Glory Edozien: 9 Career Lessons From 2017

9 to 5 Chick was launched in February 2017 and since then we’ve had an amazing ride with two career empowerment workshops, one cocktail and networking event, and two intimate power breakfast seminars

But what did we learn? It’s going to be tough condensing a year’s worth of career development tips into one article, but here goes! A summary of our top 9 career lessons from our career development events.

Career development starts when you begin to own your career
Getting a job can be tough, so when we get one with a decent salary we feel so grateful it can be tempting to abandon all sense of ownership for our personal career decisions and development. All our speakers noted the importance of becoming the CEO of your career and making strategic decisions about your career path and development.
Stop waiting for your employer to create opportunities or train you. Start making decisions about your career based on your personal goals and objectives and be willing to make the sacrifice.

Having a 9 to 5 is not as dreary as it seems
We are in the age of the start-up. Entrepreneurship can make the 9-5 life seem dreary and miserable. Who doesn’t want to wake up at 10am, and be their own boss? But the grass is not greener. Creating a career you love and are proud of takes time, work, persistence and passion and is anything but boring. Professionals can lead fulfilled, happy lives where they achieve purpose and feel energized.

Career women can have it all, if they are willing to seek support and become super organized
At almost every career event we held, this question came up “how do I balance the pressures of home life with my career goals and ambitions”. The answer almost always sounded like this, “make sure you have the right kind of support at home (family members, etc), get organized to the detail about your duties, equip/train your home staff to help you better, resist the urge to become super woman”.

In summary, our speakers told us that balance required a high level of organization, mindfulness and support.

Mentors are important for career development, but so are sponsors
It’s no secret that having the right mentor can make a difference in your career, but so can sponsors. A sponsor is someone who is ready to spend their social equity on the quality of your work and your brand. They are your career champion and are willing to be a crusader on your behalf, putting your name up for coveted opportunities and positions.

Deliberately creating a personal brand is vital to career visibility and growth
Just like businesses build brands around their business/products to create awareness, build customer loyalty and differentiate themselves from the competition, career women need to do same if they are to succeed in this highly competitive career space.
Deliberately creating an authentic career brand is key to ensuring career growth and visibility. How do you brand yourself? Create and share content around aspects of your career and work you are passionate about.

Be your own champion in the workplace
Self promotion can be tricky, but if you don’t promote yourself who will? Who will know that the new initiative that saved the company millions was your idea? If your career successes aren’t visible how can you demonstrate competence in your field? So, instead of waiting for someone to magically know your value, find subtle, none combative ways of making the right people know the value you bring to the organization.

Tips for managing a difficult boss
This was another common question at our career events. My boss is difficult, should I change jobs? Our speakers advised that while some situations can merit such a drastic change, there are various steps you should take first before making that decision (besides, you have no way of knowing what sort of boss you’ll have if and when you do change jobs). Some of the suggested steps for dealing with a difficult boss:

  • take time to understand your boss’s moods, temperament and personality;
  • don’t confuse being difficult with having high standards, instead rise to the occasion;
  • try not to take things personally;
  • do all you can to make your boss look good;
  • where possible find the right time to offer polite feedback.

Developing your communication skills is vital for career leadership
Mrs. Aisha Ahmad gave us some great communication tips for career leadership progression. Here is a quick recap.
• At meetings, don’t be a chair. Speak!
• Believe in yourself. You have something worthwhile to say!
• At meetings, it’s okay to amplify someone else’s point or ask a question if you don’t have anything else to say.
• Be brief and clear. Do not say it aloud until you understand it in your head.

Remove the self-limiting lexicons from your vocabulary
As women we tend to be more apologetic than necessary. We constantly rehearse self limiting phrases in our mind, over apologise and act flustered. Instead, we need to develop confidence in our abilities, eliminate self limiting language and project strength.

What career lessons have you learnt in 2017? Did you attend any of our events? What did you learn? Have you put anything into practice? Have you achieved any results? Please get in touch with us and share!

 Originally published on Bellanaija-


Jane Egerton-Idehen is a telecommunication executive with over 13 years’ experience in the Nigerian, Liberian and Ghanaian telecommunications markets. Jane has a strong passion for promoting girls in STEM and ensuring women in STEM industries remain and grow their careers in that industry. She curates her thoughts around her career journey, experiences and passion in life.