…as given to me from above!

Emerging Career and Business Opportunities

I was asked to lead a conversation with the above topic in my Church’s Career and Business Peoples Forum.

Below is the excerpt of the talk.

Be blessed.

Way before the start of the pandemic, the World Economic Forum in 2018 released what they believed to be ‘must have‘ skills by 2022 and skills that may no longer be relevant at that time.

They also released emerging roles and declining roles!

It’s 2020, year 2022 is just 2 years away.

Now with COVID-19 inserted into the equation, I don’t know if those are still valid. I’m sure, a pandemic that will bring the world to her knees was not factored in.

However, one thing is evident, things will no longer be the same in the mid/long run. Jobs and roles will take a different turn. Businesses too.

As children of God, it’s imperative to plan for the future, not out of fear of the unknown but from a place of understanding. Understanding that ‘…all things work together for good to those who love God and are the called according to His purpose‘, that God ‘…includes us as partners of His endless triumph

So, we are already TRIUMPHANT, no matter what it looks like in the physical realm.

Initially, I wanted to outline jobs/roles/businesses that I believe are emerging but I think a better approach will be to dwell on having the right mindset and each of us seeking out what it is that we should do going into this future.

During one of my MBA classes in 2014 or 2015, one of my Professors defined Innovation as doing something new or doing the same thing in a new way.

For me, whatever your sphere of work or business, you must INNOVATE. Either start something entirely different or find a better and more efficient way of doing whatever you do or is being done currently.

I’m sure you hear this phrase a lot ‘Innovate or die

Well, yeah, to retain relevance, you have to keep innovating.

In 1938, about 82 years ago, a company was founded as a trading coy in South Korea. Over the next three decades, the group diversified into areas including food processing, textiles, insurance, securities, and retail. In the late 1960s, it also entered the electronics industry and in the 1970s entered the Construction and shipbuilding business before splitting into 4 different groups.

As of today, you have them in Engineering, Insurance and even Advertising.

Who can guess this company?

As at 2017, Samsung had the 6th highest global brand value.

I’m not advocating that you ‘chuck your mouth‘ all over the place. I’m saying read the times and seasons and INNOVATE accordingly.

What was the distinguishing character of the Men of Issachar, they understood times and seasons. Listen to this: …They knew what Isreal should do‘ Another version says it this way ‘…they had expert knowledge of times and what it was best for Israel to do…’ It went further to say …and all their brothers were under their orders

See that? When you understand times and seasons, you’ll have things under control.

The good thing is we have a Father who holds times and seasons. He also gave us a friend and companion, the Holy Spirit. So we have all we need to come up with ideas relevant to the times we live in.

Critical to innovation is CRITICAL THINKING. That we are Christians does not mean we give our brains perpetual sabbaticals!

Proverbs 2:7 NLT says ‘He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.‘ It is God that dispenses COMMONSENSE!

We have to build our critical thinking abilities. It’s very important going into the future.

skillsyouneed.com defined Critical Thinking as the ability to think clearly and rationally, understanding the logical connection between ideas.

As you may have experienced, or heard from other people, God does not always drop it all in your heart at once. It’s usually ‘precepts upon precepts

So if God drops an idea into your heart as a seed, you need CRITICAL THINKING to grow and blossom the idea. As much as it is God who brings the increase, there must be a Paul and Apollo planting, weeding and watering.

From when you understood English Language, you’ve heard ‘READERS ARE LEADERS

I’m glad to announce to you that they are correct! Yeah, I know it doesn’t seem to fit into the Nigeria that you know but the truth is to move ahead, you must read ahead.

How did Daniel know that it was time for the end of the desolation of Jerusalem?

You’re right, he read.

Dan 9:2 says In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

Read it well, he understood by books.

There are valuable instructions in the scriptures that will greatly benefit our lives, career and businesses. You would not know them if you do not read scriptures.

God has also blessed a lot of people that have gone ahead of us with Godly wisdom that can be useful in our career and businesses. So to stay relevant, YOU MUST READ!

Lastly,

Complete and total trust in God. This doesn’t sound like a skill or a sound business/career advice.

