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 http://chroniclesofgrace.net/2019/10/19/the-imperfect-nail/
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.
Definitely wish you the very best.