We have spent the last one month discussing the idea that you are not ‘married’ to your degree or any other qualification. You have the liberty and freedom to transition into a career different from your academic field. Last week, we published a letter from Ghana, a testimony from a biochemist who is now an IT guru specialising in Database System Administration. Today, in our last entry in this series, we provide some commentary on the letter from Frank Ebo Quansah.
In despair think deep and wide: We read in the letter from Ghana that Frank was in despair. In that state, he thought deep, long and hard until he remembered words from his computing lecturer who had identified a special talent in Frank. As Frank was not finding a job in his core field of Biochemistry, he resolved to pursue a path in which his lecturer had seen potential and talent.
Pick out the big observation and chase it: The result of thinking deep and wide is some conclusion based on key observations. We need to accurately take out our observations, make a decision, take the risk and run with it—with total confidence as did Frank. Frank went to the extent of taking all the savings that he and his wife had, and pumped into this ‘gamble’!
Rally the people around you: We know of the cliché “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.” Frank wanted to go far. No wonder, he sought support from his wife and family. He persuaded his wife who was initially reluctant until she became a champion of his transition. This is a special mark of special leadership we find in Frank.
When you volunteer, forget that you are a volunteer: This works, almost always. When you volunteer, give your all. In his letter, Frank wrote: “One day, the lecturer called me at home to inform me that I should take his class and gave me the topics for the day. I was excited beyond measure. I accepted and taught the class like I was making a million dollars.” How many of us would do it this way – to work for free but as if we were paid a million dollars? It is not a wonder therefore that Frank went far in the end. When you do a charitable job, voluntary work or any similar work, do it as if you had the best salary for it.
Once you find your passion – give your all to it: Many of us miss our golden chances. When we discover our passion, we fail to grab the chance. We are afraid to face reality. We are too comfortable with the status quo. We fear the unknown. We lack the courage to go through the change and transition. We need to work hard in search of our true passion. Once we discover our true passion, we will not be in any doubt. At that stage, we need to wholeheartedly grab the chance and move on with it with total resolve and without any doubt at all. This is one of the key secrets to success in life.
“God, talent, trust and devotion”: Frank tells us that his story was only possible because of this package of the four attributes: God, talent, trust and devotion. Once you discover your God-given talent, and you trust yourself and your decision, then all you need is total dedication and devotion to your chosen path. The only possible result will be great success. This looks a simple enough formula or path to success. The key ingredient is identifying the passion or talent that you have.
We have now spent a whole month discussing the migration from one’s academic field into an entirely different field for career or practice. We have looked at the motivation or case for the principle, the framework you can use to transition and the details of some relevant case stages, especially the case of Frank Quansah from Ghana. Master this and in case you need it, use it so that like Frank, you too can rise and shine! Good luck! n