Do you feel stuck?
Or things are changing too fast for you to catch up?
I feel so too,so you are not alone. This piece is a reminder of the reality we live in – the 21st century Africa, which you will agree with me is fast changing, as fast as the ticking of the clock or even faster.
So to survive in the 21st century Africa, you need to develop the skill-set, knowledge, and experience that can withstand the stress of this period.
Don’t be scared, you are going to be just fine, just relax, get a glass of water or wine, let’s dive in.
Here are a few tips that could help you stay relevant in the 21st century Africa;
1. Adapt and Innovate.
This is the number one skill you have to develop, if you want to stay relevant in today’s Africa.
The 21st century Africa needs you to develop the ability to swiftly move to the latest trend, skill set, knowledge, technology and provide solutions to emerging challenges across board.
This means you must be willing to learn, unlearn and relearn. For instance, I am usually amazed on how my hair stylist (formerly called hair dresser) can quickly adapt to making the latest hair style in a matter of days and sometimes hours, and more interestingly, come up with other beautiful ways to make trending hair style in a matter of days.
Ask yourself, “What is the latest innovation?
As a professional, you need to constantly asked yourself the value you have to bring to the table to inspire a positive change in your field. So, ask yourself this question: “How can I successfully adapt to these new innovations and updates?”
Having a degree, and professional certificate is good but the stakes are currently higher. To succeed, in this century, you need more than a paper certificate. You need a skill, trust me, getting a good skill is not easy but you need it if you want to stay relevant in the 21st century Africa.
2. Watch the trend and mind the routine
Many of us get used to a routine, the usual way we do things which we are comfortable with, but the 21st century Africa demands much more.
Now fresh graduates are presented with job offers requiring 3-5 years of experience, and you wonder “how is it possible?”
While you rant about the inadequacies in the educational system and the labour market in most African Country, some fresh graduate are getting employment opportunities everyday because they have been equipping themselves with the needed skills and experience through volunteering, internship and/or mentorship.
3. Build a valuable network
Another very important tip you need in this journey of relevance is a valuable network. Yes we all know the cliche that your network determines your net worth but I like to put it this way, the value of your network determines your net worth. Because, the truth is, you can have a network that is not valuable, it is the value in your network that increases your net worth.
The truth is, if you cannot bring something valuable to a relationship you want to have with someone, then don’t expect much from the other end.
People want to be associated with anything or anyone that adds value to their life, and the rewards of a valuable network like quality recommendations to opportunities and mentorship can only come when you are a valuable person in a valuable network.
My question now is what values can you bring to a potential network you desire?
Here is what I will advise, in networking do not primarily focus on the high level network, it is great to have, and if you can get in, why not? Remember to be valuable while at it. But I will advise you build a valuable network horizontally, with your peers who are heading in the right direction or a work in progress. That way, it is easier to get into the network and you all grow together, having a strong peer network you can always seek support from, get supported and provide support. That is a valuable network. Remember the goal is to stay relevant, so be sure you are networking with people who understands what it means.
There are a lot more ways to stay relevant in the 21st century Africa, and a single piece on it won’t suffice, but this could be a good step in the right direction for you.
Dear Millennials, as with clarity about your life purpose, staying relevant is a journey, it gets better as you move on, it gets clearer too. Just start. Begin now. Stay Relevant.