The onset of Covid-19 has caused so many jobs and careers in Africa to come to a sudden halt whereas other businesses have flourished in the midst of this pandemic. Gradually, most people lose their jobs and careers each day. CEOs and company heads continue to lay their workers off. This may be due to various reasons which may include a lack of the right skills needed to increase efficiency and productivity. How then do we stay in business? And more importantly, what skills do we need to boost our careers in Africa?
Here’s Some Career Guidance
Most people have relied on advice from friends and parents to choose their career. Others have also read books on whatever they’d want to do and upon finding their starting point, they decided to journey through it. How about you? Career guidance not only helps you to decide on what to do in life or what job to apply for based on the skills or abilities you have.
You also need it to understand how other systems work in relation to what will be expected of you and the opportunities available for you should you decide to go in for any of them. Once you know what you are into and are ready to learn on the job, you would become the best at it.
Most often, students go for it in their final years either at the Senior High or tertiary levels. Similarly, most workers realize they’ve not chosen the best career option so along the line, the passion they started with begins to wane away. What do you do in these times? It must be noted that our choices of career have a ripple effect on us; hence we need to be guided (by experts) to decide rightly. The moment you decide to overlook and “manage” with what you have, you’d never get what you want. Then again, you’d not be able to increase efficiency and productivity.
In cases, where you are an employee, you’d definitely be laid off before you decide to leave the job. Once you realize this, know that it’s time to get the skills that will make you the best fit for the job; I mean skills that will boost your career.
10 Skills to Help Boost Career in Africa
- Team Player
Have you considered how being a team player could help boost your career? Once you decide to work in a particular field, you’ve agreed to work with other people. Tolerance is a necessity when it comes to human relations. In such times, tactfully, talk them through whatever you need them to know or do, then work together as a group. Being a strong team player helps the group to solve the problems they encounter with ease.
- Problem Solving Skills
As a career professional, what do you bring onto the table in times of crises? It is important that one is able to apply their knowledge in real-life situations when they arise in their choice of career. In this vein, when issues arise, ask questions rather than get worried. Also, get to know the source of the problem then find out how you could put useful measures in place to control. Or probably deal with it completely. Know that crises are bound to come and you need to be skilled to be able to tackle it when it does.
- Strong Communication Abilities
Strong communication skills allow one to understand and be understood. Also, it makes one very confident as one is able to sell his or her ideas to others effectively. There is a need for one to communicate clearly enough for the listener to get the intended message. Communication has other phases such as the verbal and non-verbal. Hence, one needs to know what each entails and when to use it appropriately so as to send the right message across. If possible, learn to speak a new language. It may open up opportunities for you to travel to other places, or attend meetings in other countries on behalf of your organization.
- Public Speaking Prowess
Once you have excellent communication skills, in no time, you could be called on to give presentations to a meeting of three people or a large number of people either in or outside your organization or career. This could in a way open up a new career path for you as it helps communicate the kind of person you are to your group or employers.
This skill is very powerful when it comes to boosting one’s career. When we network, we interact with other people so we could exchange ideas and information that could help us develop in our choice of career. As a graduate or career professional, effective networking with people in and out of your domain sets you up for more opportunities and referrals. Also, one could do it anywhere and anytime.
- Effective Leadership
Are you an effective leader? Do you have what it takes to be one? An effective leader is one who influences others and guides them towards a common goal in order for them to realize their dreams. He or she does not impose his will on them, rather, with his ideas and experiences, he coaches them to be the best of themselves. Also, he is always available when they need him. Now, you really need this skill if you want to boost your career as it helps you learn more and open up other opportunities for you to grow and impact other lives.
- Analytical skills
This skill helps one to analyze situations critically with the aim of finding lasting solutions to them. For one to be a problem solver, it pays to have a grasp of this skill. The use of this skill could be situation or career-specific since what works in one’s industry might not essentially work in the other hence, it’s necessary that one analyzes the situation at hand and uses the information available to provide the solutions needed. This could help one accomplish their company goals and ultimately, support one’s career goals.
- Digital skills
Technology rules our world now and most things we do in real life have been transferred online so many machines have been created and configured to do what man does hence, leaving man redundant. In some years to come as we are already seeing now, most people are going to be out of their jobs but once you are technologically inclined or you have the necessary skills needed to stay afloat, you are safe. You could decide to take some digital courses online even while at work or during weekends to put you above the average person in your career.
- Solid Work Ethic
This encompasses all the rules you need to abide by in your work or career. Most times, being disciplined enough to get the results we yearn for isn’t easy but they are not accidental hence, we need to keep working at it. Find out what works for you and do it well so nobody finds fault with you. If you find certain things too complicated, ask questions, get closer to people around you, they could have the answers you need. Also, open up to others, be helpful but diplomatic. Put in your best so that when you are out of that place, your good reputation still remains.
- Know more about your career. (Read, Learn)
This might not necessarily be a skill but if you want to boost your career, then you need to be intentional about it. Once you find yourself in that career path, you need to develop yourself and this opportunity may be available in the other parts you don’t know. Get books about what you do, feed your mind with good books that will help you grow so you discover those parts. As you discover them, apply them consistently in what you do and you’d definitely see positive results. Be a student of your career. Here some skills you need if you are a marketer.
As I mentioned earlier that one’s choice of career could have a ripple effect on them, you need to take time and decide on what you want to do first before you venture into it. If you already find yourself in one but want to boost it for more positive results in productivity, reading the skills above is not enough. Go the extra mile to make it happen. Go get yourself skilled for remarkable results.