Remember the story of Isaac in Gen 26:12 Then Isaac sowed in that Land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.

The most important part of that verse is IN THE SAME YEAR!

So what had happened earlier in the same year. If you read from the beginning, it’s starts with

And there was a famine in the Land…’
Then vs 2-3 says ‘And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt;  dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee…’

So Isaac did not just receive a hundredfold harvest.

1. He completely trusted and obeyed God, even when it didn’t make economic sense.
2. He sowed. He got to work.

As I wrap up, I hope I have been able to spur you into deciding to be the much more that God wants you to be in your career and businesses.

Thank you.

At Peace, Not Unbothered

Size Forty One

“I feel numb”, you would probably say, “you should go out and get some exercise”. No, not that kind of numbness, numbness of heart and spirit. You know that feeling when you pray in expectation of something, you don’t see the results, so you just stop. Or the one where you expect a situation to change, it doesn’t and you just stop feeling it. It’s the human way of adapting to unchanging and difficult situations.

Few weeks ago, I was tired of hearing about the Coronavirus. I turned off the news, turned off my phone, and I stopped praying about it. My prayers did not cease immediately, it was gradual, but when they ceased, I realized that there was a problem.

Why? Because I still cared about the frontline workers and their families, I cared about the families who were grieving their loved ones, I cared about the government officials…

View original post 189 more words

CoronaVirus: The story of my two friends!

Towards the end of my study in the University (Oba Awon University, and yes you thought I won’t brag, you’re wrong), GTBank came to conduct a recruitment test for some of us as selected by the DSA, long story short, I was one of the few that got that mail we all expect after such a test.


Unfortunately, my department didn’t process our results early enough and a strike action (as was common at the time, things have changed now) meant we wouldn’t be going for NYSC with some other departments. We waited 8 months! 8 good months!


I had a few friends who passed the recruitment test (yeah, I roll with great guys) and went to serve ahead of me.


The deal with GTBank was to notify HR once done with service so as to continue the process. My friends, two of them, informed GTBank and were called for the next stage. Both got to the panel interview stage. One went ahead to the top management interview stage and finally got the job, the other was dropped at the panel interview stage. Both of them had great CGPAs, better than mine (mine was good too o. We were all above 4.00/5.00).


After I finished NYSC, I called GTBank HR to give a notice of my completion of NYSC and was called for the next stage immediately. I thought it would be nice to talk to my guys who had first hand experience of this process.

I called the guy that got dropped and mehn, it was all tales of woes. I almost felt like sticking to my initial plan of getting my M.Sc and Ph.D and going into lecturing. Dude legit told me ‘this is Nigeria, they already have the list of people they want, they just want to throw up a show to make it look legitimate‘ In my head, I was thinking this does not make sense. He told me ‘If not, how will they be asking me, an engineering graduate, banking questions‘ I was like, duh, you’ll be working in a bank, what questions should they have asked???


I immediately called the guy who got the job and the story was different. He told me how he’s enjoying the job. How exciting training school was. How the interviews were, how friendly the interviewers were and all. He gave me something to look forward to. This was also an engineering graduate.


Wow, I became confused. Two great guys, same process, different experiences and of course, different results!


I picked up my phone again and called the two most important people in my life.


My Dad told me to decide which of the stories I wanted to believe and run with it. It was that simple! 


Called Bae, she said exactly the same thing and that she would chose the story with the happy ending, however, she will look at the other story and learn what’s not to be done.
So what did I do, I choose the story with the happy ending. Learnt from the other story (that the other guy didn’t prepare for the interview, and so I went to read about Banking) I wasn’t asked so much of banking related questions at the end. Both levels of interview were more like a formal chat, fun and eye-opening, than an examination for me.
I got the job and I’ve been there ever since.


Why this long tale of how I got a job? What’s the correlation with CoronaVirus?


