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HR experts discuss topical issues on career growth

4 Mins read

Leading HR experts came together to discuss topical issues relating to career growth at a panel session organized by HerVest, a Fintech platform on the 20th of May, 2023 at the MUSON centre.

The topic of discussion was: How to embrace change for career growth.

They spoke on defining your career growth and, the key indicators to track it, ethical considerations to look out for. Others are, how to strike a balance with multiple roles and how to transition into tech, amongst other topics.

They all provided insights and shared their career journeys on how they explored strategies to unleash their potential in their career.

The panel was moderated by Damola Salvador, MD of Digisplash. It had the following in attendance:

  • Temi Dalley – Head of HR at Sterling Bank
  • Yemi Faseun, an HR Thought Leader
  • Adora Nwodu- Software Engineer at Microsoft and YouTuber
  • Gbenga Totoyi – HR Specialist, Group Head, Consolidated Hallmark, CEO Alan & Grant
  • Bode Abifarin- COO, Flutterwave

Here are some of the topics being discussed:

How to define career growth and the key indicators to track it 

The Head of HR of Sterling Bank, Temi Dalley, explained simply that career growth is making progress, which means moving from one level to the other. The progression is not necessarily about changing jobs but in terms of capability.

She also adds,

  • Career progression should not be measured by the level of compensation but growth in terms of capability. People now transit across several roles. One needs to ask oneself if they have stepped up on the roles left vacant. 
  • Citing Sterling Bank, she points out that the bank “Promotes internal mobility where for example someone in Customer service moves to Tech”.

Ethical Considerations to look out for in career growth

In addition, Temi Dalley noted the following as ethical considerations which employees need to look out for:

  • Character- How you are defined and what people say about it and if you add value
  • Competence- How you can improve your competence. Do you readily come to mind as a subject matter expert?
  • Courage- Employers like those who challenge the status quo.

How to identify when it’s time to change your career 

Yemi Faseun advises those in organizations not giving value should plan to make a move.

He points out, however,

  • It’s important to note that you should not plan to move in the early stages if things do not appear to be working out well. You need to be resilient. Even if you spend 2-3 years in a not-so-great place, at least offer some value”.
  • Similarly, Gbenga Totoyi, Group Head, Consolidated Hallmark, CEO Alan & Grant noted that “Progression must be for your personal growth. Progression is developing depth not necessarily changing jobs”.

How to strike a balance with multiple roles

Adora Nwodu, who juggles multiple roles as a Cloud Engineer at Microsoft and a YouTuber shares how to balance various roles yet still offer value.

She admits that anyone who is involved in many roles needs to delegate. She says, “Basically prioritizing the ones you want to do and having a community of people”.

She highlights the importance of being in good health to be productive. She says,

  • Ensure you sleep week and be healthy. Productivity is minimal effort, maximum result. Work-life balance is a myth but find joy and fulfilment in what you are doing. Also take time off work to relax”.

Higher learning over compensation 

Many job seekers and employees are faced with the dilemma of choosing between jobs feeding their passion and those offering better compensation.

  • Damola Salvador, MD of Digisplash himself, reflected on his personal decision in this regard. He chose his passion over another firm offering higher compensation
  • Gbenga Totoyi gave his own view suggesting that it is important to work in an organization that provides value and higher learning versus better compensation. Although this depends on the individual and their need
  • On the contrary, Adora advises that anyone with immediate financial needs who are being offered a high-paying job offer (although a job one is not passionate about) to accept it and seek that job which is fulfilling by the side.

How to identify support while growing your career and how to respond to changes 

Bode Abifarin shares with the audience her career journey and how she got to the level she is at. She points out that volunteering diligently helped showcase her skills, after which she got recommended to join KPMG before landing her role as COO of Flutterwave. She states,

  • “Before joining KPMG I volunteered at the Fate Foundation after which someone recommended me to Flutterwave. Everything you do counts”.
  • “It is important to find out what value you are adding. Know the potential are you demonstrating for the future. Also, constantly invest in your competencies and relationships. Invest in the daily actions for your dream job”.

Advice for anyone transitioning into tech 

It is no news that many are transitioning into Technology due to its impact on the world of work, modern society and the high compensation it provides.

On this Adora states,

  • Tech is an enabler that exists in every other industry. You don’t necessarily need to be a programmer.”
  • She advises, “What you can do is to check the internet for different roles in technology and find the right ones you can transition to. Keep at what you are doing and explore roles you can fit into”.

How do you negotiate for a salary increase?

Gbenga Totoyi states that negotiating a salary increase involves other stakeholders. He further advises that before negotiating a salary increase, one needs to find out what is obtainable in the same industry.

In addition, it is important to demonstrate value. As he rightly puts it, “Some have value but they are the quietest at meetings. Also, why sleep at home when it’s your boss’s birthday party?

In a nutshell, he concludes by saying,

  • Know the value you are bringing that is obvious to people. Industries have different pay scales so that is a consideration. Let the power brokers know and see your value and speak on your behalf. Also, get constant feedback on your performance asides from your performance appraisal”.

Culled from Nairametrics

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