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Dear Class Of 2020,


All around the world in countries where the school system works, this is graduation season

Interesting as this sounds, I currently live in the city of Lagos, Nigeria, and like most cities in Africa, we would only read of graduation online – thanks to LinkedIn and her influencers all around the world.

I’m in between having a conversation of reminding you how the world has changed but I know we are aware of it.
Remembering it would be unfair to the class of 2020 in most third-world countries whose graduation would possibly be 2021, the clarity of having systems gets clearer as the task for all of us (you in particular who are the youngest solution provider).

I have been talking to friends schooling in the United States and Canada, and most schools did not pause this season; class automatically moved online.
On graduation talks for this season, “Zoom” is the new graduation hall.

The clarity of what systems mean has dawned on all of us and being at par with the global economy first has hit us where it hurts.

For this conversation, your biggest competition is not your classmates, but the global trends that would decide everything on your checklist you planned to do after you graduate college.

So to third-world countries like my native country Nigeria, that would possibly have graduation later on this year or in 2021, let’s do this.

Your biggest asset in all this is your VALUE outside the classroom.

Imagine what it feels like not showing up to graduation because of a global pandemic and no one gets to feel your UNIQUENESS.

So let’s step back, imagine everyone who you would never meet again, and figure out your way to keep being memorable in everyone’s space.

How do you show the world how great you are?

How do you not remind us of all those solutions you and all your classmates are aware of?

Let me help you.

…Your boss is not giving you free money, your resume was a barter for the amount you are paid.

This could be the best time to join online communities and groups that give you opportunities to sparkle.
From WhatsApp, to Telegram, to Zoom, all these tools are not just for fun so do not miss it.
Schools are forming new tribes and some don’t know how to key into it.
Be super intentional when you do join any and never be passive with them.
Be intentionally memorable.

Be the one who is taking the initiative.
The next generation might depend on how well you step up and push more narratives about all you stand for.

The older generation might be clueless on how to handle current change but let’s be clear, you are the next big thing. Act like one…everyone is searching for the next kid on the block.
Be the next kid and be MORE.

These tools were made more popular in your era ;
Zoom,
LinkedIn,
WhatsApp groups,
Instagram,
Telegram, Microsoft teams, and google tools.
Take note of them. Your next best strategist and digital influencer must understand them. Show how you used it for your team and how you can do it for the new era.

The word “communities” took a new meaning too and TikTok is not just a social media tool. It is an audition for everyone. Look closely at the actors on it. They are showing versatility and auditioning their craft. Don’t get carried away with the fun, look beyond it.

If you have your way around these, make them your go-to tools because, in this new future, they would determine how the next generation would communicate.

It is easy to know, and I would help you a bit.
Ten years ago, there was Facebook and Twitter and most of us were still playing around these tools but you see the ones who made so much noise about it and who were consistently around, they became the new rockstars.
Their skill shot up when the noise settled.

The shift was fast. With time they taught us how to use the same tools and were paid more because they were great at it.
Their visibility was second to none and the biggest observation was that they are self-taught.
They kept learning and putting themselves out there, and we developed the conviction they are the ones to walk with.

The same would happen in your era.

Zoom or Room is synonymous with your era. Learn and teach this to your peers who feel it doesn’t matter.

Be goofy, it’s allowed, but be super memorable and choose your digital footprints, and where they appear.

The COVID-19 era gives the world an opportunity to seek new solution providers. Every time you step out to search for jobs, offer yourself as the solution of the era.

Let me explain what your first job is like and if you are lucky enough to get this right, most times, you’re in for a ride.

While at your first job, your CV is exchanged for an agreed sum of money each month, you call it your salary.

Your boss is not giving you free money, your resume was a barter for the amount you are paid.

Make sure at the end of six months you have a new resume which would include your new deliverables at work…(NOT YOUR RESUME).

It is the knowledge era, you are as great as your last deliverable.

Be fine being uncomfortable. It comes with seasons, so learn to accept to be restless and seeking for more because it keeps you on your toes. However, seek for a career coach or mentor to help always clarify your fears.
The best athletes work with a COACH, not a Mentor. They are two different things. Most times, the coach points you to the mentor but the coach keeps you disciplined.
You have heard several times that the game of life is a marathon right? Yes, it is, but if you have no one around to push you towards a goal, you might run in circles or the wrong direction outrightly.

In all, be aware the world is looking up to you because it is assumed you are the best thing out there. Yes, you are. Be kind, be humane, be great at your work, and be reminded that to be the savior of the world at a time like this means you are super valuable and your skills are essential to lives and businesses. Embrace it.
On my journey teaching and leading the next era leaders, I have worked on some digital products. This one would be your headstart in the workplace. The insights in it would help you immensely to get ahead and lead the pack.
Sign up to my newsletter so we share and learn more.

We all are watching.

Happy Graduation…and even if you would graduate in 2021, Happy graduation!

Be ahead of your time!

Charles Umeh

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