The world is being brought to its knees by this deadly virus and with the aid of Social Media, news, real and fake, keep flying around. Fear too. However, there’s also the promise of God, that should fly around. Promises like ‘…no plague will come nigh thee
And so I choose to believe His promises, not disregarding the reality of the Virus, so I’ll read about it, the science of it, not the fear-peddling news. The precautions to take, how to avoid it and all. These knowledge were given by the same God that promised ‘…no plague will come nigh thee’


I invite you to join me!

I DID AND 7 YEARS AFTER, I WANT TO KEEP DOING

When we became friends 2006, it was not with the intention of spending our lives together. However, I knew it was a friendship I wanted for a lifetime.

The ‘just friends’ days

Remember one surprise Birthday prayer meeting you organized same year in the NET (OAU folks know what the NET is), we were meant to meet at midnight after my various meetings. I did not know you had invited my friends (Sola, Dayo and Femi). The funny part of that meeting was me praying for each of you guys at the end and for you, amongst other things, I prayed for your husband. Ase e I was praying for myself. And I prayed earnestly that morning!

Sola, a friend that became a brother, and his wife

Sola, a friend that became a brother, and his wife

With P.KolPat at our convocation. This my ‘coat’ is something else.

Part IV

Convocation @ OAU!

Service year, went to visit YK!

Since we met, you’ve been a pillar, a strong one. How will I talk about my academics without you. At some point, I became too busy (foolishly so) for my academics, you will be waiting at FAJ café or ODLT II insisting and ensuring I read no matter what. In Part IV during our exams (both semesters) in farm year, you ensured I ate and read so we could both do well. And we really did well that session.

What were we doing here?

Me thinking ‘Oluwa, wetin dey populate’

Heading for NYSC camp!

Oh, I also remember the start of the farm year when the University made no plans for our accommodation and the faculty insisted we resumed, we had nowhere to stay and we dumped our luggage with Dr. Dayo in town (who was also staying with his friend), how we passed the first few nights in Pharmacy Lecture Theatre before we finally got our various accommodation sorted.

Omo, we’ve come a long way o.

And a lot more…

See teeth!

Then seven years ago, we decided to get married at a pretty decent age in our opinion but people thought we were too young, except our immediate families and friends.

And you’re all invited!

See babe! Local man can can!

Did I say something funny?

Was like ‘let’s do this

I’m happy we got married when we did, wished it was earlier sef. This past seven years have been of bliss, fun and more importantly FRIENDSHIP.

I love this girl in particular

Padi mi of life!

Her shakara is too much!

I’m happy the lifetime friendship I subscribed for in 2006 is still on. Looking forward to the MORE we still got to do.

Thank you so much for these seven years. Thank you for putting up with my occasional folly, thank you for ALWAYS forgiving me when I mess up (and I do a lot, I’m working to be better)

Thank you for the love and care. Thank you for the boys! Never crossed my mind I was going to father a set of twins.

Thank you for being a great mother to Abifoluwa and Afifoluwa.

Adeyinka, I’m looking forward to so much more (like Oliver Twist, I want more) in the coming years.

I did seven years ago before God, friends, family and the people of God and sincerely, I want to keep doing!

Cheers to GTA!

THE MICRO PENSION SCHEME

The Federal Government of Nigeria, in pursuance of her financial inclusion objective, launched and released guidelines for the Micro Pension Scheme last year.

The Micro Pension Scheme (MPS) was to ensure the informal sector is covered under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).

Under the MPS, self-employed and persons working in organizations with less than 3 employees can now participate in the CPS.

To start, get a Pensions Fund Administrator (PFA) and register by opening a Retirement Savings Account (RSA). You will need a valid regulatory ID (Driver’s licence, Voter’s Card, Int’l Passport or National ID card) and a proof of Address (Utility bill or a residential lease agreement).

After opening a RSA, you will need to join a Micro Pension Plan (MPP), you may need your BVN, letter of employment, Certificate of Incorporation/Certificate of Business Registration, evidence of membership of a registered association, union or cooperative society.

You also have to be 18years or older and resident in Nigeria.

The MPP is an arrangement where individuals save small amounts of money during their work life and the money is invested collectively to yield returns.

