Guest Post: This is why talent just won’t cut it anymore

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Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash

Earlier this week, CR7 won his fifth Ballon d’or, the highest individual award any football player on the planet could ever wish for, a joint record between him and Lionel Messi and no other Player has ever won the prestigeous award this many times.

In his acceptance speech, Ronaldo was asked to indicate who he felt was the next CR7 or Lionel Messi, his response was really nothing short of an eye opener and an excerpt of his speech can be found below:

“The next Ronaldo or Messi doesn’t exist. Every player has his own style. There are a lot of players with the potential to win it. That’s not enough though, you have to be professional, there are many examples of that. You have to win big things at the right time and have a bit of luck. Talent and Potential don’t win you anything. Talent is important but you have to train and work hard. If you’re not disciplined, forget it.”

This hit me. I’m 25 years old and I have a strong belief that with my talent and potential, I can become an executive within the next 5/6 years.  But after hearing this speech I though, “So what if I have the potential?” I mean, a lot of my peers probably feel the same way but what else am I doing to set myself apart? Am I just riding on the fact that I believe I have the talent and potential to arrive at my desired destination or am I actually putting in the hours apart from the normal 9 – 5 ? Am I disciplined enough to push myself to the limits and beyond? Am I constantly preparing myself to ensure that im ready to grab the next exciting opportunity? Am I satisfied with the idea of my potential to the point that I don’t really nurture my talent to take me to the next level?

Am I professional enough for people to use me as a reference in their conversations or, have my qualifications tricked me into believing that all my efforts thus far are sufficient? The unfortunate answer is that I’ve been operating in a hidden comfort zone and its high time that I start thinking about how I can do more.

For as long as we continue to pride ourselves purely in our talents  /potential /qualifications /titles, true growth will forever elude us. we need to wake up and strive to make things happen, we need to learn how to work hard towards improving and nourishing our talents, we need to strive for perfection, we need to desperately seek personal mastery and at the heart of everything, we need to be patient but always prepared for the next challenge. our talents and potential can easily become our worst enemies.

24785221_1717008128333952_4722150790596879878_oGuest Post Author: Atticus Tshepo Matlebyane

“For at the hands of worldly logic, my dreams suffered the most and my talents witnessed the wrath of the soil.”

A hopelessly enthusiastic young individual who actually believes that human-beings can fly!

University of Johannesburg  alumnus (Bachelor of Commerce Honours degree in Marketing Management) and Industrial Psychology, Business Management and Marketing enthusiast . Currently works at Africa’s largest bank as a senior segment analyst while hustling for a part time lecturing and radio gig.

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The 9 highest paying jobs for millennials (you’ll be surprised)

This week, as I was browsing the World Wide Web for some blog post inspo, I stumbled upon the most interesting post titled The 9 Highest-Paying Jobs for Millennials“. I thought it would be interesting to have a look because immediately I had made an assumption around what the jobs would be and secondly, you know, just for control haha, “am I positioning myself and my career in the right way?”.

So I clicked on the article on Entrepreneur.com which can be found here  and to my surprise… all of the jobs which were listed were incredibly traditional. What I mean by traditional is that they were not at all a representation of the future world of work. If you are curious but too lazy (read: too invested in my article) to leave and go read the other article in the link, the jobs listed can be read below:

  • Accountant
  • Operations Research Analyst
  • Radiation Therapist
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Software Developer
  • Actuary
  • Financial Advisor

So as you can see from this list… very traditional and “normal”. Granted, the rules used to develop the list looked at the most high paying jobs first and then whether they were occupied by millennials, which essentially skewed the outcome however, this discovery beckoned some question in my mind….

Are millennials as a market/commodity being undervalued?

With so many millennials entering the economy, by virtue of their volume, this grouping will influence service delivery, shape product features and drive organizations to re-evaluate how employees are engaged, motivated and remunerated. But with all of this being said, South Africa (which possesses a much younger aged population) seems to only be pondering about the possibility of this new age in a way that can make one think that it’s only a future reality. I fully understand that the rise of each generation brings about exponential change and an environment that has never been experienced before. Millennials have brought about a digital age along with big data and they’re begging for engagement and interplay in this environment. Because I don’t see this happening my question then becomes: “are millennials as a market/commodity being undervalued? Do corporates/ businesses/ the economy not see the value of focusing on them and investing in the mastery of millennials as a micro- sector of sorts?”

Are millennials being used as SMEs in the workplace to build and shape rules of engagement/ products and services for other millennials?

Because we know the roles of the “new age” (Google top 10 roles that exist/will exist in that future that have never existed before) have been identified and are being staffed in different industries, is the collective value of these roles being overlooked by attaching lower salary tags to them? and secondly I wonder whether millennials occupy these roles or is millennial employee confidence so low that millennials cannot be trusted to launch new business units/ operations before they wave their employees goodbye (to run off into the sunset with a round trip ticket… or to start their own companies and run wild in a space free of bureaucracy or something else millennially haha). Either way, whatever is happening in this situation is a loss on all fronts because corporations are sleeping on innate industry experts internally who can help master a market of consumers that plug into almost any industry; and the millennial workforce is disengaged and attriting in traditional workplace settings.

However you choose to look at it though, there is 1 major thing that this article highlights and that is “money goes where there is perceived value- money attracts money” and maybe (just maybe) as a generation, we just haven’t proven ourselves enough. Hell even till today Bitcoin still has its skeptics!

5 things Americanah taught me about being African

When one gets their wisdom teeth removed, very many things can happen, one of these things, naturally as a bookworm, is having time to read. In between the moments of fatigue and pain I devoured the last few pages I had been savoring of Americanah and finally today I read the final page of an incredible journey found in a book.

As you may have read in my previous blog post (Americanah: My thoughts so far), I was initially apprehensive about reading African literature, but Chimamanda writes in such an incredible way that allows for “cop- outs” as I have alluded to before. She leaves the reader feeling included, catered for and understood in their thought process throughout the journey of reading the book irrespective of the readers background.

Having now completed Americanah, and excitingly attracted some African bloggers to my post, I can certainly say for sure that this experience has taught me the following:

1. Africa as big and diverse as it is, shares a common thread of understanding amongst its people. We all share similar perspectives of what struggle, hope, triumph and success look like.

2. Show me an African who doesn’t like America or London and I will prove to your that person is not from Africa. There’s just something about these places man haha!

3. Interracial relationships… as diverse as the world has now become, society is still very backwards. I have so much to add to this section but for now I will just say this- Chimamanda laid it down in this book! I have never felt like anyone truly understood this dynamic as much as she did when she wrote about it in the Curt chapters. I felt like I was having a DMC with a bff who finally GETS IT.

4. Blesser/blessee life is everywhere and it’s universal. It’s not a black thing.

5. African stories and story writers are out of this world. It doesn’t matter which country you’re from in Africa, we all share similar narratives. There is no better place to gain inspiration from than from an African context. There is just something that hit home when I read this book, a feeling of reading something familiar, as much as it was fictional and influenced by a Nigerian context. I truly felt at home between its modern threads as a South African.

Americanah has been such a joy. One of the realest and most relatable books I’ve read this year. It felt more like a DMC session with a good friend than it felt like reading. At the same time that I was going through this journey with Ifemelu, I felt my own mind and soul detoxing and releasing all these memories and questions I had bottled and buried far within my soul.

Final Verdict: What a joy! I cannot wait to add another one of these gems in my collection!

*If you have any recommendations for female African authors I should look out for and the titles of their books, please swing them my way in the comments section!