During a market intelligence gathering, I was fortunate enough to download the eBook and it’s still the most impressive piece of information put together locally (that I have seen). I had a chat with Loy Okezie, one of Nigeria’s most prolific bloggers and a leading social media analyst. Needless to say, I listened and learned a ton about planning, designing and managing a career.
AA: I just finished reading Personal Guide to Career Freedom and I am completely blown away. It’s superior to all of the eBooks available locally on Jobs and Careers. It just pointed to you as an outstanding Career Coach or Author. Why did you write the Book?
LO: Thanks for taking the time to read my eBook. After several years of talking with students and job seekers, it was obvious to me that most people were not pursuing their passions in life. Life is a journey, so is one’s career life. Most people would have wished they had the chance to choose a different course of study or career focus before starting their career journey. If only they had a career counselor or coach to guide them. My goal with the eBook is to help people internalize and personalize other people’s career experiences and juxtapose them with their own experiences in order to find solutions to their personal career challenges.
AA: I love the clarity of the book, the use of scenarios is simply outstanding and more directly, the 10 insightful questions to ask your next job interviewer is a winner. Wait a minute – the prose formats, why are you not a Poet (laughs)?
LO: Yes, I thought to really achieve the goal of the eBook, it had to have a human angle to it. People love to read about people’s stories and experiences. Now getting them to relate with these experiences in their own personal careers was critical. Without this element, they wouldn’t possibly see themselves through the mirror of another person’s failure or success in their career journey.
On becoming a poet, I’d say that’s not my calling… (Laughs). I’m a writer with interests in personal/career development, technology and organizational effectiveness. Oh and by the way, I just might be writing fiction just like John Grisham in the future 🙂
AA: Writing has completely changed my life. The metacognition that comes from the process of translating your thoughts into words is profound. I find it interesting that writing is a key agenda in your life. How long did it take you to complete planning, research, manuscript and the publishing? Do you have plans of going with a Publishing House to move the Book Agenda forward?
LO: You’re right about the thinking processes involved in putting one’s thoughts into texts. For me, I write as it comes to me, although I’ve hit the writer’s block several times. For this eBook, it took about 18 months to plan, research, write, proofread, edit and publish. It has already taken me about 11 months now to complete the next edition which will include latest trends in job search and recruitment consulting. Hopefully, the new eBook would be released by the end of this year and published by LoyOkezie.com
AA: In all your talks and trainings on getting a job or changing careers, what have you found to be the most interesting trend or issue in Nigeria?
LO: One word: Salary
AA: What is a common misconception you hear about Jobs and Careers? It seems there is a lot of confusion over this.
LO: Like I pointed out in my eBook, most people don’t know what they are looking for in life – Job or Career. Some say that one comes before the other – find a job and then pursue a career. Others say that your job is your career.
Some years ago, I asked someone: “What do you do?” His response: “I’m a banker.” Then, I asked: Do you own the bank or work for the bank?” He said: “Of course I work for the bank”. So I asked again: “So what do you do?” He replied: “I’m a cashier”. I said: “Oh, I thought you were a banker?” (Laughs) At the end of our conversation, it was obvious that the young man didn’t know there was a big difference between having a job in a bank and building a career in the banking industry.
In page 5 of my eBook, I defined a job as an activity that earns you a monthly income, and a career as a profession or occupation that generates you multiple streams of income. While this definition may not apply to all types of work-related activity, it still captures the idea. Simply put, a job is a job and a career is a business.
So Your Personal Guide to Career Freedom is more than a job manual. It’s a career/business book.
AA: It may sound strange in the Western context, but 45/46 pages of eBook I & II could be overwhelming. Nigerians tend to ask and figure things out rather than read any manuals or books explaining the same point better.
LO: When I finished compiling the manuscript, I did feel overwhelmed (Laughs). My thoughts were: Will the Nigerian people have time to read this? Will they even appreciate it? Will they use it? But come to think of it: Why do you think people have challenges in life? In business? In careers? Isn’t it because they lack proper guidance and direction? And where can you find such?
To achieve success in life, business and career, you will need guidance and inspiration from the Bible/Koran, business books, school training, prayer and a bit of luck. It’s easier to take the short road, but what if you reach a crossroad? You don’t want to find yourself in a career desert, where there’s no water, no guide, no path.
AA: You’re kind of living the dream. I don’t know many people who wouldn’t want to make a living as a blogger and social media analyst. You a Pioneer and I find this intriguing.
LO: I’ve found Katherine Whitehorn’s advice quite helpful in my career. She once said: “Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it”. But I’ll also add: “Find out what people really need and get them to pay you for the value you’re able to provide them“. This sums up my career purpose and mission statement.
AA: Thanks for your time!
LO: Anytime, Deji