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Adedoyin Owotomo: 5 Tips For Becoming Successful Even When You Haven’t Found Your Career Path



So you managed to score 209 in JAMB, instead of the 230 required to study Law at the University of Lagos, but you were accepted to study Religious Studies and graduated with a second-class lower grade. You don’t have a dad like Femi Otedola or Aliko Dangote to help facilitate your dream career or at least get you into that company you want.

You didn’t get the push and support from your parents – like the Williams’ sisters or Beyoncé to be the best in your hobbies or interests growing up. You are also not a genius like Mark Zuckerberg, nor a great athlete like Usain Bolt. Sadly, you are not a singing sensation like Wizkid eityer. But some way, some how, you have to make the Religious Studies work for you, and develop a fruitful and successful career out of it.

In Nigeria, young people are at a great disadvantage when trying to find and develop their passion and goals in life. Our educational, economic and infrastructural systems all seem to work against us, due to the lack of structure and the disorderliness that is rife within those same institutions that should foster such growth and self discovery.

The truth is that majority of us are just trying to survive from day to day, so we may or may not be fortunate enough to figure out what our passion is and make a career out of it in our lifetime.

So what does this mean? How can you make this set back, (like getting a degree in a course you had no desire to study or the situation of being born with a ‘stainless’ silver spoon that you did not bargain for), work for you?

It is important to constantly remind yourself that, all is not lost. Secondly, you can succeed in life, regardless of your situation or status.
The main aim here is figuring out how to find and maintain a career that allows you to develop a balance between your ambitions and your current achievements.

Here are my top 5 tips on how to be successful, even if you are yet to build or find a career that you’re passionate about.

Be Determined to Succeed
It all starts with your mindset. You have to see yourself going places. You have to see where you will be in 5 to 10 years in your mind’s eye and work actively towards attaining that dream. However, it is not enough to dream of success, a lot of hard work and dedication is also required. There will definitely be challenges along the way, but it is your determination that will allow you to overcome those challenges and learn from them.

Be Humble
You have to realize that you will start at the bottom. While we all hope to be managers, senior managers or executive directors, early in our careers (or gain a million naira in sales on the first day of starting our business) you have to do your time, pay your dues and learn through the ropes.

If you are an employee, you are at the very bottom of the food chain especially when you are a corper or in an entry-level position. And if you work for yourself, you can be in business for some years building your brand before you start making the real money. This is the case for almost everyone you know. An analogy that works here is to see yourself as a baby that has to learn to crawl and walk before it can run. You will most definitely run, but in due time.

Learn! Learn!! Learn!!!
It is highly important for you to apply yourself in whatever area of work you find yourself doing. You have to learn the processes required to get your job done and how to do it more efficiently.

Be proactive and ask questions on matters about the job that you are unsure of. The earlier you do so, the sooner you will be perceived as responsible and reliable.

I always feel disheartened when I see youth corpers or university students doing their industrial attachment being used as photocopiers and coffee makers and doing mundane tasks at organizations. While, the company culture may promote that, it is entirely within your power to determine how well you will take advantage of your time at any company, learn the processes and make yourself more valuable.

Build Your Skill Sets
In order to set yourself apart and increase your value in a company or become a successful entrepreneur, you must continuously build the necessary skills required to succeed at the job. You need to determine what special skills are necessary and hone them, so that it becomes second nature to you. A definite way to build your skill is to take up challenges and new roles in your organization. You can volunteer to be on projects in other departments that may or may not directly affect your job, but that improve your company processes. Such challenges tend to expose you to new and different situations that you do not have experienced and force you to learn new ways to manage such situations.
Interacting and networking with people outside of your usual circles also help you expose you to new skills and best practices that you can learn to improve yourself.

Be Great at What You Do
You have to make yourself an asset by putting in your best and developing a great work ethic of hard work and commitment to mention a few. Being great at what you do requires consistency. It is when you consistently do great work that you have more job security and you become a lot more indispensible to your organization. Companies know the cost of losing a valuable employee, and if you’re seen as someone that does great work, the chances of you being fired or let go, are less likely. Rather, your employer will be looking for ways to keep you and ensure you do not leave the organization.

