12 valuable tips for building a successful career in ICT

by | Oct 2, 2017

The path to a successful career in ICT is fraught with many challenges. So we bring you vital tips backed by quotes from experts in the Nigerian ICT industry that can help you on this critical journey.

Look before you leap

Before you choose a career, expose yourself to as many experiences as possible. Don’t be too pressured in making decisions, once you find experiences that resonate with you irrespective of the field, find out everything you can about them.  — Phillip Ese, Head of Innovation, WEMA Bank Innovation Lab

Don’t expect a straight road

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Finding a career path isn’t as easy as they say it is. Several individuals quit their jobs and switch disciplines in order to align their passions with work —Egomaron-Jegede, Technical Project Manager MainOne 

It is important to know where you want to be after you leave school, however, be flexible enough to flow with what comes. For the first eight years of your career, you are in the learning and building mode. Focus on developing your skills and make sure you are still going along your intended path. — Oluwatoyin Abegunde, Regional Sales Director, GE Sub-Saharan Africa.

Opportunities won’t come knocking

You need to be driven because the world owes nobody any favours, you would have to go out there and apply yourself.  The opportunities would always come, as long as you apply yourself. — Joseph Sam, Technology Management Professional, IBM

Don’t wait for the opportunity to come to you, because in nine out of ten cases it will never come. You have to create your own opportunities — Celestine Omin, Senior Technical Consultant Andela

Be hungry for knowledge

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You must be ready to learn. All the wisdom of the world is hidden in books. All the things that we want to do, which are novel to us, have been done before and they are in books. — Aderemi Adejumo, CTO Commercio

You must be teachable, no matter how much you know there is always so much you can learn.  So be ready to learn, ask people to teach you, ask questions even when it may seem irrelevant. Just be curious, have a desire to know and you will go far — Joseph Sam

Nothing beats experience

Nothing cuts through clutter like a portfolio or job experience because employers want somebody with experience. My advice to young people is to get job experience in school” — Chima Okenimkpe, Executive Creative Director at Insight Communications

Certifications are good but experience, they say, is the best teacher. You don’t get experience by writing exams, you get experience by doing things. I personally will always hire people with experience rather than people with paper qualifications — Emmanuel Eze, CTO SystemSpecs

Experience may not come with financial rewards

Keep learning, keep practising and seek for opportunities to do things for people even if it’s for free. It will give you hands-on experience on how to do things in real life and if you do it successfully it’s easy to transition to somewhere else. — Celestine Omin

Do a lot of free things and put them online. This doesn’t mean you should go around just doing free things. Take up freelance projects that will make you better. Each time you have a project you are working on, it gives you a lot experience — Clive Ayonye, Senior UX Designer Booking.com

It all boils down to skills

I built and maintained websites for churches for free back in school. I used that to build my own portfolio so that when I met a potential employer I could show the things I had done. Nobody cares if you are paid or not, they just need to know you can do it —Celestine Omin

Celestin Omin

Celestine Omin

Don’t think certifications alone can help you, practice everything you learn, even if internships without pay is the answer — Phillip Ese

Don’t wait for anyone to drive you

Never think any amount you invest in yourself is too much. Don’t wait for organisations to provide access to a particular training before you opt for it because whatever you do is for yourself and nobody can take it from you. —Sherifat Akinwonmi, IT Manager West and Central Africa GSK

Fail with courage

Failure is a word you should not be afraid of, there are many things I have tried before and they have been unsuccessful, but it’s all part of the learning process. — Joseph Sam

Do you code? Create useful solutions

The worst thing about programming isn’t bugs, rather it is creating something that will never be used. New coders should read other people’s code –You just need to pick the good parts and leave the rest —Taiwo Orilogbon, Software Engineering Manager One Finance & Investment Limited

Build strong networks

Seek to meet people who are more experienced than you. Don’t put boundaries around yourself, go beyond your local community and with the help of the internet you can meet virtually any person —Celestine Omin

Forget the glitz and glamor

If tech comes to you naturally, you should pursue it. Forget the glitz and the glamour that comes with it and focus on why you are doing what you are doing. Money shouldn’t be your motivation because this is not one of those get rich quick schemes — Celestine Omin

Writer. Interested in EdTech and tech careers

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