As we celebrate International Women’s Day, I’d like to address not only women but also all men out there. Guys! Let’s make the most of this year! Let’s “Think Global, but Start Local,” this is a call for all of us to push ourselves to grow, move forward, and learn.
Opportunities are everywhere around us.
As a Youth Opportunities Ambassador, I’m committed to sharing opportunities that can benefit young people, and I have made a commitment to help anyone who may require any help in applying for any opportunity. There’s never a perfect time to pursue your goals, so create the time. You’re not getting any younger, and some opportunities have age restrictions.
Apply for International opportunities.
It wasn’t until my personal retreat last December (2022) that I motivated myself to make the most of this year. I had thought of applying for international opportunities and Fellowships for years, but I always told myself that I didn’t have the time. Don’t waste time as I did; your time is now, start applying.
If you’re an undergraduate, especially around 25-26 years old, you have incredible opportunities to build a great career. I wish I could go back to being 25, but it’s impossible. The fact is, as you age, the requirements for qualifying for certain opportunities become higher. This means that at a certain age, you must have developed certain skills and experiences.
Volunteering is an essential aspect of career development.
You’re young, so volunteer your time in exchange for knowledge and experience. The competition out there is huge, so you have to be prepared. As a lady, believe in your ability to lead and influence change locally and globally. Don’t be intimidated.
Make Google your friend and teach yourself things school never taught you.
There are some “how-to” questions that you don’t need to ask people. Just go online and read up about them or watch a YouTube video. If you still need help, then it’s understandable to ask for it. Again, make Google your friend.
Have a good social media presence.
If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, it’s time to create one. Even if you don’t feel like you need it now, someday, an opportunity will demand it, and you’ll regret not having an account. It’s also another opportunity to learn valuable lessons and develop valuable connections.
When applying for opportunities, you may be required to provide the link to your social media handles. So, ensure that your profiles are up-to-date and presentable. Save up some money, dress professionally, and get a high-quality portrait from a photographer and set it as your display profile.
Don’t be afraid to apply for opportunities.
Even if you feel like you’re not prepared enough for them, make an attempt. Try to make it to the top and get a response or an invitation for an interview. There was a time I applied for different jobs to see if my CV and experience were good enough to make me get invited for an interview. I had a CV for an executive assistant role, clerk, digital marketer, etc. You should do the same. Apply for jobs even if you don’t need them. That’s one of the ways to know if your experience and skills are strong enough to land you an interview.
In summary, push yourself to grow, move forward, and learn. Take advantage of the opportunities available to you, teach yourself the basics, create a good social media presence, and apply for opportunities, even if you feel unprepared. Remember that your time is now, and there is never a perfect time to start.
Adefila Oloruntoba (Tobatalks)
Youth Opportunities Ambassador, Nigeria