Career Advice

To be or not to be... like Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala? That is the question!

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala!!! Does that name ring a loud bell? If it doesn’t, you might want to try lifting the rock you’re living under; hopefully it’s not too heavy. Anyway, we are always here to help - highlight notable feats in the career space and this is one we cannot overlook.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is being celebrated, right now, for being the first woman and first African to be appointed as WTO’s (World Trade Organization) next Director General. This is an incredible achievement and this article endeavors to accentuate lessons we can all learn from such a phenomenon.

Here are some of Dr Okonjo-Iweala’s apt quotes:

I believe that when you find problems, you should also find solutions

Discovering a problem is the easy part. In fact, I think there’s a natural fault-finder in all of us that gets triggered whenever we spot problems. Don’t get me wrong! It’s important to have a keen eye that can fish out issues, however it shouldn’t stop there. You spotting problems should be from the lens of “how can we make this better?”. Employers love people who are solution driven, and in order to have a solution, there must be an identified problem; it’s a win-win.

“I have noticed that some of our current processes are inefficient, but I have come up with how we can rectify that” will sound like amazing music in your boss’ ears and will definitely score you cool points; might get you a salary raise or not! But you get the gist; you should try it next week!

When it comes to doing my job, I keep my ego in my handbag

Preach Ngozi!!! As it should be! Your job is bigger than you. If you don’t feel that way, perhaps we can help you find a job that you actually love (shameless plug but whatever). There’s no point trying to pretend like your ego is dead; we both know it’s very much alive and it will get bruised. And that’s fine, because the overall purpose of your job should be much bigger than your ego. So take a leaf from this book and go get yourself a handbag that the size of your ego will fit in; during working hours at least.

I can take hardship. I can sleep on the cold floor anytime. I can also sleep on a feather bed

Anyone who promised you a job that will be easy definitely lied to you. And who wants “easy” all the time? You don’t want to be stretched? You don’t want to grow? Hard work is a virtue that should be imbibed by everyone and if you become the CEO of the company you work for now, you wouldn’t accept anything less. I’m not saying you should be fine with being disrespected, undervalued, and basically become a slave. I’m saying work hard at your job! And that isn’t a pretty sight all the time. The emphasis here is “balance”! Hopefully, your career is one that you willingly roll up your sleeves and get dirty for. If not, again, go to our “contact us” page.

The best way to help Africans today is to help them to stand on their own feet. And the best way to do that is by helping create jobs

There isn’t much to add to this. We absolutely agree and that’s the essence of CareerBuddy. Check out for expertly curated jobs in tech, marketing, and customer support specifically for African professionals across the globe.