FIRST CLASS GRADUATES........Social and Management skills to succeed in Life

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Academic Excellence and People skills
  • What are the problems of First-class graduates?
  • Why is it difficult for them to fit into society easily?
  • Why do they not last long in paid employment?


Real-life scenarios are usually very distinct from classroom hypothesis.  Real-life deals with the real situation and real people, not objects.  Except in the field of Medicine, where they simulate with real-life videos of people with real-life disease conditions, classroom theories will have to be adapted to make them successful in real life.

The difference between the classroom and the real-life could make a lot of difference in a person's life. First-class graduates are known for their hard work at studying and understanding theories and hypothesis, but in real life, they will have to deal with human beings and machines.  While in school, you will see medical students studying all the time, and they will continue that way for years, that it becomes part of them.  Except for a few of them that are already exposed to socializing, the rest 'socialize with their books'.

A focused student can study for weeks without interacting with many people, he will just avoid them and go straight into the Library to read.  You can avoid your fellow students and be focused on your exams, research etc without a problem, they will understand.  But in real life, you cannot do so to your colleagues in the same office and get away with it.  They will gossip and spread uncomplimentary words about you, and if you will continue to focus on your work without sharing with your colleagues, know that your days of joy in the Unit is over.  I mean they will gang-up against you in every little and big ways, seeking for an opportunity to 'deal with you.

This scenario I have painted here shows that the work attitude in the University is different from the attitude in the corporate world.  You need to be focused to come out with flying colours in the University, but you don't need that kind of focus to succeed in the corporate world.  If you will transfer the attitude in the Schools to the corporate world, you will fail, if you will transfer your attitude from the business world to the school, you will also fail.  

If you love socializing with everyone and celebrating birthdays, marriage anniversaries, child dedications, house warming ceremonies, while in the University, you will not only miss classes, you will miss class tests and even exams.  The result of all that will be a third-class degree.

This is the problem with many first-class graduates, especially those that have not returned back to school for Masters or PhD, they find it difficult to change their attitude of five to six years, all of a sudden. People view them as too academic in the office, and many times they do not even know how to socialize.  They won't attend your events and they find it difficult to back-stop anybody in the office.  Team play, which is very important for Unit or departmental success is strange to them.

It is for these reasons that many first-class graduates struggle with their first employment after school.  They desire to show the class, they are made of, but the environment is not suitable.  This is also why experienced human resources manager, will assign such guys to the research unit, at least for the first years to allow them to understand how the office functions, train them on the job before re-posting them to their authentic Units in the organization.  In this write-up, I will seek to provide some answers as, to why first-class graduates may not necessarily become a first-class personality in real life, except they work it out.

Real-Life Environment
After concentrating all their energy in acquiring the first-class grades, the graduate transits into a society where first-class grades don’t necessarily matter.  The excellent grade is okay, but the person with excellent personality will rise first in the office, before the man with a first-class degree.  In real life, you need more than the ability to read, memorize and pass exams.  You need technical skills, good relationship skills, vision, hard work, perseverance and faith in God to succeed.  So, it takes more to succeed in real life of competition and strength. You need confidence or put simply...Boldness to confront whatever is confronting you.  

A first-class personality comes with time and experience. You need a lot of people skills and professional expertise to arrive at first-class personality.  You will learn to take your eyes off the certificate and focus on doing your job well and better day by day.  You would learn to come under the authority of people senior to you in the office, though they may not have what you have. how to humble yourself before all people, giving respect and honour to whom it is due.

First-class graduates are people who devote their time to studying.  They seldom make provision for social outings, no matter the event.  They usually remain in school, studying, and as a consequence, they are good in their discipline.  They are library to Hostel and classroom students.  They make few friends, within their school also.

People Skills required
They attend important events if it did not clash with his study schedule, and most time, he would get there late, when the event is over.  If anyone continues with this kind of attitude in the corporate office, he will make a 'ship-wreck' of relationship with others.  At least 50% or more of the graduates working today, got their job connection from friends, not their parents.  But what would you do when you don't have friends because you were focused on your studies.  Medical students get away with this because they are trained for Hospitals and while there, they meet senior Doctors and its easy for them to blend and mix with the hospital community.

In life, people with an average grade, but rich in wisdom and sagacity seem to succeed more than academically sound people.  People who will not accept a NO for an answer, people who would get up from where they have fallen each time and continue, are the people ruling the world..

