Prepare to change your career (Part 1)

__Imagine a new world, beyond what you see and know today!

As the New Year approaches, let’s start planning ahead. Look around you, what do you see? I’ll say that time and again. Now is the time to start preparing for the future, because it’s already here! Are you ready?

The other day in New York I took a ride in an Uber (by now you already know what that is, so I won’t explain) and struck up a conversation with the driver.

“So how long have you driven for Uber?”

“About three years.”

“What did you do before you went to Uber?”

“I had another career”

“What, may I ask?”

“I drove a Yellow Cab.”

We continued to talk, as I pumped him for information about Uber and its business model, from the perspective of a driver who is himself an entrepreneur.

“So, do you make more money now?”

“In the beginning we made a lot of money. Now it’s more competitive. There are more Uber drivers and more competitors to Uber itself.”

“So, what happens now?”

“In a few years, drivers like me will be replaced by driverless cars,” he said. “You know about the race to get driverless cars on the road, sir?”

“Yes, I’m following it closely.”

“Do you think it is a good thing to replace humans with driverless cars?”

I didn’t answer him, but instead posed a question. (I estimated he was about 30 years old).

“So, what will you do?”

“Me? I will change my career again; I’m already preparing because I want to be ready.”

“You are a wise man. Thanks for the ride.” And with that I went my way.

Something he said really got me thinking: “I will change my career again.”

What particularly impressed me was his attitude towards it all: He accepted this change as normal. He was positive even. It’s not always so when I meet people and discuss something like this. Often I hear fear, bitterness and anger towards something or somebody!

Each one of us (myself included) must now change our careers at least every five years. That’s the new normal… but how many of us realize this?

Changing your career does not necessarily mean changing your job or employer, but the job you do and how it’s done will change constantly or it might disappear completely!

If you’ve been feeling that you’re not moving forward, or that you’re sliding backwards in your career, it may well be because you didn’t see this change happening around you. Perhaps you don’t “see” the new normal, where change is the only constant.

Does that make you feel uncomfortable? I’m not here to help you feel comfortable with yourself. I want you to make adjustments that will help make you a winner. If that doesn’t happen, you could end up feeling confused, angry and frustrated by things mostly outside your control.

__How well prepared are you for the changes occurring around you?

Almost 25 years ago now, our company imagined a world of African telecommunications beyond telephone landlines. Back then, most people everywhere (not just in Africa) still thought having “a phone in your handbag” sounded quite absurd! Now look where we are!

What do YOU see and imagine when you look at the horizon ahead? Might you have the vision to look even BEYOND that first horizon to something as yet unimagined?

Wherever you are, get ready for the future. It is coming, and it’s coming fast, and you better get ready.

It’s not just about technology or globalization; it’s much more profound than that, and I’ll talk about it as part of this series.

To be continued. . .

by 26 Replies

About Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet, a diversified global telecommunications group with operations and investments in over 15 countries. His business interests also include renewable energy, financial services, media and hospitality. Masiyiwa serves on a number of international boards, including Unilever, Rockefeller Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Advisory Board, the Africa Progress Panel, the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board for Sustainable Energy, Morehouse College, Hilton Foundation's Humanitarian Prize Jury and the Kenjin-Tatsujin International Advisory Council. He is one of the founders, with Sir Richard Branson, of the global think tank, the Carbon War Room, and a founding member of the Global Business Coalition on Education. Masiyiwa took over the Chairmanship of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) from Kofi Annan. He is also Chair of the Micronutrient Initiative, a global organization focused on ending child hunger and improving nutrition. In 2012, Masiyiwa was invited by President Obama to address leaders at the Camp David G-8 Summit on how to increase food production and end hunger in parts of Africa. In 2014, Masiyiwa was selected to Fortune Magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”. As a philanthropist, he is a member of the Giving Pledge, and his contributions to education, health and development have been widely recognized. Masiyiwa and his wife finance the Higher Life Foundation, which provides scholarships to over 42,000 African orphans. In 2015, he was the recipient of the International Rescue Committee’s Freedom Award and was presented with a UN Foundation Global Leadership Award for the work of the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust, which he chairs and helped establish to fund the deployment of African healthcare workers to combat the outbreak in West Africa.

26 thoughts on “Prepare to change your career (Part 1)

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1. All our future careers will be like the careers of elite sports people: If you play soccer at the top of the game, you understand that by the time you get to 33 years old, you move on. And if you haven’t prepared properly, you’ll be in trouble. (A well advised top player knows they must save money, and train for a new career which might be in coaching or as a TV presenter, or something else.) This is how it will be for everybody from now on, irrespective of what you do!

