
8. Practice self-control
If you think marriage will help you to stop playing the field, that’s a mistake. Self-control is important because you won’t be having sex every day.
9. Start learning little act of commitment
Marriage works because of two committed people. Commitment should be practiced even when things are not going your way. It starts with your thoughts and decisions.
10. Travel to a new place
One of the beautiful things you can do in your single years is to go to new places and try new things. if you cannot afford to visit a different country, try traveling to another state to tour and meet new people.
11. Invest in your personal development
You should also use this period to read books, attend seminars and invest in yourself. I can’t emphasize this enough.
A lot of singles find it difficult to invest in their emotional life and it can be frustrating at the end of the day. Save yourself the stress of being hurt and clueless.
Learn and relearn. Learn about your personality type, your values, your deal-breaker, communication, love and apology languages, and so many other things.
International consultants working on finding sustainable solutions for social-economic problems on the continent, are more and more often roles fulfilled by our own young and brightest.
Meet three young inspiring ladies from Kenya, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe who made their way into Dalberg – a firm that is rapidly expanding across the continent – to contribute to social impact and sustainable development through consulting work.
Edel Were is a Consultant and Co-Lead of the Youth Employment and Education Practice at Dalberg Advisors. The 27-year-old is based in the Nairobi office and has been in Dalberg for 3 years.
Within her time at Dalberg, she has built a range of experience in the youth employment and education space in Africa. Her work has supported the Conrad N. Hiltonn Foundation, MasterCard Foundation, Government of Rwanda, NGO’s and more.
Christelle Nayandi is 23 years old and she recently joined Dalberg Advisors as an analyst. Prior to this, she worked on different social impact-focused projects in Africa.
She was a research assistant in the Appropriate Point of Care Diagnostics project in Kumasi, Ghana, where her and her teammates conducted research on Pediatric Tuberculosis in hospitals and generated ideas on appropriate point of care diagnostic devices using available resources.
Fadzai Chitiyo joined Dalberg as an Analyst in the Johannesburg office in 2017 and has made immense strides in her career, having been promoted twice in less than two years!
She is now Strategy Consultant at Dalberg, with broad development sector expertise across agriculture, financial inclusion, healthcare, mobile for development, impact investing and inclusive business growth. She has conducted several businesses cases and go-to-market strategies for banks in DRC, Uganda and Zambia.
In this interview, Edel , Christelle, and Fadzai share their tips of how to get your foot into the door with an international consultancy firm while in your twenties.
Tell us about the competitive route towards being hired by a global consultancy…
Chrisetelle:It involved a lot of hours spent on studying for case interviews, practicing and honing my structured problem-solving skills.
Fadzai:Next to the case studies, consultancies are hiring more and more for company culture and global fit, with some building relationships with specific clubs or faculties on university campuses.
It is a good idea to join some of these clubs, so you can gain exposure to current employees at the consultancy you are interested in, whilst also positioning yourself well to be a potential candidate
Edel:I had expressed within my network my interest to engage in actionable problem solving, especially in the development sector, therefore people gave me guidance and how to prepare.
I hadn’t really been exposed to consulting before, so resources such as this and this, but also videos like this one, really helped me.
In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of life as a consultant?
Christelle: Working as a consultant is great because you get to work on many projects in different sectors and areas. But traveling often can be challenging because you don’t usually get a lot of time to spend with family and friends back home.
Fadzai:The exposure to some of the top executives and development leaders on the continent or globe position you well to take your career anywhere you like.
However, life as a consultant is also a life on the road. It is important you ensure you can achieve some work life balance and maintain the relationships that matter in your life.
Edel: Working with people who are constantly refining their problem-solving skills has helped me build my skills and knowledge quite quickly.
I work in a variety sectors (health, education, agriculture, energy etc.). At the same time, it can be difficult to specialize in one sector or practice area as you’re expected to a be a generalist.
Have you worked on any projects which contributed to the overall development of Africa?
Christelle:As I recently joined, I am working on my first project! The bulk of my work involves doing a market assessment for an international education institution here in Rwanda.
I do this in order to identify needs and gaps in the market and see how it can better position itself to address them.
Fadzai: My most exciting project was to design and develop a commercial business case and go-to-market strategy for a leading bank in Zambia.
They wanted to reach 30,000 small holder farmers with business financial services for them to graduate to emerging farmers. The bank is looking to implement soon which is exciting!
Edel: One of the projects I really liked working on was supporting the Mastercard Foundation and the Government of Rwanda. The project focused on rethinking 21st century skills training for your young people in the country by technical vocational training programs.
After involving young people, businesses and institutions in some of the most marginalized districts in the country, we recommended a couple of focus areas as well as an implementation plan. The project is being implemented as we speak!
What advice would you give to other young African women hoping to join an international consultancy?
Christelle: It is important to start practicing and become more aware of structured problem-solving. There is a wealth of material on the internet on how to improve this skill.
Also, networking is very important. Take every opportunity possible to meet up and talk to people in this industry.
Fadzai:I would suggest doing internships during your university holidays (either in a global consulting firm or any other professional services company) By doing this, you can prepare for the high pressure and fast work environment that consultants work under.
This skill will help you to start building some basic research and problem-solving skills.
Edel: With a focus on development consulting, I would say start familiarizing yourself with the sector, read up on important conversations and decisions being made in the space.
Practice the skills, try and apply for internships and if that’s not possible read up on case studies and how to solve them.
How do you make a name for yourself as a young woman in a consultancy office?
Christelle: Be proactive in your everyday activities. The reason why you are there is to help the company fulfil its mission while you also aim for professional development in the process. So own it and be open-minded.
Make an effort to go out there and meet people who have been in the firm longer than you because they often have great advice on what you should keep in mind in your everyday activities.
Fadzai: You don’t go in trying to make a name for yourself! Instead, be willing to ask for help, fail fast and learn quickly. Identify mentors and advisors that can help you in your journey.
Most people tend to overlook the Project Managers and look for a Partner. But you will typically interact more with managers and they will have a clearer line of sight on your professional development.
Edel: I think you should follow the things you are passionate about. Volunteer in internal initiatives and topics that you find interesting. The people around you are a resource, try to engage with people on these topics across the firm, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Also, I’d say participate in industry events, try and get your thoughts and opinions published, and make people aware of your interests.