Do not Focus on Certificate
For Christians, we know that certificate does not determine what you become in life, it can assist you, the knowledge you gained can be helpful, but it is not the certificate that determines what you get in life.  This is why you have many first-class graduates who are stranded today, many professors who are poor and also stranded, and a lot of them driving Taxi Cabs and doing other menial jobs in Europe and America.  

It is your love for God and the relationship you have with His Son, Jesus Christ that determines what you become on earth.  The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof.  God owns everything on earth...All the money is His.  For anyone to look up to certificate or your parent's connections, instead of God is a destiny error.

All eyes look to God for sustenance.  Every single living being depends on the Lord.  I remember when I was writing my professional Accounting exams, and I thought once I qualify as a Chartered Accountant, A and B will surely fall into place, but it did not happen.  The same happened when I was writing Bankers' examination, Systems Audit Certification, down to Stockbroking exams, but it never happened the way I thought or planned.  Friends, the bible say every good and perfect gift comes from the Lord.  So, when you get a first-class degree, thank God for it, and then take your mind off it, place your mind and hope in the Almighty God.  Work hard and be committed to your job as though your life depends on it. 

Balancing the Game
Prof. Abletor Sedofia from University of Ghana has this to say:

“Academic excellence is overrated! Did I just say that? Oh, yes, I said it. Being top of your class does not necessarily guarantee that you will be at the top of life.  
You could graduate as the best student in Finance but it doesn’t mean you will make more money than everybody else. The best graduating Law student does not necessarily become the best lawyer.  The fact is life requires more than the ability to understand a concept, memorise it and reproduce it in an exam.

School rewards people for their memory. Life rewards people for their imagination and innovations. School rewards caution life rewards daring. School hails those who live by the rules. Life exalts those who break the rules and set new ones.  
So do I mean people shouldn’t study hard in school? Oh, no, you should. But don’t sacrifice every other thing on the altar of First Class. Don’t limit yourself to the classroom.

Do something practical. Take a leadership position. Start a business and fail. That’s a better Entrepreneurship 101.  
Join or start an association, Contest an election and lose. Attend a seminar. …Read books outside the scope of your course.  Go on missions and win a soul for eternal rewards. Do something you believe in! Think less about becoming an excellent student but think more of becoming an excellent person. Make the world your classroom!

Solution and what to do:
First-class graduates have an illusion that weakens them.  Many of them are proud and arrogant, due to their academic achievement and this is usually their undoing.  It is for these reasons among others, that they would have to return back to the school to teach and acquire more degrees.  However, if you have a first-class and things have not been working, I will recommend the following steps and more as the Spirit of God would lead you.

1. Give your heart to Jesus Christ and receive Him as your Lord and personal Saviour.  This is the relationship that opens the doors to all impossibilities in your life. Study the Bible to know Him deeper.

2. Surrender the certificate to the Almighty God, thank Him for His mercies that gave you the good grades and not your wisdom and prayerfully ask Him to bless the works of your hands.

Financial Management Skills
When you have known the Word and the fact that God does not like failure, and does not encourage it, you should acquire some financial management skills and be jealous to play to the rules in managing your small and big financial resources.  Most rich people don’t waste resources by careless living and that’s part of how they built their businesses and maintain their wealth. There’s a difference between living a life of careless spending (which will quickly drain even a wealthy person’s bank account) and living for long-term financial independence and wealth.

The self-made rich aren’t necessarily smarter than anyone else, but they have mastered some important principles that help them get ahead and stay ahead. Most importantly, they treat building wealth as a learnable skill. So, if you want to be rich, you have to drop your certificate and learn these financial management habits. 

Have a financial growth mindset.
Wealthy people are incredibly creative when it comes to thinking about business and finding different ways of making money. Mega-successful people set themselves apart because they nurture a financial growth mindset, which changes how you view money and helps you focus on seeing profitable opportunities.

This mindset helps successful and wealthy people believe that there are always bigger and better projects to work on and there’s always more money to be made. They’re open to exploring new ideas. They believe they’re always capable of making changes and creating a positive outcome.

Network with people of similar beliefs.
Believers in business know the kind of businessmen and women in society today.  People who are willing to do anything to get a contract, business and remain wealthy.  So, they are prayerful and discrete in choosing who to network with, as well as who to get intimate with.  They try to identify some children of God with a similar focus in life and business and network with.

Wealthy people understand the importance of surrounding themselves with other successful people. Wealthy people spend time networking with others who are wealthy but also have drive, talent and, most importantly, the potential to become wildly successful. The rich spend time every month getting to know other like-minded people at conferences, events and gatherings, or just grabbing coffee or a drink with someone interesting.  This is time wisely invested, as it keeps their minds focused on success and helps them meet new people who have fresh and thought-provoking ideas. 

