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  • Writer's pictureBolaji Akinola-Alli

You're moving again, why?

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I was not quite sure what to write in this post. Should I explain my life decisions to people? Is there something they are right about that I have not considered? What message would this medium post send to people who are also not satisfied with their current career trajectory? Maybe the reaction I get to this would be their response.

The title of this piece is ‘You’re moving again, why?’. You might be wondering why I chose to include the word ‘again’ in my title. Let’s throw it back to summer 2020 where I worked for one of the Big Four accounting firms and was taking exams for the infamous accounting qualification (ACA) only 2 months after joining the company. It was an interesting experience as I learnt a lot of exciting things about tax, company law and business organisation which would be valuable knowledge in whatever industry I work in. However, I felt like I was on a journey I did not care about. I wanted to be in a more problem-solving environment delivering technology-driven solutions.

So, I moved back to engineering just after six months. If there was anything I knew I would be good at, it was engineering. During my role as a systems engineer, I worked with one of the largest defence contractors in the world and was involved in some really cool projects. Although it felt more exciting than auditing financial statements, it was not still my ideal work environment or industry. I wanted the fast paced, steep learning curve and highly paid consulting experience that I always fantasised about and I eventually got it.

Management consulting is something I have always wanted to do since my time at university. However, like a lot of people, I applied to loads of consulting firms but I kept receiving the usual rejection emails: ‘Unfortunately on this occasion after careful consideration you have not been selected for the position.’, ‘Unfortunately the recruitment process for this position has been closed’, ‘Unfortunately, we have decided not to move forward at this time.’ etc. I got so used to reading them that I could tell it was a rejection from the subject or first line of the email. (Apologies if this causes any PTSD).

Despite the many rejection emails, I kept going. I had a plan and kept adjusting my plan to include my current situation. I had a timeline to achieve this and I put my mind to it. I am excited for this opportunity but I know fully well that I have a lot of work to do as getting into the door is just the first step of the journey. Constantly delivering at the highest level is the true test. However, I am confident that I will excel in this new environment not because of my current skills and experience, but simply because of my curiosity and desire to learn.

To conclude, there are 5 lessons that I have learnt on my journey so far and I would like to share with anyone in a similar situation. They include:

  1. Use what you have to get what you want. If you’re trying to get to a certain job role or on a certain career path, focus on how you can exploit your strengths to get to where you want to be.

  2. Use your network. Don’t underestimate the influence your social network might have in connecting you with opportunities, helping you with interviews, or just learning more about certain job roles.

  3. Be courageous. Changing job roles or careers can be scary and there is always a risk that you might not like your new role. But if you never try, you will never know for sure.

  4. Don’t be afraid to start again. This is perhaps the most important point of all. It’s okay to take breaks from trying or thinking about it but never give up. Like my dad says: ‘You’re only a failure when you stop trying, not when you fail’. (He must be so proud that I am quoting him).

  5. Ask God. To anyone that’s reading this who is religious, you probably already know how important it is to have God on your side during challenging times.

So take the leap, ask questions and keep trying, and let me know how you get on with the tips!

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