Nigerian tertiary education institutions produce up to 500,000 graduates every year. For these graduates, it’s one of 2 things: you either go the corporate career way or the entrepreneurial way.
If you are like me and chose the 9-5 way, the next question you’re asking yourself is ”how do I grow and win in my corporate career?”
You’ve thought about this yourself, right? You’re not alone. This is the question on the lips of several young professionals who are working in a 9-5 in Nigeria and beyond.
To answer this question, we hosted Suraj Oyewale, Manager of Tax at Savannah Energy plc and Founder at JarusHub Careers in a 1-hour Linkedin live session on the 26th of July 2021.
Watch the Linkedin Live session here
Suraj has over 13 years of experience in the Nigerian oil and gas industry covering all streams, spanning top companies like Oando Plc, Seven Energy International, and Savannah Energy PLC. He is chartered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School Heriot-Watt University.
The session was packed with tips for career growth, climbing the corporate career ladder in Nigeria, and becoming exceptional in a 9-5.
Suraj began by telling us about how he got his first job in the oil and gas industry – an industry he always dreamt of working in since he was a kid.
We all know how competitive it is to get into oil and gas companies these days, so positioning is important. He shared how he did it.
In addition, Suraj discussed his educational background extensively and shared how much intentionality he put into his career choices. He graduated with a first-class in economics from the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) and went further to acquire an MBA at Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University.
Suraj shared 5 factors that can facilitate career growth in a 9-5
- Bring substance to work: In essence, being cosmetic at work has its limits. To really stand out and grow, you need to be great at your work. If you need to take an extra course on a particular topic, do it.
- Put in the work genuinely and commit to it: According to Suraj, ”you can be good at something and not be working hard at it”. He advised young professionals to shun ‘eye-service and truly do the work.
- Versatility and visibility: Some accounting enthusiasts do not know and cannot do anything beyond the core of their functions. Suraj discussed how that can limit career growth and strongly encouraged versatility at work. ”That extra role you took maybe the tiebreaker when your superiors are making decisions”, he concluded.
- Great supervisors/bosses: Having bosses that will put you up for opportunities and speak for you when you’re not present, although isn’t in your control, can be very invaluable to career growth.
- Serendipity: Luck is a factor we can’t rule out. One thing to note, however, is that you can only get truly lucky if your preparation meets the opportunity halfway.
In addition, Suraj touched on how to transition into a finance career and the certifications required.
Suraj concluded by sharing skills you will require to succeed in managerial positions and took questions from the live audience.
He shared some unhighlighted tips for career growth: Watch the Linkedin Live session here.
We have another Linkedin Live Session coming up on July 10th. If you work in corporate finance or want to get into corporate finance, this is for you. Go here to set a reminder.
Abdulsamod Balogun leads Communications and Public Relations at Leonine Investment Services Limited. He's excited about new media, technology and public policy. When he's not working, he's catching up on movies and books.