There are no shortcuts to career growth

It is important for young professionals to grow a healthy network at work. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • Growing on job: The work environment is a place where skills are built. Daniel Mugoya joined National Water and Sewerage Corporation as an intern in 2012 and recently he was appointed Branch Manager NWSC–Mukono and he shares how he managed to grow through the different ranks.

What is  the day like for a brand manager?

The day starts with a staff parade where I communicate economic briefs and get feedback on the status of the previous day’s tasks. After which we are all dismissed to head to the field, and it is from here that 90 per cent of our work is covered.

Precisely, at about 8am we are usually within Mukono District attending to customers, to ensure they are getting a quality service.

How have you managed to grow through the ranks?

Three things; God, resilience/commitment and a positive attitude.

Every new day is an opportunity that God has given us to go an extra mile and do the extraordinary. I approach every task with zeal to be the best at what I do. How one treats each level can determine their next level. For example, if you are a cleaner, be the best cleaner there is. You can never know when God will bring your breakthrough.

Momentum is key for self-drive. Keep your hope alive as you work. Be your greatest fan in your work and learn to be content with what the Lord has trusted you with.

Work without play makes one quite dull. How do you spend most of your time away from office work?

I love to spend my free time reading and involved in a bit of research. A good read enlightens and makes me knowledgeable.

What do you think makes you a good team leader and which management skills do you think make you outstanding?

Every day is an opportunity to learn new things. National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) has a great team of leaders. Learning from them overtime has improved my leadership skills and strengthened my abilities.

These skills are evidently carried on right from our managing director, Eng. Silver Mugisha, to the general manager-Kampala Water, Eng. Mahmood Lutaaya, to the senior managers we have been blessed with as a corporation.

When chanced with an opportunity, I embrace it and strongly take on each challenge fearlessly. I believe I am still a work in progress and positive to better my skills as the future unfolds.

Which entity is more sustainable between business and employment?

One thing I believe is that the grass is greener where you water it. Whatever you have in your hand is your grass, when you stop watering it, then expect it to stagnate or at the worst, die with time.

The question is, what has God put in your hands now; is it a job or a business? Water that.

What are your worst fears as a senior manager? What are your greatest challenges and how do you resolve them?

My worst fear is procrastination. I hate living in regret and being disappointed in myself. When I see an opportunity, I want, I go for it. I do not want to be in a place of “why didn’t I do it?”

I will return to God one day and He will be interested in how I used the talents I was accorded. I want the works to speak on that day, and that alone is my daily challenge to beat.

What should young professionals understand about work principles as a way to enhance their career growth?

There are no shortcuts to career growth. If you want to grow you have to accept to pull your sleeves up and work yourself crazy.

Anywhere you get a job, start working like you have no papers. Work like a school dropout who has got an opportunity on these Kampala streets and their daily lunch depends on it. Papers are not final. Your hustle should speak for itself.

Also, young professionals need to grow a healthy network at work so as to add value to them. They need to have mentors, people who have gone through the journey and have moral authority to speak into your life and career.

Young people should make meaningful friends within work circles and not gossips. What is most important is that everyone can see the problems, so your supervisors want to see the solutions, avail them.

We are in an era of abundant free knowledge online. By any click of a finger on Google, one can get answers. Avoid phrases such as “I don’t know”. Always be intentional to figure things out!

Finally, a good attitude will take you places, embrace it.

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