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Acquire skills or upgrade

Chief Executive of Vodafone Ghana, Patricia Obo-Nai, has rallied the youth to give upgrading their skill-sets serious thought, so as to become indispensable to their organisations lest they end up redundant.

Vodafone Ghana’s CEO made the call during this year’s International Youth Empowerment Summit (IYES) Virtual Conference, hosted by Pastor Brian Amoateng. According to her, she started out her career as an electrical engineer but purposed to advance, and so acquired new skill-sets by studying law and venturing into marketing and business strategic management.

Ms. Obo-Nai explained she readied herself for a leadership role and became head of the Customer Operations Team – running a commercial function that runs the company’s fixed business. She, however, warned that acquired skills can become obsolete, as the world moves at a fast pace. She stressed that professionals and the youth must continually update their skills.

“Automation is happening across the world, spanning various fields including Legal, Human Resource (HR) and Finance,” she said – noting that at Vodafone Ghana, Machine Learning is already happening with an algorithm filtering applicants seeking employment; paving the way for a video selection and recruitment.

She further pointed out that those who go through Curriculum Vitae (CV) without other skill sets will be without a job. Still, at Vodafone Ghana, she submitted, “at the back office, there are robots helping the team respond to customers”.

Given that 45 percent of tasks will be automated according to a recent report, the Vodafone Ghana CEO noted taxi drivers wishing to be on the Uber platform must learn to use the app, which is an obstacle for old drivers who are not aptly skilled to use the app. With technology changing literally every two years, “When companies think of redundancy, don’t think your name will not come up – unless you are indispensable to the company,” Ms. Obo-Nai stated.

To better prepare herself for advanced roles, Patricia Obo-Nai said she “had to acquire new skills, be conversant with stakeholder engagements, work with lateral colleagues and people above my head”.

In being interviewed for the CEO position, she wasn’t asked about technology or marketing but how she would execute her role – given it was her first time -she revealed.

As a new employee who’s started earning a salary or been on the job for some time, there’s a need to keep upgrading according to Ms. Obo-Nai. She stated that whether ready or not, other people are inventing – which gives them a competitive advantage.

“There’s need to build collaborative relationships, especially as more workers operate from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our teams at Vodafone Ghana are working in squads without managers, but have to liaise and create apps and products. Then there’s the need as a worker to influence, to succeed; and if lacking, there’s a need to build it,” she added.

In being prepared for the ever-advancing work dynamics and automation, Ms. Patricia Obo-Nai touched on five elements.

Copied from:B&FT online

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