    • Lombe Ng'andu

      What’s the hope for an uneducated man, who can neither read or write, who earns his living through physical labour.

  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    #My Special Announcement:
    In January we will announce an Internship competition for two entrepreneurs who will get an opportunity to spend time at one of our businesses, as well as one week traveling with me as I go about my business. Details of how to participate will be released before the end of January. It will be open to anyone (from anywhere in the world) who currently participates in my Facebook forum, and is familiar with things I have been teaching on entrepreneurship.

    • Bethelhem

      Dear Strive Massiyawa,
      We (my husband and I) very much apprecitate your contribution to African growth and development in general. Your thoughts are always of a great value and honor. We are really proud of your tireless effort to put our continent on the right track. We appreciate if we could partner with your thoughts and business plans in any possible means. Especially with the Kwese TV extensions through Ethiopia where footbal is celebrated and loved very much. With this intention, DStv has got the big attraction in the country than most of the countries in the region. We are really interested in media. I am a gospel singer and used to host a talk show on social issues and my husband also run a Christian media ministry with accademic background in Journalism & communications. We would love to hear from you.

  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    I read somewhere that a Prussian (former name for Germany) military office, invented the concept of a “classroom” for teaching children, less than 200 years ago. Just imagine that:
    Someone invented the idea of organizing kids into age groups, and putting them into a “classroom”. I wonder how it will be done 50-100 years from now? Maybe kids will learn online, and only come to school to play with others. What will be the career of a teacher?
    In places like South Korea, and Singapore, they are already redesigning the teaching experience. Maybe the next concept of “classroom” will come from an African social entrepreneur like you, or a young teacher in Ghana, or Togo. Is it you?
    What did the Tentmaker say?
    Everything we can see is subject to change.

  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Cronaldo from Angola, writes:

    Hello dr. Strive i have follow your posts from Angola, it seem as if you have dedicate your life only to write for us, e consider you as my entrepreneurship professor I am planning to give my first steps in the world of the business. My question is why don’t you say about Angola in your posts? You have tell things about Zambia, Nigeria, Botswana, etc Angola is Currently the most oil producer in Africa one of the most valuable resource, we overtook Nigeria, we have gold, copper, coal and too many others, in the precipitate average Angola is the fastest growing economy in Africa in the last few years, why don’t you open too many business in Angola as you use to do in another country? Is the language your biggest concern? Why don’t you visit us I will be proud to receive you here you are s blessing for Africa I have just visit pages of some famous in the business such as Bill Gate, and others I have never see teachings like yours thanks my handsome professor.

    My reply,
    I have visited Angola several times, and have always been impressed by how it got itself going after the war. For sure there is much to do, like in many other African countries.
    We have explored many opportunities to enter the Angola market, but they have not occurred for any number of reasons. I will not stop trying.
    Our Kwesé Mobile Tv (Kwese App) is now available in Angola. Several Angolan TV stations like Zap are using programming from us including basketball and Brazilian Soccer.
    I want to do more, and I will not stop trying.
    Hope to see you.
    Please translate some of my posts into Portuguese for your friends.

  5. Tanzanite Mlay

    I look foward to a great learning experience from you Sir, as I embark on my entrepreneurial journey!

    May God bless you for your endless generousity!

  6. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Mpho, writes:

    @ Emeka Ulor, he just used football as an example. the concept is that you must transform as you move on with your career or business Eg the Econet you hear or see today is not the same as the one that started in the 90s.the same to your Naspers,MTN etc. The problem is that if they stay the same ,they might end up becoming irrelevant in the future.Hope you get the picture

    My reply,
    Thank you for that clarification. That is exactly what I meant.

  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Bianca, writes:

    So true hey! Isn’t it interesting that Serena has shifted her focus to showbiz, despite her fans’ disappointment as they continually urge her to get back on court. Of late, Usain Bolt has shown a shifting in future career. Thanks for putting it into perspective as I’m now looking at my own job and scouting for ways to be the one to initiate the remodeling.

    My reply,
    If you are not the one “initiating the remodeling”, it will be done for you, in ways you may not like.
    As Americans like to say, “stay ahead of the curve”, when it comes to you own career and livelihood.
    On a separate note, Usain Bolt is set to run at the World Championships in London, in what is expected to be his last race. Guess who has the exclusive broadcasting rights for the race, for the whole of Africa?!

  8. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Mbugua James, writes:

    I’m a teacher and I was thinking about this today!!!! Before I even saw this.
    I have been toying with the idea that might help us Africans reach 100% education access and reduce dropouts and education wastage. It’s all in technology!!
    I know Africa has solutions. And we’ll change the world!!

