This past week I found myself thinking about my career and professional life, and the things that I have learnt along the way – you know what they say, the good, the bad, and the ugly. My first internship was such an experience; I was just about to graduate and got the opportunity to intern at an amazing law firm. As a soon to be lawyer, I had my expectations – some were met and some were so far-fetched! The best advice I received from my mum as I started the journey was to do everything to the best of my ability, even the most simple tasks and things I didn’t like, to always do my best.
I have always carried that with me, and even when I was tasked to do something that I didn’t like – I would do it then complain later and sometimes even cry. What has always shocked me is that so many times and in other roles, I would have to apply what I learnt. And I would literally remember my mum’s advice. Like most of us I had an idea of how I wanted my life to look like after my undergraduate – and then reality hit. I have had amazing opportunities, some that shaped the professional that I am and decided to be and become, and others that made me realize the person I would never want to be.
I wouldn’t say my career is where I want it to be, but I am not blind to how far I have come. What I wish I told my younger self is that yes it is good to have those dreams and ideas of how I expected my life to be after getting my first opportunity out of campus – but it doesn’t come easy. Hard work and working smart should never be underestimated, perseverance should never be looked down upon, and one’s worth should never be despised or discouraged. Everything we learn, every task we need to do, every role we take up, every responsibility we are given – we must do it to the best of our ability. But this does not mean that we are expected to accept ill treatment, like I said we must know our worth. We must be patient, like the saying goes “Rome was not built in a day”, but you know what – it was built, eventually, and every day mattered!
I have always surrounded myself with a solid support system that sees things from a different perspective so that when I am making a decision it is not based on emotions and feelings, and I am blessed, actually beyond blessed to have a solid support system. They have always reminded me that it will not always be easy, but I must appreciate every opportunity and learn something even if it is just one thing. To always be humble and never look down on any one – and most importantly to always put God first!
I like to say that there are two types of overnight success; one is winning a lottery – what are the chances? The second one is that one that you prepare for, the one that who have been working towards – when that happens you should be ready! It is sad when you get an opportunity (probably one that might only come around once) and you are not ready – always stay ready. And I cannot over emphasize this – do everything to the best of your ability, that way you will always be ready! Work hard, work smart, stay focused, challenge yourself, read widely, look for opportunities, be aggressive (in a good and healthy way), stay curious, and most importantly pray!
And always remember, in all that you do, in the words of my mum – “do it to the best of your ability”.
Thanks for reading!