fbpx

Making Power Career Moves: Leading Career Professionals Share How They Did It

In today’s competitive world of work, if you’re thinking about what the next big step or level in your career could be, you’re not alone.

Very few people accept a position at a company with the intention to stay in that same role forever. There’s always going to be the desire for growth, either within the organisation or by pivoting to a higher level in another company.

To do this successfully, it’s important for you to be fully prepared and informed, with facts, data, insights, and lessons from people who have walked in the same shoes as you. As the saying goes, “experience is the best teacher”.

To help you plan for your next career move, we spoke to 5 professionals across different industries about what inspired them to make Power Moves, and what strategies worked for them.

See what they shared and which strategies you can adopt for your next power move:

Tosin Omowole, Account Manager, Propeller Group

I think my biggest career move to date was moving into the B2B Comms space in the UK after working in B2C for almost three years in Nigeria. It was like starting my career from scratch but I was willing to take the chance. It was a tough move and I struggled initially in a new country and a new space but it has shaped my career to date. I can boldly say I have delivered excellent results for global clients across Africa and this has inspired my recent move to work with clients across the UK and the US.

If you could speak to a young professional, what’s the one career strategy you’d tell them to make a part of their toolkit and why?

One career strategy that has helped my journey so far is having a solid network. It is really important to know people within and outside your industry who can help you if the need arises…

Tosin Omowole

Of course, you must also add value to them somehow. How can you meet people? Attend events, follow them on social media, and interact with them.

Olajire Adekola, Manager at PwC, Nigeria

One career move I am most proud of is following my interest in accounting and finance. I had more than a passing interest from the ’08 financial crash and when I got the opportunity to make this into a career after NYSC, I grabbed that with both hands.

My strategy first was to gain the right knowledge necessary to be able to take the opportunity when it presented itself. It was also key to understand the industry, the major players, and the entry requirements; and to actively work to meet those requirements as quickly as possible.

If you could speak to a young professional, what’s the one career strategy you’d tell them to make a part of their toolkit and why?

I would say be a ‘discerning sponge’. Leverage the experiences of senior colleagues, learn from their mistakes and use that to guide your steps. I reckon it helps to have a mentor, though I would not consider that to be a necessity. 

The key thing is to identify those who have done well in your field and understand how and why they got there. It hardly ever is an easy journey, so mistakes are also a key learning point. This is not foolproof and there could be a few missteps on the way. 

Olajire Adekola

It also helps to start your career in an organisation that consciously dedicates resources to grooming young professionals to build their capacity and trusts them to deliver early enough in their careers.

Nnenna Ukachuku, Finance Administrator at United Trust Bank Limited, UK 

After accepting voluntary redundancy in 2018, I came to realize that I could reset my career and be more strategic about it. So I made the big move to start over again in the world of Finance.

While the last 20 odd years of work didn’t inspire me or give me a sense of achievement, I concluded that I’ve still got another 20 years of work-life left. The big question I ask myself is: What can I do differently? 

One major strategy that helped me was to leverage my desire for growth. I knew that to succeed you can’t stay in the past, you have to possess a new mindset, strategies, inspiration, tools, guidance, surrounding yourself with new people and that’s how my journey with Career Masterclass began.

Nnenna Ukachuku

If you could speak to a young professional, what’s the one career strategy you’d tell them to make a part of their toolkit and why?

Visibility. You want to ensure that the value you are adding is being seen by the right people who in turn will recognize your talents and advocate for you. You know you’re visible when the senior management of your organization is speaking your name in meetings you’re not privy to. Be visible and work on becoming a key person of influence.

Fiyin Toyo, Senior Innovation & Equity Manager (West Africa) at Mondelēz International, Nigeria

Transitioning from working in an SME to several multinationals is one career move I will always be proud of. It was a big dream for me and I was able to achieve this by harnessing the opportunity at the SME to learn as much as I could even though I wasn’t earning as much as I wanted. 

Volunteering to lead/support big projects and then showcasing that work on LinkedIn was one strategy that worked for me and gave birthed to the next level of my career.

Fiyin Toyo

If you could speak to a young professional, what’s the one career strategy you’d tell them to make a part of their toolkit and why?

This is tough because I believe in so many strategies like learning, networking, visibility but let me shine the light on the one we like to underestimate which is the power of what you know.  It doesn’t stop there. You have to do the work of ensuring that people know, that you know! 

Adding value to any organization is key but ensuring that the right people know about this is huge as they will most likely be the ones to accelerate your growth within the company and of course in your career.

Kingston Nwosu, Institutional Sales, Investment Research Division at Euromoney Institutional Investor, UK

So far, my biggest career move has been making the transition from Nigeria to working in the UK. The first step towards achieving this was enrolling for a Master’s degree course at Cranfield University. In addition to broadening my knowledge of Finance, I also thought it would give me a soft landing and help me adapt better to my new environment. 

Graduating at the peak of the Brexit transition, and later the Covid pandemic, seemed to make my goal more elusive. During these periods, the strategies I adopted to achieve my target included arranging informational interviews with people who worked in the industry I was interested in, attending conferences at top business schools and career events to learn the latest trends and build my network, and volunteering at career development organizations like Career Masterclass.

If you could speak to a young professional, what’s the one career strategy you’d tell them to make a part of their toolkit and why?

I would say don’t be afraid to pursue whatever you desire. First, get rid of the fear of failure. If you’re going through a new path, there’s a chance that you will stumble or fail at some things initially even after giving your best. It could just mean there is a knowledge gap on your part. 

Kingston Nwosu

Be humble enough to acknowledge your weakness and find ways to improve. You get better as you learn from your mistakes or failures. Make sure to apply the lessons as you proceed on your career journey. Those experiences are the building blocks for the success that lies ahead.

*****************************************************************************

To learn more about how to make strategic career moves, watch the replay of the phenomenal Masterclass session Power Career Moves: Strategies for Taking the Next Big Steps with Kimberly B. Cummings, a Career and Leadership Expert here. This is available for registered members only. Not a member yet? Sign up for a 7-day free trial and access the career resources on the platform.

We also have a FREE checklist to help you double-check yourself and your skills to know if you are ready for your next move. To get the NEXT BIG MOVE CHECKLIST delivered to your mailbox, click here.