From Zero To Hero: You Can Do It

Sam graduated with a first class from the Engineering Dept of OAU at the age of 23. He had thrived despite the family challenges he had, the hardest being the loss of his dad when he was in 200L, leaving his mum with the daunting task of fending for him and his siblings. Sam, inspired by his mum, was determined to excel in his academics so that he could get first pick in a multinational, earn a good paycheck and take care of his family in return. His convocation was a memorable one; he graduated top of his class and won several awards for excellence. Dr. Adeyemi his mentor was very proud.

“Incredible feat, Sam!”, Dr. Adeyemi said, he’s the HOD of the Engineering department. He had noticed Sam’s genius in his first year and chose to mentor him. “I’m not surprised you turned out well Sam, but my parting advise for you is this, Don’t just be first class in school, be first class in life too.” Sam nodded and expressed his gratitude.

Life after convocation however did not turn out as expected, although he had applied to many multinationals, no job offer came. The local content bill prematurely passed into law by government had scared off foreign investors, making direct foreign investment difficult. Hopes dashed and family pressure piling up, his survival instinct kicked in and he eventually settled for a sales role at an ice cream company. Although the available was not the desired, he was determined to make the available desirable.

In less than 3 months his excellence was noticeable – the way he went about his duties, relationships, business ethics etc. He was made the sales supervisor, although with no pay increase. The recognition was good, his paycheck was the reality check he so much needed. He became discouraged, the title/promotion accounted for nothing but more work and responsibilities, his attitude to work started changing and he questioned why he kept going to work every morning.

One evening, while he was pondering on his glory days in school and why life was so unfair to him, he remembered Dr. Adeyemi’s parting advise. Re-energized with new enthusiasm Sam thought about his work and promised to make changes. That year, the ice cream store exceeded their sales target by such a huge margin; that the manager was deployed to start a franchise in another location. Suddenly, there was a vacancy and Sam ‘the man’ was promoted to the role of Acting Manager at the store.

So began his steady rise – he soon started attended management meetings and worked in different subsidiaries. This made him visible to top management. His contribution to the business, passion, leadership and innovative thinking caught the attention of the Group MD, who requested to meet him one day. At the meeting he discovered the parent company was making significant divestment in the oil industry and he came highly recommended to work with the team; he looked up and said “Thank you Jesus”. He accepted the challenge, collected his redeployment letter and left. The total package was reflective of his new role with huge benefits. He walked away reflecting on how his attitude almost ruined his chances and how Dr. Adeyemi’s advise had helped him refocus. He is indeed blessed.

Since the begining of time, a bad attitude has never been the solution; ask Messrs Cain, Absalom and Haman. Make the most of your situation, with a thankful heart and clean conscience. Hardworkpays, whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your heart, as unto the God and not for man.

Again, see a man who is diligent in his work? Yes, he will stand before CEOs or even be The CEO.

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