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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Profession perception: ‘I even now you should not know what I want to be when I increase up’ – Elikem Kuenyehia


Elikem Nutifafa Kuenyehia is the
Head of Nation Ghana and British isles, ENSAfrica, Africa’s biggest Law firm

Careers, occupations, professions. Most young individuals do not know what occupation paths they want to adhere to. Which is ok. We are often re-evaluating what the phrase ‘job’ indicates and what it entails. Now, we are correct back at it once again with the possibilities the coronavirus pandemic has presented – absolutely free time of sorts to assume about careers.

In an exclusive interview with Elikem Nutifafa Kuenyehia, the Chairman/Head of Country Ghana and United kingdom, at ENSAfrica, Africa’s biggest law agency, if you are university student, graduate or young skilled questioning the earth of get the job done, you can come across the answers you find or to potentially inquiries you even did not know you had. His vibrant journey to discovering his vocation will offer classes for any job or position.

  1. Inform us about on your own 

Born at Korle Bu. Attended Ridge Church College, followed by Achimota College. Immediately after O-stage at Achimota, I commenced Ghana Intercontinental Faculty but disliked it so went again to Achimota for sixth variety. Was a science pupil for O-degree for the first part of sixth variety (finding out Biology, Physics and Chemistry), I just about managed a distinction at O-level. But A-amount science was an completely distinctive ball activity. I rapidly realised that if I ongoing with science, I was destined for 4 F’s. So halfway as a result of sixth type, to the disappointment of my parents, disapproval of my lecturers and disbelief of my classmates, I switched from science to arts (Government, Economics, Literature in English, and the compulsory Normal Paper). 1 of the most effective decisions of my whole everyday living. In its place of 4 F’s. I ended up with 4 A’s. 

With a total scholarship, I analyzed jurisprudence at College of Oxford (Worcester Faculty), just after which I took the professional legislation system at University of Regulation (then Faculty of Regulation) in London.

I take pleasure in examining (autobiographies, own advancement primarily), composing (have a column ‘Celebrating Entrepreneurship’ in Graphic Business enterprise) and wrote a textbook on Ghanaian entrepreneurship “Kuenyehia On Entrepreneurship’. At this time producing my subsequent e-book ‘Champagne Ambition, Beer Funds Insights from bootstrapping and scaling an wonderful African institution’. Also published from time to time for the British isles publication African Enterprise.

General public Speaking – emphasize of my community talking encounter was offering the College of Ghana College of Humanities Commencement Address in November 2019. I also obtain African artwork and I launched Kuenyehia Trust for Modern day Art whose flagship programme is Kuenyehia Prize for Present-day Artwork (www.kuenyehiaprize.org). I delight in community and worldwide travel, looking at motion pictures and series (I binge-view (not great!) series like Greenleaf, Pose, Sexual intercourse Schooling). Entertaining, managing, swimming, boxing, and functioning out usually are also some of my favourite hobbies. 

  1. Wander us by your early vocation journey (first 5 several years)

Experienced as a Solicitor at The Town of London place of work of Travers Smith, a company and commercial mid-sized English legislation business wherever I done rotations in the banking, corporate, genuine estate and dispute resolution departments to qualify as a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England & Wales.

I then moved to Uk ‘magic circle firm’ Linklaters LLP the place I specialised in intercontinental banking and finance, acting for clientele these kinds of as Goldman Sachs, Arsenal Soccer Club and Barclays Lender. Even though at Linklaters, I was seconded to do the job as an in-dwelling attorney on the buying and selling flooring at Barclays Bank’s head office environment at Canary Wharf in London operating with the World Marketplaces group.

I then remaining Linklaters to research for an MBA in Entrepreneurship, Finance and Advertising at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Administration.

  1. What values/capabilities would you say you shown in your early profession journey that have contributed to your profession accomplishment?
  • Intellectual curiosity 
  • Interpersonal capabilities
  • Self-recognition ensuing from introspection
  • Potential for tricky function
  • Authenticity
  1. Did you always know you wished to do what you are undertaking now? 

NO. I even now don’t know what I want to do ‘when I develop up’.

  1. What ended up some of the faults you produced on the job journey?
  • Signing up for the shopper strategy staff at Diageo’s North American office environment, as Associate Model Supervisor for Captain Morgan Rum. I produced the choice for the improper motives – prestige of doing the job for a organization like Diageo, the opportunity to stay and operate in New York Metropolis, the indication-on reward, attractive payment and benefits. But I failed to pay attention to my intuition that functioning for 1 of the world’s most significant producer of alcoholic drinks actually was not what I required to, looking at that I do not drink liquor. 
  • Donning my coronary heart on my sleeve a minor way too significantly – so acquiring into unwanted confrontation with my superiors.
  • Prioritising perform to the detriment of all other aspects of my lifetime.
  • Currently being much too impatient for extra obligations instead of concentrating on getting my time to discover and establish.
  • Not believing in my capability and becoming easily intimidated by my colleagues at Travers Smith and Linklaters.
  1. If you experienced the chance to improve one matter in your early vocation/do the job practical experience days what will it be?

