At age 23, I had graduated from college looking forward to life with so much zeal and excitement. A one year mandatory National Service was the first real taste of life in the corporate world for me and many in graduating classes. Those twelve months of service confirmed many of the things I had heard at the several workshops and conferences I had attended whilst in school.  Life after school was daunting but certainly surmountable.  My initial impression of life in the corporate world will leave me with some key lessons that will serve as a guide for me throughout my work life.

Loving what you do

The famous American Poet, Maya Angelou once said, “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love”.  In selecting an organisation where we would offer our one year mandatory National service, there always was one thing running through our minds – an organisation that offered the prospect of employment after National Service and also one that would pay more than the standard allowance offered to service personnel. We might have had these firms but frequent engagements with many of my colleagues revealed that some did not get the learning experience they wanted. The second part of the late Maya’s quote rings true. “Don’t make money your ultimate goal”.

Continuous Improvement

The most essential element to long-term personal growth is to continually improve upon what we do. In a fast changing world, being satisfied with where you are will soon make you obsolete. What we call modern today will be obsolete tomorrow. Without adding on, sharpening yourself and getting better at what you do, you might find yourself irrelevant and struggling to keep up with the ever changing trends of workplace engagements.

Tracking your spending

 For me, a youth, and many others in my peer group, acquiring the latest and most trendy technology has become a habit. Failing to plan and track your spending can easily leave you penniless or on very little before the next pay check is due. Knowing how much you spend and where your income goes is important in creating wealth. The good thing for us, the technology crazy generation, is that there are apps to help us do this.

Creating multiple sources of income

For anyone who values financial security and ultimately financial freedom, creating at least one additional stream of income is not a luxury but a necessity.Diversifying your source of income is crucial to protecting yourself against the unavoidable ups and downs of economic and industry cycles. The challenge for many is where the second source of income will come from and making time to nurture it but every person on this earth has a unique gift and ability which when offered will draw some compensation. What you need to remember is that what might be common knowledge for you is not for other people.

I believe these lessons would be of immense contribution to every student’s life and career.

By:  Ishmael Martey


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