My journey to the development sector

Wow I can’t believe it’s almost one year already. in the development sector as a 9-5 worker!! LinkedIn said it’s one year and I said no I need to share my journey TO development before it’s officially one year Dec 1st!

I thought to share my story to encourage others considering switching industries or career.
After I left my first job to primarily start BeyondaDegree, I knew I wanted development!
For me, it’s just a lot more impactful work! Note I state a lot more because you can work in any industry and make it impactful and purposeful….
When it was time to move back to the career work, I applied to some development companies (Happy to share specific names if you are interested) but didn’t make it. In fact, one I loved and believed was a great fit, it was the final interview I didn’t get… quite sad but hey we move on 😀😀👍👍
After some months, I got an opportunity to join a research/ economics team and decided to take it. It was good experience but not international development. Yet, I worked towards giving my best..
When it was time, I started looking out to the development sector. Let me focus on the journey to looking out and the steps I took and lessons I learnt along the path:
  • Read – Yes, I read! I read a very resourceful book authored by Abosede Alimi, ‘Building a Conscious Career’ This book helped me restrategise on my transition and many of the other actions I took were gotten from the book.
  • Nos are fine.. Use them. I met the lovely Abosede after I got a NO, from her organisation. She was one of the interviewers but I reached out to get feedback on my interview and I stayed connected with her. I connected with her on LinkedIn and updated her as I read her book! She now serves as my informal mentor in the development space. Thanks dear Abosede for sharing always.
  • Look Inwards: I looked inwards within my organisation for opportunities in the development space. In fact, I almost moved to assurance cos I found a role that did accounting services for development projects.
  • Speak to people – Chioma Giwa -Amu, my connector!! It’s amazing how I met Chioma, I had always seen her along the corridor and she was pleasant so I liked her. However, I never really connected with her, until…. It was my bday and I had taken the day off work but Chioma and her team had organised an event for entrepreneurs and I decided to attend. So I reached out to her that I will like to sit in and she was fine with it. It was not convenient but deep within me, I knew I had to be there. I made it to the event and guess what? I found out there she had previously worked in the development space! Wow, I totally understood why I had to be at the event. Afterwards, I appreciated her efforts at the event and requested for a chat with her. This was a defining step, after my meeting with her, I was clearer on my entry to development and understood more clearly my options!!! She encouraged me to reach out to their country directors via LinkedIn, this worked!!
  • Reach out on LinkedIn: Ooh my dear LinkedIn, very resourceful!! When I identified some organizations I would like to work in development, LinkedIn was my go to! I looked for employees in those organisations and introduced myself and stated my goal, not ask for a job! See below a sample:
P.S Some will reply, others won’t. Even those that reply may take days/weeks, just because they are busy. Keep reaching out!
  • The path way may be wrong: I wanted to work in a big management consulting company as I thought I could easily transit to development from there. I applied to this company 3 times and didn’t make it. You don’t yet understand, I didn’t apply thrice in one year, I applied thrice with a gap of 18 months( the period the organisation needs you to wait till the next application). That’s some 4.5 years of applying 😩😀😀 Are there people that have transited in that manner, YES, but that was not my path. God didn’t need me going that route!
  • Get a mentor and stay accountable! In 2018, I got a mentor via WIMBIZ, and my goal was to transit to the development sector. Interesting, I thought I would be assigned someone in the industry but she was a banker yet very resourceful. Every month, I took deliberate steps and was accountable to her. She was a “push” to ensure I focused on my goal. So even after I got promoted in my current organisation, my mentor and I were happy but knew there was a higher goal!
  • Volunteer, start an initiative: it’s amazing that my work at BeyondaDegree was the main discussion/ experience I utilised when I applied to my current organisation. I spoke about how I built the team, worked with various stakeholders… I could have thought BeyondaDegree was not registered or recognised but guess what, I projected my work there and it was recognised. It’s one of the reasons I got the job!
  • Prepare for the recruitment process, some of the things above, certainly helps prepare for the interview – being connected to people in the industry you want to move to. I had a great friend Femi Taiwo in the development space that I would speak to prior to every interview I was having. He was my go to and provided me geeat and invaluable insights.
    I shared a little on one of my interviews, you can read it
I trust you know to pray about the move so I can’t over emphasise that. Let God order your steps like he did mine. Also don’t be in a rush. Give your best where you are and build relationships within your organisation, be known for good work too!
Thinking development, I am happy to chat with you privately.
Definitely wish you the very best.
Stay Purposeful!
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15 thoughts on “My journey to the development sector

    1. Hello dear, thank you for reading and the feedback. So glad you found it fantastic 😁😁 Lets stay purposeful and fruitful.

    1. Dear Tope, thank you for reading and the feedback. Glad you found it insightful and timely. Cheers and stay purposeful.

  1. Thanks so much for sharing, i really appreciate. Pls i would love u to be my mentor. I drew so much strength from this and i so believe i would do better with more of this.

    1. Dear Blessing, thank you for reading. Happy to note that you find the posts inspiring. I will advise you subscribe so you can always get a mail for every new post. Cheers

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