I should not have turn into a attorney and long gone straight into organization. I know that this may perhaps appear bizarre coming from anyone who is possibly very best recognised for staying a law firm and for founding a leading regulation agency. But my true enthusiasm is entrepreneurship. Oxford & Beaumont was extra of an entrepreneurial journey than me pursuing regulation per se. I recognised a hole in the Ghanaian authorized companies sector which I thought I had the talent sets to go after and most importantly was one I could go after with a tiny sum of capital. So I set up Oxford & Beaumont with a overall investment of GH¢5,000. I then bootstrapped and scaled it to the stage that I observed an additional opportunity for a pan-African existence as a result of the merger with ENS. 

My serious focus/career at Oxford & Beaumont/ENS therefore not as a standard attorney (I have never ever been to court docket in my whole everyday living for example and I really do not have a wig and gown). My true focus has been in offering the kind of management that makes certain that as a business we keep on being at the major of our sport. This entails method, market place evaluation, management, expertise Management (recruiting, progress, mentoring and coaching), shopper and stakeholder associations. I also glance right after our London office where I aim largely on our interactions with the main global elite law companies and on profile raising. So my position is not dissimilar to an executive in any foremost company establishment, regardless of whether area or world-wide. 

  1. Any guidance to an individual who is baffled about their profession scheduling?

To start with just take an inventory of the issues that appear by natural means to you and your passions/pursuits. Then make a checklist of the type of industries/careers which healthy people capabilities and pursuits – Use your careers support or a career expert to assistance you with this. Make a shortlist of the leading 5.

Last but not least established up meetings with as numerous folks as you can to recognize what is concerned in pursuing your top rated 5 – talk to equally the junior men and much more seasoned types. Use LinkedIn to reach out to them and leverage all the associations you, your loved ones, your lecturers have. An internship or project operate looking at one particular or a lot more of all those industries may well enable this process. Preferably you have distinct internships for every of your summer months holiday seasons.

Go for a thing that you want to do not what the job advisor or your mothers and fathers want you do to. And do not stick to the group. Pay attention to your heart. As Steve Employment famously explained Really don’t be trapped by dogma – which is dwelling with the effects of other people’s contemplating. Really do not enable the sounds of others’ views drown out your possess internal voice. And most significant, have the braveness to follow your heart and intuition”

Equally critical is for you not to tension about it. Really don’t overthink think it. Your very first job/occupation is incredibly very likely not likely to be the only a single. The days of the linear career paths that your moms and dads or grandparents pursued, often at 1 organization, are numbered. In accordance to the US 2019 Bureau of Labour, the regular number of careers in a lifetime is 12. Looks ridiculously high does not it? I suspect for most of you, it will be decreased than 12. But the level is that you are most likely to have a lot more than 1 task in your life span. COVID-19 has produced this even more possible. Lots of of you will construct ‘gig careers’ or ‘portfolio careers’ where by you pursue a bunch of experienced endeavours, at times at the same time, about the class of your expert existence.

  1. If you experienced a minute to coach/guidance a tertiary college student about function readiness, what would it be?
  • Invest nearly as a lot time in your social money as you do in your academic function. You will before long neglect most of the items you discover in your econometrics class. But the associations you create with your classmates, lecturers, the visitor speakers who appear to class and your wider neighborhood will endure, last you a life span and will inevitably grow to be a resource of your professional and economical accomplishment,  wellbeing and common gratification in lifetime. So throw you into life on campus – be a part of the pupil union, volunteer in the local community, sing in the choir, test salsa or ballroom dancing– take as considerably benefit as you can of what college daily life has to supply the two inside the classroom and outside the house it.
  • Really don’t be fearful to are unsuccessful. Just be sure to mirror truthfully on any failures to figure out what the lessons are.
  • When you start out get the job done, treat everybody you meet similarly. The secretary or messenger can be pretty much as crucial to you receiving most out of your qualified life as the CEO. 
  • Locate your self a mentor – somebody who has experienced new very similar experience. For illustration a junior supervisor at a corporation you are taking into consideration and handle that mentoring connection proactively. Do not go contacting the CEO or some senior govt for mentoring. They really don’t have the same new equivalent encounters.
  1. Knowing what you know now as a superior-profile skilled, what would be your information to a mounting young professional you are mentoring?
  • Spend in social funds and broaden your social community as broadly as possible. Invest in your alumni clubs, different experienced clubs etc. and several social groups at do the job or outdoors do the job.
  • Be obsessive about quality and excellence continually and throughout your vocation.
  • Find oneself a sponsor within your organisation. Anyone senior enough to give you terrific insights on your occupation and ideally expose you to alternatives for development.
  • Don’t be concerned to are unsuccessful. Just make sure you find out from any these failure.
  • Aim “on the knitting’ – studying about the nuts and bolts of your marketplace. 
  • Strike the right harmony. Following all, lifestyle is short and you do not want to be lying on your death bed searching back only at your achievements at do the job.
  • Develop a vision of specifically where by you’d like to be and build this eyesight to the extent that if you near your eyes, you see a vivid image of you living that life. I really recommend acquiring a eyesight board which you can see just about every working day to remind oneself of the way forward. The Bible soon after all states ‘Without a eyesight, my people perish’. But a vision is not plenty of. Have a strategy to get there. That’s where mentors and sponsors occur in.

Akua Ampah, the interviewer is a writer from Digital Occupation Workplace. The Digital Job Office exists to assist pupils and youthful gurus with all job providers wants, i.e. CV/Resume modifying, interview coaching, occupation guidance & advising, employability techniques workshops, among the other folks preserving them forward of the sport.

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