Navigating Your Career as a Young Professional


  • Author Adesewa Adelowo
  • Published May 25, 2024
  • Word count 670

Have you ever had to choose between what you need and what you want? Though they may sound similar, the choices between them can lead to very different paths. Consider the dilemma of choosing between a healthy salad or devouring a tempting cup of ice cream with chocolate chips. Each choice carries its own set of consequences.

Just like navigating through any other life choices choosing a career is a journey into the unknown. As young professionals, fresh graduates, or entry-level job seekers, we often face a blank canvas or vast land space ready for seeds to be planted. In this digital age, self-learning plays an important role in shaping our decisions and career.

Reflecting on my journey, I entered the labor market with enthusiasm but also with a BIG sense of cluelessness. In Nigeria, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serves as an opportunity to gain experience within the labour market as I like to call it.

During my first-year post-graduation, I envisioned myself as a career-driven woman with the aim of making impactful changes in the corporate world. Some days, I dreamt of ascending the corporate ladder to become a CEO, while on other days, I longed for a more relaxed soft girl lifestyle, traveling the world and working remotely. Amidst these aspirations, one thing remained constant: the need for consistency in whichever path I chose to pursue.

Over the years, I’ve built a set of seven(7) rules for navigating my career, and I believe everyone can benefit from them in their own way:

  1. Every little thing that intrigues you means something, now or later down the line.

  2. Before choosing which way, you want to go, identify one thing you are extremely good at, one thing you don’t get bored of doing, and one thing that you repeatedly do every single day. You only become good at something when you are consistent with it.

  3. Many times, what you spent a lot of years studying in school might not define your profession, and that’s okay. Your decision can change; if the career you initially choose at the beginning does not feel right, that is okay too.

  4. When setting out and planning to establish a career in a particular field, make your research and choose the title you want. For example, you could choose to be a data scientist from the tech industry.

  5. Start from the littlest things, develop the skills required with your regular daily activities, and note it as a milestone. For example, one of the skills of a data scientist could be data visualization, which you could display by creating a descriptive chart of your internet usage, your downtimes, and your rest period, linking it to the role of technology in this new age and to young individuals. This is research that impacts a large population of the world and reflects your ability both on soft skills and technical skills of a data scientist.

  6. Entry Level is a necessity for every career path; nobody became a professional overnight.

  7. The choice is yours, but learning never ends.

I had no plans to tell you what career best fits you; your mind and your brain already know that based on your strength and your innate motivation. I just hope to point you in a direction that encourages you to think about it.

I had a class in my third year in school where a lecturer discussed how the industrial revolution was linked to human resources management, and for a split second, he geared thought-provoking ideas in me, and the thought of bridging such a wide gap as that which is between employers and employees stayed with me all day. But, trust me, after that day, I didn’t think of it again until my exam period, of course.

It was just a slight moment of interest, and here I am five years into Human Resources as a career, I still think this is a beautiful marriage, and I tell myself every day Sewa, you belong here…

"Adesewa: HR Professional | Career Navigator | Your Growth Buddy. Let's unlock your full potential together! #EarlyCareerInsights

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