7,000 students benefit from Etisalat’s career counselling initiative

NigeriaProfessional career counselling supports people with career-related challenges. Through their expertise in career development and labour markets, career counsellors help put people’s qualifications, experience, strengths and weakness in a broad perspective while also considering their desired salary, personal hobbies and interests, location, job market and educational possibilities.

Through their counseling and teaching abilities, career counsellors can additionally support people in gaining a better understanding of what really matters for them personally, how they can plan their careers autonomously, or help them in making tough decisions and getting through times of crisis.

These perhaps explain why for 13 years now, mobile telecommunication firm, Etisalat Nigeria, has relished in empowering secondary school students through its yearly Career Counselling programme.

The overall aim, according to the organisers being to ensure that students are able to develop their potentials and deliver optimally in the labour market, having made the right career choice.

This year’s edition, organised in partnership with the Lagos Empowerment & Resource Network (LEARN), was attended by over 500 students, from select secondary schools in the state.
Choosing a career, as noted by various speakers at the one-day event, is one decision that every human will have to make at certain stages in their lives.

The reality of the importance of this very crucial step, they maintained was more pronounced as one begins to attain adulthood and brace up for the attendant chain of responsibilities.

The speakers in their respective presentations argued that virtually every person in any chosen field of human endeavour has got a uniquely different tale about his or her career journey.

While some may look back at their career paths and nod with satisfaction and fulfilment, many who may face up to the truth, do so with regrets, broken-heart and a hushed wish for a reversal of time.

Commenting on the company’s involvement in helping students make quality career decisions, Company Secretary, Etisalat Nigeria, Aidevo Odu-Thomas, said, “The building of a career is complicated. Unfortunately not nearly enough students today take on the task of critically planning their careers, with expert guidance. Career counselling must be a priority for students, in order to enable them deliver optimally, and be fulfilled doing so.

She said the failure to prevent wrong career choices can be seen in many people struggling to fit into fields unfit for them. “Work places are replete with employees doing jobs they are not suited for. The most readily advanced narrow-minded excuse for this has always been lack of job opportunities coupled with the compelling pressure to earn a living.
“These excuses, sadly, do not stop the rather avoidable implications associated with wrong career choice among which are lack of job satisfaction and fulfilment, workplace frustration, unprofessionalism, un-motivated workforce and under-performance. There is also the protracted issue of dearth of professionals in certain fields like journalism, academia, among others.

To correct this defect she said requires a preventive rather than a curative approach. It would require a workable model that does not only highlight the fundamental causes, but other factors that are capable of empowering people, especially the young ones to make quality career decisions.

The Etisalat Career Counselling initiative fits this bill. It is tailored to guide secondary schools students through the difficult process of making sound, positive and fulfilling career decisions that can yield long-term benefits to them, their families, organisations, and ultimately the nation. So far, over seven thousand students have benefitted from this programme since inception.

Vice President, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs of the outfit, Ibrahim Dikko, who emphasised the importance the company attaches to quality career decisions, hinted that the choice of a career path is a decision many have made mistakes about overtime.

At Etisalat we are committed to making sure we equip the Nigerian youth with the skills, nuggets and doctrines needed to excel after graduation. The counselling model offers a holistic approach that has incorporated a platform for its employees to impact the lives of students with needed tools and guidance for their future. Apparently, this kind gesture has not gone unnoticed in the right quarters.

The Lagos State government recently lauded the company for the initiative, describing it as a timely investment that will augment its efforts at brightening the future of the students through quality education. The initiative is a continuous programme. While it can take positives from and pride in the tangible success so far recorded, the company is unrelenting in actualising its commitment to helping the Nigerian student make quality career decisions that would invariably translate to job satisfaction, fulfilment and professionalism,” he added.

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