In 2018, I was motivated to follow my mentor whom I meet online, Dr Adeola Olubamiji on her 2018 journey tagged Solving for X which worked out for me. Read about my 2018 story Here.
Yeah, in 2019, I followed her again.
If you see a pathway to success, evaluate it and follow . That’s my kind advice.
So she tagged 2019 Decoding 10X, Solving for X. I followed that tag too
Let’s begin the story
I wanted to gain a stable ground in my career path in 2018. Yeah, 2018 ended well somehow because I got two jobs centered around my target (Public Health/ Developmental career path) and I got myself prepared for more opportunities.
I WANTED TO WIN WITH MEETING TARGETS
All my life, I have always been behind, not at the top even though sometimes I could be among the winners but never a real top winner. So I was determined to make it count this time. First I was chosen as team lead for the #Tuberculosis project I was employed for. This came with lots of targets with other LGAs and my own LGA reputed as a high target LGA. I had to work hard. I went all out: engaging primary health centers, other health facilities (government, private, maternity homes,healing homes, herbalists etc) community volunteers, community leaders and members. I left no stone unturned.
Did we record success? Yes we did. My team won the best performing LGA in the high target league for first and second quarter 2019. Hahahaha, we lost to another LGA in the third quarter, but that’s fine too. The fourth quarter is yet to be announced. Sure am grateful we succeeded.
Secondly, my organization tagged me the highest Liaison Officer in Community Engagement as I recorded the highest Community Engagement as reported in the Open Data Kit (149% at the moment). This is pure determination.
I saw myself moving just everywhere within my own allocated area in my LGA. There has never been a NO from any community leader because I took my time before I started out to study on community engagement to build my advocacy skill; an area I had no idea before.
As Youth-Led Participatory Research Assistant for Voluntary Services Overseas, one of the two jobs I got in December 2018, I and my colleague Chinedu Mbaocha recorded fast success because in all, we had all our interviews translated and transcribed as fast as we could such that we were not caught in between deadlines. This I call determination and understanding. Chinedu was one in million in this project.
STRONG SUPPORT SYSTEM
This is an area I consider so important. Yeah, I could do a lot on my own but then having a solid support system is key to achieving more.
In 2019, I had to sort out who and who is a good support system; already known and the unknown.
So I started to choose, although I experienced some rejections because not everyone I approached responded the way I wanted.
I tagged them to different categories: advisers, motivators, career pursuit write-ups editors, knowledge translators and work related backstop.
With these persons in place, I solved a whole lot of pressing career advancement and work related needs.
- ALREADY KNOWN
Facebook meet friends: Dr. Linda Iheme, Dr. Adeola Olubamiji, Engr. Oladipupo Olayiwola, and Dr. Ekene Ogbodo.
Fellow alumni from my former schools: Dr. Chieme Ogumka, Mr. Francis Chidi, Dr. Swiss Chidi, and Mr. Sylvester Okechukwu Iwuala .
My former boss from FHI360: Nwaokoro Amarachi
My Cousin’s wife: Lady Nkemjika Ezekwelu
My parents and siblings.
Facebook: Mrs. Esther Ijewere,
My colleague from VSO and GLRA: Mr. Chinedu Mbaocha and Mrs. Samuel Uloaku.
My boss from VSO: Mr. Richard Oladipo
My tuberculosis supervisor: Mrs. Philomena Nnaemeka.
IMPROVE ON MY SKILLS
The importance of developing more skills cannot be overemphasized because it links you up to opportunities. It will really be sad to see opportunities and you don’t have the right skills to tap into it especially when there were opportunities for you to have built such skills.
So this was one of my targets in 2019. In line with this, I took 5 online courses. One of which is an emerging area in public health. I really did know about it, one of the persons in my support system group, Dr. Chieme Ogumka introduced me.
I also read a lot of materials online(including watching and downloading videos from YouTube) although without certificates but very essential for advancement.
SAVE AT LEAST 40 PERCENT OF MY SALARY
This is the hard one, but I was true to it, I achieved that. I admit, not easy at all.
BUY A NEW SYSTEM
Funny as this may sound, it was my target. I saved for four months for this and got a very good system that could serve for now.
Why was this target?
Sometime last year, my system got bad and I was managing it. Finally, it crashed, so I carried my brother’s own which was the only system at home. Both himself and my younger sister had to sacrifice for me for over 6 months (Family ties).
#Note: Before it crashed, I virtually begged for only 20k to fix it with promise of paying back in two months since I had my volunteer job which I managed at the time, but couldn’t get.
Secondly, my system is my friend; with it I can see the world. Staying without a system is like death sentence for me.
DOUBLE MY REACH OF THE JUST PAD A GIRL INITIATIVE
In 2018, with support from friends and family, I was able to reach 84 girls with sanitary pads during Menstrual Hygiene Day and of course after I have educated them.
The target for 2019 was to at least double that number. With support from friends, family and colleagues, 170 packs of pads was distributed to girls at Girls’ Secondary School, Ojoto, Anambra State. Read about the event Here.
28 DAYS A GIRL
Actually this was not one of the targets for 2019 but along the line, I wanted to do something for girls monthly. So a day after my birthday, precisely 28 September 2019, I laughed 28 Days A Girl. It’s a long life project where every month I will locate a girl who truly deserves a pack of pad and hand her one. I have been doing this monthly, although I give out more than one monthly. This has to do with compassion.
- MY BIG WIN: COUNTRY TEAM LEAD FOR INTERAI CHECKUP PROJECT
I wanted to begin an evidence-based research to advance my career but at the beginning I wasn’t sure exactly how to go about it, I only kept reading. After a while, I discovered that most of the community members I meet at the field are elderly people with dare need of medical services but none is available specifically for them at the community level. It gave me a lot of concern. I just kept pondering over it until one of the days I stumbled on Dr. Linda Iheme’s school profile. After going through her research work, I contacted her and explained my concerns. One thing led to another, then pop, I got funding to lead data collection from older adults. This is ongoing.
- ANOTHER EVIDENCE-BASED RESEARCH
This is my sore desire for 2019 but like I said, I didn’t have a good knowledge. One of days while communicating with one of my support system adviser, Dr. Ekene Ogbodo, he asked what exactly I intend to do with data I collect on the field while working for my organization. I gave him my sincere response and this gave birth to my ongoing research work; Tuberculosis Awareness Community Drives and Effect on TB Case Notification in Selected Hard to Reach Riverine Area in Nigeria. This is expected to be completed in April 2020.
SERVED GOD WITH MY TIME AND RESOURCES
For the first time in my life, I was determined to give to God a real gift; #FirstFruit. It was huge in my own capacity but I was ready for it.
Secondly, I gave to my satisfaction for charity in my service unit. And each time I had to serve was Joy unspeakable.
Thank you Jesus for the opportunity to serve.
My lovelies, these didn’t come just by wishing. It came first through God who understands me, then my support system and my immediate family whose encouragement is without measure.
There are still some 2019 targets that I did not achieve, however my learnings are setting SMART goals (which is going to be part of my 2020).