The periodic contributions is dependent on individual pension aspiration and financial capacity. The frequency of remittance is also as decided by the individual, it could be daily, weekly, monthly or as convenient to the individual, provided that contributions will be made in any given year.

The fund is divided into two parts, a 40% known as the Contingent Contribution and a 60% called the retirement benefit.

The Contingent Contribution can be accessed inclusive of accrued investment income, however this cannot happen until 3 months after initial contribution. The Contingent Contribution can only be accessed once a week.

The Retirement Benefit can be accessed after retirement at the age of 50 or on health grounds in accordance with the Regulations for the Administration of Retirement and Terminal Benefits.

The MPS will benefit people working in the informal sectors and entrepreneurs.

For more information, contact any of the PFAs.

A DEATH TOO MANY

Dear commissioner of @PoliceNG, Lagos state, it’s with so much pain I write this. A former school colleague was just senselessly murdered two days ago at Gbagada, a stab to the neck!

In September, before you took over the helm of affairs, Tomi Waziri was shot point-blank in the face on Eko Bridge, also by some senseless individuals now scattered around Lagos.

Nov. 1 this year, I was robbed at Jakande Lekki in the full glare of people, who could do nothing to help me for fear for their own safety, with a @PoliceNG van stationed just a few metres away. I was lucky I got away with beatings after losing just my phone.

In the three instances stated above, we all were about our businesses, coming back from earning a living or right within earning a living like in the case of Tomi Waziri.

Immediately my case happened, I walked up to the police van, disoriented and all I got in the exact words of the officer that attended to me was ‘Sorry o, this thing has now become rampant here, those boys don mad now o

I stood there transfixed till I finally found my feet and walked away to my car. I have since made an official complaints (@PoliceNG_CRU) at the Ilasan Police station with no single update yet.

Sir, we need urgent intervention in Lagos state, especially at this time, the spate of crime has increased astronomically even with all the great things @rrslagos767 is doing under the leadership of @TunjiDisu1.

The death of another young Nigerian, with dreams and potentials, is one too many!

Please help!!!

MY STAR GIRL

Since my eyes caught you jumping up and down Amphi-Theatre for Phy101 with that turtle neck shirt and jacket or Chemistry Oven where you always attended the Student Christian Movement tutorials with that beaded neck ornament, I knew I wanted to be your friend.

That didn’t happen until a year or two later.

It’s your birthday today and it’s the 14th birthday since we became friends.

Thank you for the gift of friendship and more importantly, the gift of forgiveness. Always forgiving my numerous stupidity(does that have a plural form?).

Do I wish to change anything since Amphi-theatre or Chemistry Oven?

Of course, to have been friends since the very day I set my eyes on you.

Thank you for being my StarGirl, the Starlight!

Happy Birthday!

A conversation that ended with ‘You’re Mad’

Lagos, Nigeria.

I was working at my desk this Wednesday morning when a call came on my phone with the caller ID 0814 850 4919. The caller said he was calling from ‘my bank’ and that my bank verification number (BVN) details had some discrepancies. As a professional in the finance industry, I knew I was in for a good laugh so I decided to play along. I mean, this was someone that obviously wanted to rip me off my money, so why not rip him off his airtime?

I activated the speaker of my phone and signalled to my colleagues to rally round my desk and join in the fun too.

“Sir, the year of birth on your BVN differs from what we have on our system.” His voice was cool, calm and professional.
“Which of my banks?” I asked, deliberately not falling into the unspecific “your bank” trap.
“UBA,” he replied.
I had never stepped into any UBA branch all my life.
“Oh, I didn’t know about this issue. I haven’t used the account in a while.”
“I see. Someone is also trying to open an account in First Bank with your BVN.” He rattled off the numbers and they were correct.
This was getting interesting.
“Was this you?” he asked.
“No!” I replied, trying to infuse as much panic as I could into my voice.
“I suspected as much, because the name of the person is Chukwu…”
“Please help me stop the intruder immediately.” More panic into my voice. I imagined him leaning back into his seat, smiling, thinking, This one is in.

He pushed harder. “What other account do you have with the same BVN?”
“Just Diamond Bank— my salary account.”

