Objectives Of The Course:
- To help trainees understand that there is no conspiracy anywhere, the system is not working against them.
- To help trainees understand their place as an intrapreneur in an organization.
- To redirect trainees focus from earning a salary to adding value.
- To imbue in trainees a team mindset.
- To help trainees understand how they can make targeted moves as they launch out.
CHOOSE TO BE DIFFERENT
Many times young people in a workplace project a negative attitude towards their job or their employer. I have heard people make statements like “My boss does not like me”, “My boss is a wicked man”, “I hate this company” and so on. This kind of mindset will definitely lead an employee to a fix. When you adopt a victim mindset believing that there is a conspiracy somewhere to bring you down, you will definitely come to the point where you begin to see factual evidences to support your claims. The point I am trying to make is that what you fix your mind on will eventually become your reality. So, now that you have acquired the necessary skills needed to embark on your journey in the workplace, before joining the workforce, it is worthwhile to consciously, with concerted effort develop a healthy mindset which will pilot you through the challenges ahead.
I remember when I got into my first employment upon completing my National Service, I was employed in a foreign company owned by a tribe alleged to have a miserly attitude with money. Of course when I got in, my older colleagues were ready to „educate‟ me on how to also “conduct‟ myself so that I am not taken undue advantage of since the employer cared less about employee welfare. I was given all kinds of advice on how to ensure that I get as much as I can by subverting the company‟s resources whenever possible.
I had a choice to make whether to enjoy the transient benefits of being a dishonest staff or to build a lasting legacy and a sturdy reputation. One fatal mistake to make in a workplace is to think or believe that your employer does not notice you, or is not aware of your caprices. He may choose not to address it but he is very much aware of you and the attitude you bring to his work. “Attitude”, it is said, “is everything”. Whatever attitude you bring to a workplace has a way of colouring everything you do. Even if you try to conceal it, it will only be for a while, in no time, it will show. I chose to carve out my own niche and build a reputation around it, and my boss took note. Eventually when I had a health challenge that kept me off work for a period of one month, the same employer that supposedly has a miserly attitude and treated staff unfairly, paid me full salary for the period I was away from work. When I was leaving the job because I had a higher purpose to pursue, the Managing Director did all he could to dissuade me from leaving, but when he saw that my leaving was for good, he said to me “We have not had a staff like you in a very long time; if you ever change your mind, please give us first place, even if we don‟t have a vacancy, we would create one for you.”
Your attitude to your work will determine whether you will have a win-win relationship with your employer or not. It is pertinent for you to know that every system that was ever established was set up to work. A lot of things contribute to the failure of an organization. Much as management is a key factor in the success of any organization, the attitude of employees is very important also. There is no conspiracy anywhere to put you down; neither is the system working against you. A friend was once told me, “Life answers to you the way you call it.” Wherever you are right now and whatever it is you are getting out of life, just know that life is simply answering to you the way you are calling it. So if you do not like the response, then change the calling tone.
Your employer is busy, too busy strategizing on how to make his vision work to dedicate an ample time to hating you on the job. If you are not relevant to the vision the system will simply eject you; that is the way it works. Before you launch out, make up your mind that whatever system you will be getting into was set up to work and that you are going to buy into that vision of making it work in every way you can. That is the intrepreneurship spirit.
THE PLACE OF AN INTRAPRENEUR IN AN ORGANIZATION
The entrepreneur, an employer, differs from the intrapreneur, an employee with entrepreneurial mindset in that the entrepreneur has a holistic view or approach towards his company and vision; he thinks in terms of the big picture. His focus is on the entire company. You as an intrepreneur are only a facet or an aspect of this vision, and your focus should be on the processes within the company. You must understand this so that no matter how innovative you become, you do not get into thinking of yourself more highly than you should; so you do not begin to think that your boss is really not smart enough to handle the company.
Your focus as an intrepreneur should be to solve specific problems within the company; you must have developed skills that must be directly applied to specific tasks. As an intrapreneur, you take risks for your company but this must be within the context of your job in the company. Your innovative skills should be applied within the context of your role in the company. This does not negate your ability to make suggestions that will move the company forward but you must know that your company is not obligated to adopt your suggestions. If you understand your place in an organization, it will keep you level headed. You will not be a reactive employee but rather a proactive one.
VALUE ADDING MINDSET
As a major contributor to the productivity of your company, you will give your best no matter how mundane your tasks might be. This is the right mindset to possess as you try to find your niche in the workplace. With this mindset, you will not be long on that job before you get the attention
of your employer.
With that said, you discover that the workplace is really more of what you can give than it is what you can get because in actual sense, what you get depends on what you give. I dare say that salary mindset is the most effective destroyer of creativity and innovations. Many times, especially in developing economies, emphasis is laid on certificates during recruitment for various positions but in the long run, it is the value you add to the organization that gets rewarded, not the certificate you brought in; even if your certificate gets you the job, if you do not have a value adding mindset, your certificate, not matter how rich will not sustain you on that job.