    My reply,
    I will be watching to see what ideas you come with. This year I really want to talk about education in Africa, like never before. I need your help.
    #Teachers matter!
    If you are a teacher and you don’t have a smartphone or better still a computer sell whatever you have and get one. Don’t wait for a government or donor to put one in your hands…I beg of you, do it, and you will not look back.

  9. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Simz Garaba, writes:

    It is my wish that at some point, In our human existence, that Africa drives global economy; that we are home to the next Bill Gates, Martin Luther King etc. People that have shaped modern perspective. I think in 50-100 years from now, Most teachings will be done online. The downside is there will be less jobs for teachers.

    My reply,
    “I think in 50-100 years from now, most teachings will be done online”… take off the zeros “it will be 5-10 years”, in many developed countries it is already happening.

    When you say, “the downside is there will be less jobs for teachers”; this is not correct; the job of teachers will change, but we will still have teachers.
    20 years ago, we had women we called “secretaries” that did the typing for the boss. Then computers came, the bosses did their own typing, but the ‘secretary’ changed her role completely, and became an Assistant, so did the job–it became more complex, and challenging.

  10. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Here is one more chance to win an iPad:

    I will give an iPad to the first person, to give me the correct answer to any one of these three questions:
    1. Name the 4x EPL clubs that have a regular weekly show on Kwese Sports TV channels.
    2. Name the 5 players Kwese Sports experts expect to lead the scoring. You must list them in the exact order given.
    3. Name the name of the female host of Kwese Sports’ basket ball show, Ball ‘n Africa.

    [The answers to these questions can only be found on one of the following sources:
    Kwese Free Sports TV channel, Kwese Sports 1, Kwese Sports.Com, or Kwese Sport Facebook, or the Kwese Mobile TV App (Kwese App). Educated guesses will not be considered. I will only announce the winner next Friday.]

    Happy new year!

  11. Bamidele Sulaiman

    QUE; 4 x EPL CLUBS on regular weekly show on Kwese TV channels are;
    1. Chelsea
    2. Liver pool
    3. Manchester city
    4. Arsenal.

  12. Lombe Ng'andu

    Wooow, smart man indeed… Moving with tide, he understands the times… Thank you for this one sir much appreciated…

    In this regard something in my home country, Zambia, rili bothers me. The majority of people are resistant to change, especially change in technology, even with the increase in the number of smart phones I still have people asking what is Google now, or Siri… Some reputable companies still choose not have a website or a customer app. Most people would rather be comfortable than change… This is really worrying.

  13. Beloved Desmond

    Thanks sir. Words of such and teachings are worth to keep one focus on course. I have consistently follow your Facebook page. While searching to know more about you, I was directed to you site by google. I want to seek your permission and favor to share most of your life teachings on my website platform? And I felt doing so without your permit it unlawful.

  14. Eku McGred

    Happy new year Prof Strive, thanks for being a blessing in 2016. May God multiply the fruits of your labour ten thousand times more in this new year in Jesus name


    Hi, Dr. Strive i am probably your youngest follower from Kenya, you ignite a passion so strong in me every time i read your posts.Thanks once again for the great insights i get to learn from you everyday. Sometimes i look at you and see myself, then i remind myself that its just a matter of time. Patience is Key as you have always said. I am thirsty for the entrepreneurial success especially now that i am through with my first degree. All my energy is focused on entrepreneurship. #who knows i might change my career even before i start it. (into entrepreneurship)

  16. Moses Tozivepi

    Dear sir
    I`m very grateful with your inspirational food for thoughts and support. I believe in success and I have worked hard towards my goals. I`m an 18 year old teenager who have recently completed a South African national senior certificate (2016) and look forward to further my studies. However, my problem is lack of funds despite my great achievement in matric board examinations. I have been offered a place at University of Johannesburg and Witwatersrand to study engineering or computer sciences. Both of which are in my favor. I have tried to apply for loans and bursaries but to no avail the reason being because I`m a foreign national from Zimbabwe. Being a young man with ambitious goals i thought i would rich you and ask you for your support or even advice. I look forward to hear from you and also myself giving you further details about myself. Your respond will be really appreciated.

  17. Archie MZ

    Is Kwese App free for Zimbabwe econet subscribers, the bundlea have changed, many people are complaining, i love EWZ, can you help us

  18. Bhushan Chavan

    Thanks a lot for these wonderful article and yes sometimes we just want to change our career but most of us don’t know what should be our next move but by reading your article i have clear idea of what should i do now, and on similar note recently i have came across this article which tells you about when to change your career, i hope you will like it too.


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