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GenNext Forum: Building a Rewarding Career in a Dynamic World – Emmanuella Tijani

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CEM REPORT, CORPORATE EVENTS | Everybody aims at building a rewarding and dependable career for himself. However, this has proven to be a herculean task as several decisions that could make or mar the process seem to pop up daily without yet a manual on how to handle them all.

Industry expert Emmanuella Tijani has come to the rescue. With what she called the “first principles thinking”, the Product Marketing Manager, at Sterling Bank, charged up the atmosphere when she declared that these principles do not change despite that we live in a changing world.

Speaking at the maiden edition of the Generation Next Forum Organized by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Emmanuella Tijani said to her audience that “first principles’ are the basic principle that whether you are born in 1919, it remains the same for everyone and I’m hoping to leave five of them with you today if you want to have a rewarding career.”


We have discussed three of the five principles in the first part of this piece. In this concluding part, we will share the remaining two principles with you.

Emmanuel Tijani termed the fourth principle as ‘We are all nuts’

Before the crowd could come at her, she quickly expanded that “nuts” in this case meant we are all humans as against the notion of “crazy”.

She stated that in the chain of career growth humans will meet humans, work for humans and work with humans. She quickly cleared that it didn’t all mean networking as many believe taking selfies with very important people and posting on social media can help build their career faster

She stressed that staying human, appreciating and applying the core values of humanity builds a rewarding career adding that building real relationships and understanding people management is a great tool in building a rewarding career as well.

“So the core principles of self-respect, of respect for others, of humility they apply whether in 1990 or even in 2027.

“Everyone who needs a rewarding career understood this, that people still appreciate respect, that people still appreciate generosity and that people are human at the very core of it. What makes us human is what technology is trying to build upon. So, be human, build real relationships and understand that the more you understand people management the better it is for you.”

She listed the last to be “find X”

X in this case is not the CEM cameraman who does an exceptional job by the way, or a mathematical variant which puzzled many in secondary school to date, but according to Emmanuel Tijani, X is a constant that keeps you focused and grounded.

She explained that X can change from one person or thing to another noting that X is something a rewarding career aspirant must keep looking at to keep the mind going.

“X can change from one person to the other. For me as a Christian my faith in Jesus Christ is my X because I understand that that’s what keeps me grounded, that’s my competition strategy. So for you, X might be faith, X might be family, X might be friends, X might be your competition strategy, X might even be a high purpose.

“Everyone who has a rewarding career, they have something that they were looking up to, they have something that keeps them grounded, they have something that they never took their eyes away from so they had that mind to keep going.”

As she left the stage escorted with a resounding applause, my mind wondered around these principles, while my first thought was how unchanging they are in a dynamic world where AI has come to stay and many jobs are on the edge of obsoletion, I realised that her second principle was adaptiveness.

Emmanuel Tijani studied computer science but works in the banking industry, interestingly in product marketing then it done on me that she is living prove that these principles work as she adapted from a world of Javascript and computer language to making bags and teaching how to make them before she got the email led her to the banking industry.

Another thought about these principles is at the core of them, they are basic and not too difficult to apply. I say not too difficult because some people no matter how straight the road to success maybe, they will still need a guide. I hope you find these principles useful whilst you build your career to a rewarding stand.

Watch the full conversation on CEM Television’s YouTube handle, and subscribe for more informative content.

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