Your career is your business; mastering the art of intrapreneurship

You might be wondering: “how is a business the same as a career?”. Well, gone are the days when a career was about going to sit in an office cubicle and carrying out the same tasks till retirement age. 

As a 21st-century career professional, your career is a business, and you know what? You run the business. 

Without further ado, let’s quickly look at five ways to run your “business”.

1.      Finance it: “To make money, you need money”. Every entrepreneur knows that they have to put in capital: no matter how little, to get their business started and moving. Invest in your career by: 

  • Acquiring relevant skills: With the right skills, you’ll handle your job requirements with minimal errors, you’ll stand out among job candidates when job hunting, and you’ll have greater career prospects. So, invest in skills development opportunities.
  • Getting a coach: Entrepreneurs get business coaches to point out their blind spot, make decisions and advance their business. Don’t be afraid to get a career coach when you need direction, especially when you need to make important decisions in your career. You’ll be glad you spent that money when you did.

2.      Work for yourself: One of the things people say when they criticize 9-5 work is “you are building someone’s dreams”. Dear career professional, I am here to tell you that you can build your dreams while building someone else’. In fact, you should work for yourself first before anyone else. How do you work for yourself?

  • Prioritize the type of tasks you handle: As an entry-level professional, this might be a tad difficult as your work might mostly involve you providing support or carrying out administrative tasks. However, as you spend more time on the job, ensure you are frequently involved in value-adding tasks/projects. Prioritize high-quality responsibilities over others.
  • Research and monitor new trends: Entrepreneurs study market trends. They research their customer’s needs, the activities of other brands, the future of the market, etc.  Once upon a time, MS Office was the best thing after sliced bread, and if you didn’t upskill from typewriters to Microsoft word, you’ll be out of your job. Now, Ms tools are commonplace, and employers expect you to be knowledgeable about other work tools. What is the point of this? Research the skills you need to be marketable, research how successful professionals in your field made it to the top, be thirsty for development.
  • Take calculated risks: In business, risk-taking is essential: whether big or small. Because of the guaranteed income we earn, many career professionals barely take risks. Now, no one is asking you to take risks that could damage your career. But, playing it completely safe is not your best bet. Make time to reflect on your career, strategize and take calculated risks. Don’t be hesitant to change your role if you are unhappy with your current position, don’t be afraid to ask for more if you have the skills and are putting in the work.
  • Get a brag book: where you will write out your achievements for the week/month and use it to reflect and strategize. Businesses make sure they are profitable; is your career profiting you?

3.      Spread the word: Business owners know that if they don’t market their business, they won’t “eat”. As a career professional, you should pretty much do the same. Spread the word about your career by:

  • Networking: Network with people in your industry and field. Attend seminars, conferences, industry events, etc. Network with your seniors, your colleagues and your juniors. Also, practice an elevator pitch that you’ll use to connect with people at networking events.
  • Developing your personal brand: Businesses invest in branding to differentiate themselves and to evoke a particular emotion when a customer thinks of them. Personal branding differentiates you by establishing and reinforcing who you are. Develop your brand by having a great work ethic; how would you like to be remembered by people who have worked with you? Brand yourself by writing thought pieces about your field online; leverage your social media presence to build your brand and more. Personal branding will make a great difference in your career journey. 

Your career is your business; treat it like one. 

Isoemi Samuel is a Programs and Communications Associate and a member of the Career Coaching team at Legally Engaged. She works with Law Firms and organizations to organize capability and competency-based training programs; she also works with job seekers and young professionals in organizing their job applications & LinkedIn profile to secure their dream jobs.

She is also a Digital Marketing professional and a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria.

legallyengagedYour career is your business; mastering the art of intrapreneurship

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