Global Influence: Career Advice on New Year's Eve

On New Year's Eve I was contacted by a gentlemen from Nigeria who reached out to me for advice on how to move his career forward. Needless to say, I was honored to have someone from more than 6,000 miles away seeking my advice on anything, let alone career advice. His inquiry came to me via an email from LinkedIn where the gentlemen, we will call him Solomon, must have found me and my LinkedIn profile. Again, I am honored that Solomon sought me out and asked me for career advice, which I happily provided. I share this here because there may be something we can all learn from Solomon’s situation.

My response to Solomon was based on his resume which he sent for my review and what additional facts I could glean from his LinkedIn profile.

Hello Solomon,
The way forward will depend on your career objectives and goals. You have a rich background in electrical engineering and it appears as if you lean toward the Quality aspects of your profession. You carry valuable credentials which I am sure are highly-regarded by your peers and those you serve in your occupation. I will provide you with multiple recommendations for your consideration. These recommendations are fairly general since your stated objective is relatively broad. 
My recommendations include the following... 

Consider ASQ membership and consider getting involved with ASQ in your local geographic location. Being a member is good and you can benefit from networking with other quality professionals. But getting involved in the leadership of your local chapter/section of ASQ will add value to your career and enhance your resume
Consider ASQ credentials such as the Certified Calibration Technician, Quality Auditor, Quality Technician, Quality Inspector, etc. Adding one or more of these to your resume could be part of your plan to move your career forward. 
Consider getting published. Become recognized for what you know by getting published in relevant trade journals. Consider the journals you read. Can you imagine yourself writing articles for publication in these magazines? This will add credibility to what you know and enhance your resume.
Consider teaching. When you teach, you learn twice! Consider giving back by teaching others your trade. Look to the institutions where you attended to earn your credentials and check to see what it would take to qualify as an adjunct instructor. If you don't quite meet the requirements yet, figure out what it would take and work toward that goal. Teaching in your field will add credibility and enhance the resume. 
Consider furthering your education. Occupational specialty certificates from trade schools are great, but degrees should be considered as well. I would recommend a business degree or an engineering degree or both for you; either should help advance your career. All that you have accomplished (if I understand it all correctly) is outstanding but a bachelor degree will certainly go a long way toward helping your career. Make education a lifelong goal. Get your bachelor degree (business or engineering) then consider an MBA. 
Consider mentoring others. Helping others achieve their goals can be very rewarding. The more you help others the better known you will be for developing others to reach their own potential. This is a good way to give back to your community and a great way to develop your own network of colleagues who will speak highly of you and partially credit you for their success.  
I hope these recommendations help. All that you have done to date is fantastic. Forge ahead in these area and you cannot go wrong. 
Happy New Year's Eve! 
 As a follow-up to my advice to Solomon, he has since written me back to indicate he has started the process of getting his bachelor of engineering degree, which will begin the first quarter of this year. He also indicates he is now a member of both IEEE and ASQ and is scheduled to take the ASQ-CQI exam in March. Remember, Solomon first contacted me only 24 days ago on New Year’s Eve. Nicely done Solomon!

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