This is why developed economies lay emphasis on skills because the processes within an organization are lined with specific tasks which require specific applicable skills.
Now that you have come to understand that your focus is on the processes within the organization to keep it running as an entity, it becomes easy for you to recognize and acknowledge the place of your colleagues or your team members without whom your efforts will not be complemented. No matter how innovatively skilled you are, you need the contributions of others to champion a course. They too are part of the processes. So you must develop (if you are yet to) a team spirit and be a team player. Once you know your place and you are level headed, it will be easy for you to respect the place of others within the organization and appreciate their efforts too. This is how to be an integral part of any organization. You become an employee with a difference.
As a team player, you can leverage on the strengths of your team members and maximize your productivity in the organization. They too can leverage on your strengths and maximize their productivity. This way, organizational goals become easy to achieve, and your employer cannot but notice this synergy and reward it.
You cannot be a team player unless you have come to admit to yourself with all sense of sincere humility that no matter how super talented you are, you have weaknesses which others must complement with their strengths. This brings us to an important exercise which you must carry out before you launch out. It is imperative that you set aside a you-time to conduct your SWOT analysis. Everyone (without exception) by now should have the result of their SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) analysis at the back of their hands as that will actually determine the direction you are launching out to. Gone are the days when job search was a thing of dipping and scooping blindly. The days when people generally went the way the wind blew them are far gone; knowledge is so readily available now that you can channel your wind to blow in whatever direction you choose.
Strength – carefully and introspectively list all your strengths, whatever it is you possess that makes you unique.
Weaknesses – honestly list your weaknesses; assess yourself thoroughly and write down every area you know that is not an advantage to you.
Opportunity – list every opportunity you think you have; youth is one of them, because as a youth you have time to learn and make amends and so on.
Threats – list those things you believe threaten your ability to excel
Now that you know the result of your SWOT analysis, examine your strengths and the skills you have acquired over the years and see how your strengths complement your skills. If you need to take specific steps to strengthen those areas where you are weak, then do so as soon as possible. Focus on your strengths and explore your opportunities! With this done, you already know where you would fit in an organization so that as you launch out, your moves will be target at specific places where you are sure to succeed.
MAKE TARGETED MOVES
Now you know where you fit in an organization, it is time to research and know the organizations that need what you have. Many times when people apply for jobs they rarely take time to even read through the job descriptions, they just want to settle down and start earning a salary and that is why the search hardly ever ends. When your moves are target, your hits will definitely be much more than your misses.
Make a list of organizations you believe might need your skills and thoroughly research these organizations (and this can be done within the shortest period of time leveraging the internet), know where the organizations are in terms of the achievement of the organizational goals, then determine how the combination of your strengths and skills can move the organizations to the next level of the realization of their vision. You are good to go!
Make your application based on your findings, highlighting the reasons why you are the perfect candidate for the position you are applying for. Your application must project the fact that you are an asset to the organizations you apply to in a humble but strongly convincing way. If you follow the steps outlined in this course, you have at least 90% chance of succeeding at every attempt you make at securing your desired position in your desired organization. You are now ready to meet face to face with your potential employer.
AT THE INTERVIEW
Congratulations! You are now face to face with you potential employer. Ensure that your composure parallels the picture of yourself you have painted in both your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and your cover letter. You must exude the confidence that will convince your potential employer that you are able to deliver on your words.
At this stage there will be no need to fidget because you know your onion; you will not appear beggarly with drooping shoulders simply
because you need a job. Knowledge indeed is power! When you were busy assessing yourself and researching the organization, you were actually arming yourself with the knowledge that will carry you through. Now you know yourself, you know the organization, and you know where you fit in the organization, so there is no need fidgeting. Just pay attention to the following tips:
- Practice and develop an amiable demeanour.
- Never forget the smiles, they work a miracle; you really cannot give enough of confident smiles, so indulge your interviewer(s).
- And you can only remember to smile when you are relaxed, so take a deep breath and relax.
- Square your shoulders and keep them high.
- Look at your interviewer(s) eyeball to eyeball though but not rudely.
- You will not have a second opportunity to make a first impression, so appear clean, walk with a spring in your steps, smell nice and leave everyone you meet with a desire to meet with you again.
Launch out into the deep! Take your world by storm and rule! Be the best you possible! Remember, there is only one life, and all you have is this lifetime to be all you can be; do not waste it! God Speed!
Task Of The Day
Please list and submit a SWOT analysis about yourself and how it can enhance you to be a better Intrapreneur.
You can check out some of these Job boards in Africa
- . Careers24.com.ng
- . Careerjet.co.za
- Careers in Africa
- . Naijahotjobs.com
- . Executives in Africa
- My Job Mag
- Nigeria Careers
- Joblist Nigeria
- Naija Hotjobs