By Omar Bah
The Finance Leadership Forum (FLF), an association of finance professionals, Saturday held a brief experience sharing on career management with UTG economics studies.
The event held at University Faculty of Law auditorium witnessed the sharing of experience by renowned economics with the young aspiring finance professionals.
The participants were given the opportunity to ask questions on pertinent issues regarding finance and how to develop into finance professionals.
Addressing the studies, Fatou Jallow, CEO of Takaful Insurance Gambia Limited, told the young aspiring finance professionals that career management is a requirement for every aspiring professional.
“It all depends on where you are and the opportunities presented in that environment but all one needs is focus,” Jallow, who has extensive experience working with the Bank of England before returning to the Gambia, said.
She said career management is very important for the individuals and the society.
“What is career management? Where do you want to see yourself? First, you have to be fit to be what you want to be, I wanted to be an air hostess but later I realised that was not my area so I changed to banking and finance. SO, in a nutshell career management is about what you want to do and you work towards it,” she said.
The respected economist reminded the studies that whatever they do “even if you are a cleaner you should do it to the best of your ability.” “That is how you left your mark wherever you worked,” she added. However, Madam Jallow argued that capacity building is key to the success of every career.
In an attempt to motivate the girls in the room, Fatou recalled how difficult it was for her as a woman having to take care of her children and work at the same time.
“I had to take my kids to Banjul to my grandmother every day before proceeding to work. I did this for several years – it was not easy but I had to do it. This is just to say that you should be prepared for the challenges you will face in the future. You have to be strong and always place yourself as the best and aspire to do the right things all the time,” she said.
She reminded young ladies that there are even institutions in the country that would not want to employ women because of issues of maternity leaves. “As unfair as it may be but it is happening so I will advise you to work hard and take your chances when they come your way,” she said.
Commenting on the importance of Mentorship and Networking, Fatou said: “I think all developing professionals need mentorship and Networking to be able to have a breakthrough. This is why it is important for all of you to leave this room today with something that you will use as guidance to help shape your careers.”
Also inspiring the young finance studies, Mass Manjang, director of finance at Ecobank said the challenge remains how fresh graduates will be able to find jobs in a small job market.
“I see learning and experience as very important instruments because whatever you do today, you need to be educated about it. This is why you see even footballers going to school to prepare themselves for after football. I agree sometimes you need a little bit of luck but you have to take advantage of that opportunity and you can only do that if you are prepared with the necessary skills and experience,” he said.
He reminded the students that University Degrees alone might not be enough for them to compete in the job market.
“There has to be that hunger to succeed and how badly you need that job. In my experience, I have encountered many people with very good university degrees but they don’t perform to expectations while others who have lesser grades perform very well,” he added.
Manjang said it “very important” to have analytical and communication skills.
“You should be able to use your skill to convince people to give you jobs. It is also important that we are versatile – you have to try and know a bit of everything at all times,” he said.