In the year 2012, I was privileged to meet two of the brightest minds Nigeria has to offer in a Motivational Speaking event on the island.
Their ideas for life really jolted my enthusiasm and having learnt of their personal experiences, most especially their childhood, they were no more less different than I am in growing up. Most of us while growing up were a victim of our Parents/Guardian’s dream for our lives, for most parents, they wanted us to be Professionals like Physicians, Lawyers, Accountants and Engineers.
Back then in the Pre-Independence era, most young men of those days wanted to be “Politically Relevant” therefore the best way to achieve this was to ensure they excel in their Higher School Certificate (A-Levels) in order to bag a scholarship abroad. This Generation succeeded in imbibing the values of the Colonial Masters by learning the value of Bureaucracy in the Public sector. This gave birth to the Civil Service Era. The key to achieving great success back then was to be academically “above average”.
However, there was a grave disadvantage in this generation, which is the “entitlement mentality”. After spending 35 plus more years in service of the nation, they end up becoming cost liabilities to Government through several Pension Schemes which keep piling up by the day.
During the Oil Boom era, the craving for more academic qualifications became the real deal, and less attention was placed on Technical expertise, leading to a dearth of adequate human capital in the technical sphere. Who are the Millenials? These are Nigerian Citizens born between the year 1980 to the 2000’s. Fortunately this category of youths enjoyed the best of education and they currently rank among the World’s top earners. They constitute 39% of the country’s population.
Personally, having experienced a bit of the Boom Era myself, I have come to the conclusion that for the Millenial Nigerian, Careers need to be divided into 3 phases, namely:
- The learning Phase/Apprenticeship
- The Active/Mentorship Phase
- The Giving back Phase
The learning phase entails a comprehensive induction/training into a specific industry with a high level of transferable skills. This can be obtained in a smaller organization within a period of 2 to 5 years. At this point, promotion is needed and mentorship sets in.
During mentorship, a lot of skills will be transfered to others by means of supervision and delegation. At this point, it is necessary to engage in a management course or policy training to further sharpen your management skills and also handling situations in an organization. This can take another 10 years.
While the Giving back Phase means Training Up Career Newbies via Training Programs or engaging in entrepreneurship. This means that an experienced personnel need to exit the system on time for a new talent to fill his/her shoes.
I want to sincerely thank Jimi Tewe for awakening this consciousness in his book, Free from Corporate Slavery.