Get outside your comfort zone.
Wealthy people are successful because they have learned that success comes to those who embrace a little discomfort. They understand that the only way to really improve is to push yourself beyond your limits. If you want to become wealthy, you’re going to need to fuel your creative spark, come up with unique business ideas and then take the plunge.

Wealth and success don’t emerge from the safety of a 9-to-5 job. They come from drawing on your inner strength and going for your big dream. All successful business leaders, visionaries and game-changers have gone beyond their comfort zones in order to achieve the ultimate success. The people who will go down in history had the courage to face their fears and take that first step into the unknown.

Create multiple income Channels.
The more money you have, the easier it is to make more money. And the easiest and fastest way to make more money is to have multiple income streams. That way you always have money coming in and can use the excess income to invest in new income flows. This, in a nutshell, is the primary way the wealthy stay wealthy.

There are two basic forms of income: active income, in which you work for the money you make, and passive income, in which payment isn’t directly tied to the number of hours you work. Passive income includes rental property, dividend stocks, index funds, writing a book or creating an app, all of which will bring in a steady flow of income from sales or royalties.

Seek profitable projects to invest 
Rich people make their money work for them. They know that investing is the key to growing their finances. While saving money for a rainy day is important, your investments are going to do the heavy lifting to help you become wealthy.

Saving means putting money into a safe place until you want to retrieve it, but most savings accounts don’t yield high interest, so this pile of money basically stays static -- it’s not going to grow much beyond what you add. But smart investments will give you healthy returns, which you can then reinvest. When you invest in something, you also accept some amount of risk, so you never want to invest more than you can afford to lose.

Take calculated risks.
The rich don’t gamble on big financial decisions; they do what they can to mitigate risk. They do their research and analysis and determine which options best suit their financial needs and business desires. They weigh the pros and cons and then take calculated risks.

They make financial decisions by asking themselves, “Will this bring me closer to my goal?” They avoid frivolous risks that aren’t really going to benefit them, and never take a cavalier attitude when it comes to money.

Focus on self-improvement.
Wealthy people are usually avid readers, but you won’t find many mindless beach novels in their bookcases. The wealthy understand the importance of self-education and pushing themselves to become better in all ways. In fact, if you look at the books piled by their beds, you’ll mostly find titles on self-improvement.

While 85 per cent of rich people read two or more self-improvement books per month, only 11 per cent read for entertainment, compared to 79 per cent of the poor. And a whopping 94 per cent of wealthy people read news publications, compared to 11 per cent of non-wealthy people.

Never compromise your faith, Never retire.
Never compromise your faith, never retire from doing good as a believer. The ultra-rich certainly have enough money to never work another day in their life, but the majority of them keep working, at least to some degree, often well past 70. That doesn’t mean they’re clocking long days at the office; indeed, they’re probably taking their fair share of vacations and enjoying flexible schedules. But many rich people never completely retire. This is not because they can’t afford to, but because they enjoy what they do.

Many are entrepreneurs at heart, and the desire to run and grow a business never leaves them. The stability of working and the sense of purpose and fulfilment it gives them is an important part of their overall happiness. Working gives them an ongoing feeling of success and an objective to keep them focused. Not to mention that it keeps the money rolling in!

Avoid overspending.
While non-wealthy people daydream about spending money without worry, buying fancy cars, big houses and expensive clothes, the rich understand that the more money you spend, the less you have. The wealthy wouldn’t stay wealthy long if they spent excessively. No matter how much money you earn, you’ll always be poor if you spend more than you make.

The rich recognize that the less you spend, the more money you have to grow your wealth. Keep in mind that frugality is relative to your income -- a wealthy person may spend much more than someone who is considered middle class. But in relative terms, the rich tend to be thrifty, and they make sure they don’t overspend.

Meditate on the Word of God, your life.
Many of the Christian wealthy men spend time in the presence of God daily through the study and meditating on the Word of God.  They spending 30 minutes (or more) in a quiet space gives them time to reflect on their life and goals, to think about their health and relationships, consider their career and financial goals, and analyze where they’re currently at and where they want to be. Critical thinking time is essential to staying ahead of the market and considering what changes may be coming your way.

This is also a time to focus on what God expects from him as a born again businessman or woman in the face of falsehood and deception in society.  Honesty and fear of God are keys to remaining faithful to the word of God in business.


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