This time, I imagined him sitting up, his back straight, ears jutted out like a rabbit’s. It was the beginning of a new month after all; my account would still be very much breathing.

“Ha, you will soon have problems with your salary account if the BVN issue is not resolved. I can see from here that you have two different dates of birth.” He quoted my correct DOB and then a second one, which was almost correct except for the year!
“Thank you so much for calling me. Please help me resolve this issue as soon as possible. I will find time to go to Diamond Bank today.”
“Oh, there is no need for that, I can resolve for both from my desk.”
“Really? How can you resolve Diamond Bank’s issue from UBA?” I asked, putting awe into my voice.
“Actually…l don’t work specifically in UBA. I work with the BVN General Office.”
“Okay…I was wondering. All the same, thanks for your willingness to help with both banks.”
“Oh, it’s no problem, I’m just doing my job,” he replied. “Do you have an ATM card for the Diamond Bank account.”
I reminded him that was my salary account, yes, I did have an ATM card. He asked for the serial number (which even an IT student in the bank would appropriately call PAN). I let that slide and told him it wasn’t safe for me to give such information. He reassured me that it was just to resolve the BVN issue. So I gave him a random 16-digit number and the expiry date—02/2019. Dude was happy! I could picture his gang members dancing shaku shaku!
He went on further to ask for the numbers on the reverse side of the card. Again, I gave him some random number and ensured that I had all these written down so I can give them the same thing no matter how many times they asked (if they were smart enough).

He told me to hold on as it would take some minutes to correct the issue and also link my BVN to both accounts so I could be able to use the Diamond Bank debit card also on the UBA account (nice innovation you would say, right?)

Of course, he thought he had it all, so he ended the call.

My colleagues and I couldn’t contain our laughter as we waited for him to call back. I was 100% sure he would call back, because I was too real to him for the transaction to fail and we had spoken for over 17 minutes.

About two minutes later, he called back and told me there was something wrong with my debit card as he was unable to connect to Diamond Bank. I called out all the numbers for him again and told him to please try again as I couldn’t afford to have restrictions on my salary account.

He told me to hold on and ended the call again. At this point, I expected they should’ve known I was playing them but no, the fools really wanted to have me for lunch.

Less than 2 minutes later, a call from another number, 0906 946 4988, came in. The caller said he was the manager and they were having serious issues with the details I provided.
I told him I had the card right there before me and so I couldn’t have been wrong about the details. I suggested that I could come to their office to show them if he would give me an address. That was when they knew they have been fooled.
“We don’t need you in our office,” Manager yelled.
“Why don’t you come around to my office then?”
“You are mad! He yelled and hung up.
Laughter rang out in the office.

****

While this may be funny, these guys have wiped off countless people’s accounts.
A lot of questions though: How did my BVN, name and DOB get into their hands?

Most people would have fallen for this, because they provided correct details about me, but that didn’t make them genuine. Someone could think, at least they didn’t ask for my PIN, so they can’t have access to my funds.

Really? Please be informed that there are some ‘card not present‘ transactions that do not require PIN.

So here are some safety tips:

1. Your card details should be known only to you.

2. Never input your card details on any website that you do not trust.

3. When making card payments online, always ensure the website is secured by watching out for the ‘https’ or golden padlock.

4.That a person provides an information only your banker should know doesn’t confirm he is your banker.

5.Your bank will never ask for your PAN. If you must give out that details, use the masked PAN format, e.g. 539639******4646 with only the first 6 and the last 4 digits visible.

6.Your bank will not ask for the CVV or CVC (the 3-digit number on the reverse side of your bank)

I’ll advise you more as I remember.

WHY SHOULDN’T I?

I was to meet someone for an important document on Saturday. We spoke on Friday and fixed 10:00a.m. at a particular location.

I set out on Saturday to the agreed location but felt the need to call the guy before going too deep into the journey. He had changed plans without informing me. He gave me the new location, the document was very important to me, so I had to go. 

