Many research studies show that youth unemployment is now an economic crisis. According to a recent report by the World Bank, “Ghana is faced with 12% youth unemployment and more than 50% underemployment, both higher than overall unemployment rates in Sub-Saharan African countries.
As part of its efforts to help young people live on their terms and excel in life, SFAN held the 2021 edition of Quantum Leap Career Fair on the theme “Jobs for the Ghanaian Youth.”
Quantum Leap Career Fair is an annual entry-level career fair that helps job seekers and employers to connect and communicate face-to-face. The event provides a platform for participants to gather information on career options, build a network of contacts with peers and industry leaders, find job openings or secure an interview. And stimulate insightful career discussions that can help them make quantum leaps in their career journey.
We organized this year’s career fair in celebration of Africa Day 2021.
Prince Adu Appiah of 1Billion Africa moderated the #QLCareerFair21 keynote session. The panel featured Olufemi Adewumi, Programs Manager, MEST Africa, Albert Nii Ayi Tagoe, Head of Finance, Investment and Governance at Ghana Commodity Exchange, William Osei Agyemang, Chief Financial Officer, Esoko Ltd.
Other speakers at the EPIC event include Priscilla Oware, Founder of Centre for Active Citizenship and Leadership, Princess Anya, Program Manager, Microsoft. And inspiring training sessions were led by Carole Ramella, MD, GFA Consulting Ltd & Tom-Chris Emewulu, SFAN President. Tracy Mensah, Admin and Project Officer at GNBCC, later zoomed into the meeting to share the New Business Challenge opportunity currently accepting applications.
Below are some quotes and thoughts that stood out to me from Quantum Leap Career Fair 2021: Jobs for the Ghanaian Youth.
“Your CV is the first marketing tool that sells you.” – Carole Ramella, MD, GFA Consulting.
Carole said a well-tailored CV is your first chance to make a good impression and stand out when applying for a new job. It gives the potential employer an overview of your work experience, education, and personality so they can decide if you’re a suitable candidate to invite in for an interview or not.
Carole also added that the care you bring to your CV would make you stand out. Relying on luck doesn’t always work when you’re looking for a job; unless you’re sending 100s of CVs and hoping that one piques the interest of the reader. Always be mindful that your CV is the first marketing tool that sells you, she added.
“Don’t lose sight of the ultimate.” – Prince Adu Appiah, 1Billion Africa.
Sometimes we’re desperately looking for jobs that we end up settling for anything. That’s okay. It’s the primary tool to fight for your greater goal, your ultimate destination, said Prince.
Explaining how he found his passion, Prince noted that he had to endure studying a course that didn’t interest him. But he used his spare time to improve the competence that ultimately brought him joy. “In the quest of fighting for the immediate, don’t lose sight of the ultimate because the immediate is not lasting,” he reiterated.
“20% of our success comes from our IQ, but 80% of success factors come from your Emotional Intelligence.” – Albert Tagoe, Head of Finance, Ghana Commodity Exchange.
We are all geniuses. And you can find the skills you need to excel in today’s job market in the SFAN acronym.
Like a master craftsman excavating insights from a subject he alone knows too well, Albert went on to break down the enigma and underlying meaning of his statement for our guests.
SFAN: Soft skills, Find a mentor, Analytical mindset, Networking.
On Soft Skills, Albert gave our guests a list of crucial traits that can land them jobs with deeper explanations.
- Open-Mindedness: This Involves the ability to be open to new ideas, experiences, theories, people, and ways of living. It is also about adopting a fair and respectful attitude towards opinions, beliefs, and practices that differ from one’s own. Look at things from different perspectives.
- Emotional Intelligence: Being aware of how you feel and how it affects people around you. Ability to control your mood and redirect negative energy. That means motivating yourself to drive passion for your work for reasons beyond money—understanding the emotional make-up of your team members and others and managing relationships successfully.
- Communication skills: To fit into the corporate world and impact lives requires excellent communication skills. If you lack it, you might not go far in your career.
- Systems Proficiency Skills: Nearly every job today requires a basic understanding of computers, and many jobs involve intermediate to advanced computer skills. That can include knowledge of specific software, applications, or devices. Learn how to use technology; it’s a digital world now.
- Team Building: Learn how to collaborate as a team member and cohesively work together towards a common goal.
Clearing the air on the make-up of Soft Skills, Albert then shared the value of mentorship. “As Tucci Ivowi would say, mentorship gives a mutual benefit to both a mentor and mentee,” he summarized.
But before handing the microphone to the next speaker, Albert ensured our guests understood the other elements in the acronym and encouraged them to pick careers in Agriculture.
“The agricultural sector contributes 20% OF Ghana’s GDP, and this sector is employing 35% of the workforce in Ghana.”– Albert Tagoe.
“Aspire to be better and trustworthy. The ability to keep confidential information within the organization is a crucial skill.” – William Osei Agyemang, Esoko Ltd.
William joined Esoko 13yrs ago through an internship program, and his superiors assigned him to handle finances. He underscored the place of vision in that journey. In as much as the motive to get a job is to earn, don’t forget to aspire, add value to yourself, so you become irresistible to your employers, he buttressed.
“Grow in your industry; train yourself and build your career. And be a master of your art.”- Olufemi Adewumi, Programs Manager, MEST Africa.
Femi is currently the Project Manager at MEST Africa, but he’s been in the technology industry for nearly three decades. His advice to Ghanaian youth looking to start their career is simple and profound: “Your education is very crucial as well as your evidence to demonstrate you can do the job. Learning never stops.”
Femi’s statement underlies Princess’ presentation, in which she shared extensively on the trends in the industry today. Highlighting the need for Ghanaian youth to improve their digital skills.
Quantum Leap Career Fair 2021 was supported by MTN Foundation.
And we are thankful to everyone that joined us virtually and in person. Maximum thanks to SFAN President Tom-Chris Emewulu for leading us to success at every turn.
Click here to watch the Keynote Panel live stream.