CAREER DECISION MAKING

By J. B. Fagoyinbo

Career Guidance on Information Technology
Career Guidance on Information Technology

The word career comes up across all spheres of life with its meaning reflected in the topic of discussion. In this write-up, career includes all of the work, learning, and leisure activities that you are involved in throughout your life; implying that planning your career isn’t separate from planning the rest of life. It is to be recognized that your work is closely connected to other life roles while the skills you’ve developed in other life roles may be useful at work.

Career is also frequently understood to relate to the working aspects of your life e.g. as in career woman. A third way in which the term career is used is to describe an occupation or a profession that involves special training or formal education and is considered to be a person’s lifework

To successfully take the journey of life through school, make the transition from school to adult life and the world of work, adolescents and young adults need guidance and encouragement from caring, supportive adults; both in school and at home. The best decisions and choices made by transitioning youth are based on sound information including appropriate assessments that are based on the talents, knowledge, skills, interests, values, family background and aptitudes of each individual.

Before proceeding further let’s look at my personal background and how it affected my choice of career.

I attended the Secondary Modern School, SMS. The SMS program is considered equivalent to the first two years of the Secondary Grammar/High School, GS. In fact, if you want to go into the Grammar School after the SMS you’ll be lucky to be admitted into class two in government-owned or mission-owned GS. Private GS could take you into the 3rd year if in the entrance examination you have a very high score. Most often the admission would be into the 2nd year with transfer to 3rd year at the end of the 1st Term; depending on your performance.

I proceeded to Teachers’ College, TC, while my colleague, who happened to be of the same age, went to GS. Our closeness was such that, though we lived at opposite ends of the town, we used to study together during the holidays. While on holidays I would carry such books as Pure Mathematics (Algebra and Geometry only), Arithmetic Principles, Principles and Practice of education, Geography, History, English Literature, English Language and Christian Religious Knowledge he would come with books on General Science, Pure Mathematics, Economics, Geography, History, English Literature, English Language, etc.

At the end of our second year, he noticed that I brought a book by F. Daniel on General Science and thus asked what I was doing with it. I told him we’ve been introduced to General Science. He demanded to know what I was going to use it for since there was no General Science in the Primary School Curriculum. I replied that I would study a science-related program in the university; like he was proposing. That also sounded strange to him; he had never noticed a trained teacher going to study in the university.

Out of the 59 of us in class only five were able to study science-related programs; one of us in engineering, two in physical sciences and two in science education.

Though I was able to spend one year in the preparation for General Certificate of Education, GCE, in the three basic sciences, Human Anatomy Physiology and Hygiene together with English Language and Pure Mathematics I had some deficiencies in Physics resulting from lack of access to any Science Laboratory. The first time I ever touched a test tube was in the university.

My father died while in the second year in TC and I have five brothers and a sister after me to take care of in partnership with my mother.

These two constraints impacted negatively on my progress.

Had I made up my mind to stay on in education or humanities I could have spent the three years I was using to build up my mother’s trading business to study for the GCE (Advanced Level) which I know I would have passed and I would have needed three years to obtain a degree as against the 5-year engineering programme which was extended by an additional year resulting from my weak science background.

My error was that I copied my friend’s career plan. I gave him a terrible blow which he lived with all his life; I studied engineering while he studied Chemistry (Education). At the time we were applying for university education we had lost touch with each other.

Rather than copy someone else’s plan for career success, create your own. You’ll be amazed by the results.

UNDERSTANDING AGRIBUSINESS

by J. B. Fagoyinbo
jbfagoyinbo@motresource.com

SDC11940
Agriculture is Highly Manually-Driven in Developing Economies

Agribusiness denotes the totality of business activities that are performed from farm to fork. It covers the supply of agricultural inputs, the production and transformation of agricultural products and their distribution to final consumers. Agribusiness is one of the main generators of employment and income worldwide.

Agribusiness is characterized by raw materials that are mostly perishable, variable in quality and not regularly available. The sector is subject to stringent regulatory controls on consumer safety, product quality and environmental protection. Traditional production and distribution methods are being replaced by more closely coordinated and better planned linkages between agribusiness firms, farmers, retailers and others in the supply chains.

Agribusiness needs to replace agricultural practices in developing countries to effectively combat poverty and malnourishment.

Read more UNDERSTANDING AGRIBUSINESS

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

By J. B. Fagoyinbo

Cottage Industry: Saw Mill
Cottage Industry

An entrepreneur is someone who, within his capacity and willingness, organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business. An entrepreneur is an agent of change.

Entrepreneurship is the process of discovering new ways of combining resources along with any of its risks in order to make a profit. The most obvious example of entrepreneurship is the starting of new businesses. In economics, entrepreneurship combined with land, labor, natural resources and capital can produce profit.

The entrepreneurial spirit is characterized by innovation, risk-taking, passion for improvement in product and process quality, optimism about honest possibilities and wholehearted participation in the process of production. It is, also, an essential part of a nation’s ability to succeed in an ever-changing and increasingly competitive global marketplace.

To be able to achieve success an entrepreneur should obtain a higher market value through his new combination of resources than the market value these resources can generate elsewhere individually or in some other combination.

To effectively accomplish this he needs a combination of the following skills:

  • Planning: Entrepreneurs must be able to develop business plans to meet goals in a variety of areas, including finance, marketing, production, sales and personnel.
  • Communication: Entrepreneurs should be able to explain, discuss, sell and market their goods or services.
  • Find and manage people. Only by learning to leverage employees, vendors and other resources will an entrepreneur build a scalable company. They need to learn to network to meet the right people. Entrepreneurs strive to guarantee they will get honest and timely feedback from all these sources.
  • Interpersonal relationship: The ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with customers and clients, employees, financial lenders, investors, lawyers, accountants and other possible stakeholders, is crucial to the success of the entrepreneur’s business venture.
  • Leadership: The ability to develop a vision for the company and to inspire employees to pursue it is imperative for success
  • Marketing: Every entrepreneur is a salesperson whether they want to be or not. They are either selling their ideas, products or services to customers, investors or employees. They work to be there when customers are ready to buy. Alternately, they know how to let go and move on when they are not. Good marketing skills are critical to entrepreneurial success.
  • Resilience. The ability to weather the ups and downs of any business since it never goes exactly the way the business plan described it. This skill enables the entrepreneur to keep going when the outlook is bleak.
  • Focus. After setting a long-term vision, knowing how to “laser focus” on the very next step to get closer to the ultimate goal. There are so many distracting forces when trying to build a business that this skill is not easy to master.
  • Invest for the long-term. Most entrepreneurs are not patient and focus only on what comes next, rather than where the company needs to go. Overnight success may take 7 to 10 years. Entrepreneurs need to stop, pause and plan on a quarterly basis.
  • Learn. Successful entrepreneurs realize they don’t know everything and are aware that the market is constantly changing. They stay up to date on new systems, technology, and industry trends.
  • Self-reflection. Allow downtime to reflect on the past and plan for the future. Always working only leads to burnout physically and emotionally.
  • Self-reliance: While there is a lot of help for the entrepreneur, in the end, they need to be resourceful enough to depend on themselves.

Basic Ingredients

You will notice that in this discussion we have not mentioned finance as a basic ingredient of an entrepreneur though finance is required for investment. The major requirements of the entrepreneur are capacity and willingness with the ability to organize, manage, and assume the risks of an investment.