I had to give myself sense though. Getting to the new location would be bad on my car. The last time I went that route, I took my wife’s car (on her loving advice) as it was usually cheaper fixing her car than mine if anything went wrong. This time, however, she and the boys had gone to a program and so I had to park somewhere and flagged down a bike man.

I met the guy and got my document. You know that’s definitely not why I am writing this.

On my way to and from the place, with different bike men for both trips, I came to the consciousness of something so important. Much more important than the document I went for.

Because of the roughness of the road (and it’s worse than the regular Nigerian road – terrible) The bike men had to set their feet to the ground on several occasions in the course of the trips to stabilise the bikes. At no point did I ever make a move to stabilise the bike. No attempt whatsoever. No reflexes. None at all. I just sat there with my legs on the  foot rests waiting to get through the roughness of the road and get to my destination.
It didn’t matter if the bike man was high on spirits or on the Spirit. I just sat there trusting he would not allow us fall to the ground. I did not attempt to help him ensure we did not fall to the ground. You know what else I discovered? It was not just me! I observed the bikes all around us. None of the passengers attempted to help stabilise the bikes they were sitting on.

Then it dawned on me. In life, when we go through some rough patches, we don’t trust God as much as I trusted my bike men. 

In life, I tend to find alternatives when it seems the God-way is not working. When His promises are not coming through. Even Abraham felt he had to help God birth the promise child; look where that got him. I trust a bike man high on spirits more than I trust the Spirit Himself.

I have decided to let it all go. Why carry my cares and worries when God is willing to carry them. I kuku don’t have the powers to resolve them anyways, but He does. Why should I not allow Him to carry my cares and worries and resolve them by His outstretched arms?

@tijesuoresanya

9:05 P.M. 9/6/1995 AND A COVENANT KEEPING GOD

Go upstairs and call mummy Kekere‘ My dad said to me. I signalled to my sister to follow me. Mummy Kekere was our landlady in theory but had become a part of our family in the real sense. She had become our grandmum. She practical took my Dad as her first son, though her first and second daughters were older than Dad.

My sister and I did not know what was happening. We were young but we knew mom had been sick for a while. We saw prayers of faith, no just that night but as long as we can remember. I read the scriptures to her every now and then when she requested, though grudgingly – the only regret I have in life.

There was a vigil – Jubilee Night – scheduled for 10 p.m. that night, Dad was to minister. Congregants have started arriving as the venue for the vigil was in the same compound. We lived in a big compound.

Mummy Kekere and Mummy Ilero (her sister) came to our apartment and headed for room 1, my parents’ room. The three bedrooms in our 3-bedroom flat were named 1, 2& 3. Room 2 was for us while room 3 was for guests or whoever is staying with us at the time.

We were in the sitting room, there was no electricity and it was dark. Those days, you used the old rugged lantern (not cross, you wanted to say cross).

In room 1, prayers were ongoing, arguments too. My mom against the others. She was tired, she wanted to go rest. The others felt her pain but wanted her  to keep fighting. 

Fighting was no more fun for her, she knew the joy ahead, she wanted heaven and heaven was sure. Others felt there were dreams not yet achieved, visions unfulfilled. Children to groom and watch blossom.

Back and forth until there was no more points to throw at her, all these within prayers. Then Dad asked her, ‘if you leave now, who will take care of your children?‘ Almost without thinking,  she responded, ‘they are God’s children and He will take care of them’ With that, hands held in prayers as others tried to oppose her will and desires in prayers, she left.

The vigil held, Dad ministered and only a few elders were informed until much after the vigil. I can still remember Dad calling the four of us, the baby of the house was still a baby – 2-year old boy, he told us, ‘mom has gone to be with the Lord and we’ll see her again someday when we get to heaven’ I’m still looking forward to that day when we’ll all be together again.

Mom, like you knew and were so sure, God is actually taking care of us and your 3 grandchildren. The 2 boys and a girl are growing in stature, wisdom and in the fear of the Lord. 22 years and God is yet to fail.

One thing my siblings and I will forever be grateful for is the choice of husband you made. Mom, thank you so much.Dad has been really outstanding.

Keep enjoying the city of gold…see you soon!

@tijesuoresanya