Always remember that success is a journey; with time, all your efforts towards attaining it will pay off.

Photo Credit: Milkos |

Adedoyin is the founder of the Greenhorn Career Network (, a career platform that aims at providing young Nigerians with positive and practical approaches to educate them on taking ownership of their future, setting and achieving their career and life goals early in life and most importantly, developing a positive mindset to help them navigate the real world. She is very passionate about seeing young Nigerians succeed in their chosen career fields and living their dream life. You can connect with Greenhorn is on Instagram: @greenhorncareernetwork; Facebook:


  1. Ray

    May 4, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    This just came at the right time…. thanks Doyin

  2. GYOnlineNG.COM

    May 4, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    God bless you for this tips.

    • Adedoyin Owotomo

      May 5, 2017 at 8:37 am

      You’re welcome

  3. Adedoyin Owotomo

    May 4, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    You’re very welcome Ray…:)

  4. dee

    May 4, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    Thank you so much for this

    • Adedoyin Owotomo

      May 5, 2017 at 8:37 am

      You’re welcome

  5. Jade Edo babe

    May 4, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    I love this. Great tips.

    • Adedoyin Owotomo

      May 5, 2017 at 8:38 am

      Glad to hear you love the tips……Thank you

  6. deji

    May 4, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    I must commend your efforts at writing this article, but i beg to differ. These tips could have been valuable in the 20th century not now. My reasons are as follows:

    1) Know yourself! Know your strengths and weaknesses. Be extremely self reliant. We were thought that the oldest ones are the wisest, that is not true at all, he is simply trying to figure out life too. He has just spent more years on earth than you have.

    2) Develop skills that can not only fetch you money but would be relevant in the future. Our Universities are outdated and obsolete. They cant prepare you for the outside world. The Internet is a great resource, invest in it.

    3) I disagree with the writer about being humble, rather than being humble and timid, i would say stay hungry and aggressive, avoid time wasters! Seek like minds that you can share and challenge each other with.

    4) Avoid overly religious people, they usually have a lot of inadequacy’s they use religion to cover up. No point praying in church from morning till night for Job, when the individual isn’t taking practical steps to be attractive to Job employers.

    • Adedoyin Owotomo

      May 5, 2017 at 5:57 pm

      Dear Deji, thank you for your comments.

      As the article heading stated, these are top 5 tips of which I’m sure there are hundreds more that can be identified. Also if you do your research, especially as you advised about using the internet, you will find that the tips are still very much relevant today. Any successful person today possess and preaches the following; determination, continuous learning, handwork, and consistency to mention a few but they were also highlighted.

      In addition, you have to understand the article is geared towards people that may be having a hard time understanding who they are and what they want to do in life. They are still trying to determine how they will navigate the real world. The article highlights things they can do pending when they come to that realization but that can help them to still be successful regardless of their career choice.

      My point about being humble is more about letting the reader know that you have to pay you dues. It does not mean that you have to be ‘timid’ or a coward or settle for less. Absolutely not. The truth is, most successful people that you see today, did not become successful overtime. A lot of times, it has been many years of hardwork, perseverance and determination.

      You will have to agree that being determined to succeed inspire of challenges also relates to how aggressive you are towards achieving your dreams. Being aggressive does not mean you have to be forceful but yes, please chase your dreams like you are grabbing a bull by the horns, jump on it and ride it.

  7. Mahka

    May 5, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Very relatable, thanks a lot…see y’ ll at the top cos that’s where am headed.

    • Adedoyin Owotomo

      May 5, 2017 at 8:39 am

      You’re welcome Mahka. I wish you the very best.

  8. Adedoyin Owotomo

    May 5, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Thank you all for the kind comments. Please contact me if you have any career-related questions. I will be glad to help…..:-)

  9. Specially

    May 5, 2017 at 11:08 am

    It’s just as if you’re in my head right now! Thanks for this!!!!!

    • Adedoyin Owotomo

      May 5, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      You’re welcome….:-)

  10. Iyinoluwa

    June 2, 2017 at 6:00 am

    Good Job Doyin. Weldone

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