Thursday, July 7, 2011

Before you throw the Mortarboard

This was something I wrote for the Graduating Class of my Alma Mater. It was originally posted on FB and sparked off so many feedback mails and comments of people that were blessed. So here's it for your perusal. You'll enjoy it.

So I decided after much postponement and deliberation to write this note. I initially was to make it a testimonial/interview of a sort with real-life views from various people (which would come later) cuz
people seem to relate well with experiences than some composed text but then again...I know one person will find some facts and be blessed. Enjoy.

Its few days to graduation and I remember how I felt during this time. With few exams to go, after all the stress and project had taken its pound of flesh. Fast-forward a few days later and the supposed TTG came and went. July also came in the twinkle of an eye and bam! We were out into the 'real world' as they say.

I particularly didn't like the hype given to the 'real world' then, like it was some sort of lions' den or like we were Titus fish being released into shark-infested waters. Twas absolutely over-hyped...or not!
I'll get back to that.

Then the big anxiety came after grad. Job, Labour Market, NYSC, MSc...OH! I forgot Marriage too. Then we all began the race and I must say there are a few things we never knew back then.(Hehehe...'back then' like it was 10 years ago, shey. Pardon the drama). Some of which I'd share, not as an experienced one but as one who feels the little he knows is worth sharing.

Till today, I wonder why 20 friends can't just play for 20 years. Life is just not fair!

Then I discovered...At some point in life, you'll be left in that room...after all the celebration...after all the friends are gone to their various music faded...parents asleep...and you’re staring at that paper you struggled to get for 4/5/6 years in your hand(as the case may be), then you'll be confronted with that big question...WHAT NEXT?

Some will answer the question after grad, some...maybe later...some never. But the essence of this is to charge you to ask it now! What next?
This is not to put unnecessary pressure on you but to actually make you alert and on your guard cuz that's life my bro (or sis).

But before you do that, I'll share with you a simple quote by a mentor and friend, Steve Harris and it goes:
"Your background has no right to put your back on the ground!"

This brings me to the Myth of Grades.
Know this and keep it at the back of your palms: Your 1st class, 2:1 or whatever grade only earns you a seat and a table to write a test.
After that, it ends there. You don't get paid more than the dude with a 2:2 cuz of that. Don't let the 1st class get to your head, neither the 3rd class to your heart.

But notwithstanding, value whatever grade you have and are coming out with. It's a matter of your mindset.

John C. Maxwell said: "Success is good if it doesn't get to your head and failure isn't so bad if it doesn't get to your heart".

Puh-lease! Stop telling me there are no jobs! (BIG YIMU to that) There are jobs but no qualified people.
That is another reason to be thankful for where you are coming from (I won't mention the name but you need to see the high demand for your brand out there)

But I'm not surprised, I mean...With all those core values 'forced' as it were into our blood stream...Why won't our packaging be in high demand? They didn't attend 1am impromptu meetings with you or race to Chapel before the door closes. Let them say.

The thing between your ears...Brain, right?
Trust me, the 'real world' as I discovered is not overhyped o. Nobody cares if you were born and bred in Hebron...or your spoken English is better than the Queen's or that your over-starched shirt is sharper than a sword. What can you bring to the table??? What value can you add?
Oh you dress good...great!
Good grades...perfect!
Spirituality in the package...fantabulous!!!
Just one thing...errr...What have you got upstairs asides what your 'papers' say.

People Networking
Also, please keep your connections green. Know people ooo. hmm. Sometimes doors just open via that person who knows someone that knows another person in a high place.
Not everyone will do aptitude tests. Confirmed, Tried and Tested!

Skills, Skills and more Skills!
You’re in accounting and you haven't started thinking of an ICAN or ACCA or CFA?… not a wise idea I must say.
You have a passion for music production and you're not sound in Fruity Loops or Adobe Audition or the likes? You scare me.
You want to be a Networking guru and you've not tried to ping into Library's router once or immerse in those Cisco things, I piry you.
A Business consultant and you're not reading materials to brush up your knowledge base?...not good at all.
A web-designer and you’re still experimenting with Dreamweaver; you need cane!
On a more serious note, skills are in high demand in every industry. Acquire a skill and know it well.

No one's got it all figured out I must add. Have a mentor in your field. Nuff said on that.

Friend or Foe
You will know your true friends after grad. I won't even talk much on this. Some friends you must never ever lose. They might be the link to your open doors. Some you need to discard.

Mind your company and remember:
Birds of the same feathers flock together.
Warri people will say: Birds of the same feather, na the same mama born them.
Pst. Chris Okotie would polish it: Avians of the same plummage navigate within the same degree of proximity.

“Your life in 5 years will be a function of the books you read and the friends you keep”.

I strongly recommend this book (it’s small and not too lengthy), "Leadership Principles for Graduates" by John C. Maxwell. A friend got it for me for my grad and I can say it’s the best gift I got.

In all you do, know this too:
Value family cuz when all else fails, (even though it seems not sometimes) they'll still stick by you.

Never get to the stage where God takes a second place in your life. He is all you need to have your needs met. (This sounds familiar)

And in all you do, never get too serious to forget to enjoy life's subtleties.
There will always be something to worry about, but with God you're at peace always.
Smile, Pray, Love, Forgive and commit all in God's hands. Only Him can figure it all jare.

All these being considered, come July 22nd, get into your best outfits and throw that mortarboard into the sky! You deserve the victory.
To the Class of 2011, CONGRATS in ADVANCE!


Post a Comment