Some ugly truths about career.

Some ugly truths about career.

One of the best sessions I have had in my training career was my PMP weekday class in June this year.

In the class was a HR Manager of one of the leading banks in Nigeria, a retired Oil worker who worked with an Oil major for 20 years.

While we were treating project human resource management, the retired Oil worker shared with us that in the corporate ladder, high performing talent is not enough. He stated that technical skills can only get you to an extent and that to go further, you need to know how to play office politics, build cross functional relationships and the proverbial a** licking. Guess what, the HR Manager corroborated this assertion. So I did a study around this and came up with some ugly truths about career. find below.

1. You don’t have to be the smartest or best at what you do to get to the top

Have you ever talked to a senior executive and wonder how in the world did this person ever get so high up in a company. They have no idea what they are doing.

Well there is a common misconception that only the smartest or most qualified make it to the highest ranks of a company.

In reality, it is the people who are the best at understanding corporate politics, building cross-functional relationships, and developing high performing talent that makes their way to the top.

Once you start progressing into the ranks of senior manager or director, high performing individuals start being defined by their people and soft skills. The hard skills that you pick up earlier in your career as a specialist in an area matter less because you hire people to do that work for you.

I have seen many people get frustrated when their careers plateau as middle managers and feel cheated when their peers who seem less qualified get promoted. Most corporations aren’t places of meritocracy.

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(RADIO INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT) IMPORTANCE OF CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS TO YOUR CAREER

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Radio Presenter: Good morning. Today we are going to be discussing Importance of Certification in Career Development.

With us are Mary Adebusoye, she’s the General Manager of Ciel Consulting. Also with us is Obalim Esedebe - Senior Consultant of Ciel Consulting. Ciel Consulting is a Globally recognised training and certifications firm, with portfolios covering training, certifications, and consulting in Project Management, Business Analysis, Safety Courses, HR courses and IT Courses like ITIL, CEH and CISSP..

(Turns to the Ciel Team and asks)

So Mr. Obalim, I hear a lot about professional training and certifications. The trend and enthusiasm about these training have been on the increase in the last 5 years. Why the mad rush? What exactly is the value of these training and certifications? Why should I invest my time, effort and perhaps effort to get these certifications?

Obalim: Firstly, you would agree with me that having an ordinary university degree is never enough in today’s competitive world. In your career, you’ll be in stiff competition with people with advanced degrees, certifications and even foreign degrees of all sorts. The question is “what “extra” do you have to give you the advantage in your career?

When you consider the opportunities the world offers the certified professional, you’ll understand why a lot of people go for these certification programs. Firstly, there’s the income advantage. Certified professionals earn 20 - 25% on average more than their peers in the same industry. Then there’s more employment and promotion opportunities, not to talk about job security. You get to execute your work more effectively and efficiently, and become more noticeable to management. Then there’s international/global recognition for your certification, anywhere in the world. This would come in handy if you decide to relocate or migrate to any country of the world.

Radio Presenter: You raised a very important point. Speaking about global recognition and migration - I know a number of people who traveled to the US or Canada and had difficulty getting good jobs. Would you say not having a certification caused this prolonged period of difficulty?

Mary: Honestly, you cannot totally remove that factor. It’s unfortunate that our university degrees in Nigeria are not globally recognized. According to the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, there’s no local Nigerian university in the list of the top 600 universities in the world. This means that holding our degrees translate into more difficulty securing good jobs overseas. So basically, it would be to your advantage to have a certificate, academic or professional, that is globally recognized. Anywhere in the world, if you hold a PMP, or a CBAP, or a PHRI, professionals in that field instantly recognize you. The international labour market instantly recognizes you. These professional bodies have networking communities that can form the foundation for your networking activities. What’s there to lose? And we’ve not even started talking about the “Hot Cake” factor.

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Radio Presenter: The “Hot Cake” factor? What’s that?

Obalim: There are numbers of awesome certification programs that pay wonderfully well in Canada and other Western countries. Business Analysts for instance earn between 80, 281 to 136, 400 Canadian dollars a year. Certified HR Managers earn as high as 130 000 Canadian dollars. They earn this much because these certifications - like business analysis, project management, human resources management and a number of these IT courses are very much in demand, owing to the nature of the business environment there. In fact, in the last 3 years, when we looked at data from our training programs, about 73% of training and certification participants were doing it, because they had plans or arrangements to relocate overseas. So a certification becomes a plus factor, and added attractiveness factor on their profiles.

Radio Presenter: Oh I see. So tell me; if I want to take a certification program, why should I come for Ciel Consulting. What is it I’d get from you that I can’t get from the numerous consulting outfits scattered around Lagos?

Mary: Firstly, our training and certification package is full and considers the end-to-end needs of our clients/participants. Yes, we provide training, but that’s just a small part of the package. And then you receive first-rate examination preparation materials (totaling about N60000 in value), you get to learn introductory Primavera, Project and Visio on the last day, depending on the program you applied for, you get a study program to maximize your study for the exam, and then exam preparation tests or boot-camp where we introduce you to as much past questions from the PMP/BA so that you are familiar with exam scenarios, and we also help with examination registration, career advice and CV rewrite.

Radio Presenter: Wait a minute. All of this is in one package?

Obalim: Yes. And there’s the added promise that if you come in for our classes and you’re not satisfied with what you get, we will give you a 100% refund of your money. That’s guaranteed!!!

Radio Presenter: Wonderful...so how much does this package go for?

Obalim: It goes for only N69, 999 - the classes, the materials, including and examination preparation book, the career consulting, CV rewrite, examination registration, study program, Primavera, MS Project. For the Project Management package, it’s N69, 999. There’s also a package for Business Analysis, HRM, HSE, Facility Management and so forth. All of these can be accessed on our website, www. Cielgr.com, or you could call our helplines: 08091592389, or 08072678355.

Watch out for This Weeks Edition, Thursday 28th March. Thanks for listening in.

9 Important Documents created by every Business Analyst (Part 2)

Documentation is one of the integral job functions of a business analyst and he, throughout the course of a project, prepares many documents. These documents are created to fulfill the varied project needs and cater to audiences belonging to different spheres of a project.

The type and specifications a business analyst is expected to create in an organization depends upon many parameters like organization’s processes and policies, need and expectations of the business, and the stakeholder requirements. Detailed below are the common documents a business analyst is expected to create and they are extensively used throughout the course of a project. Each of these documents has a specific template and it’s a part of the overall project documentation. The documents are:

  • Project vision Document

  • Requirement Management Plan

  • User stories

  • Use cases

  • Business Requirement Document

  • Requirement traceability matrix (RTM)

  • Functional requirement specification (FRS)/ Functional Specification Document (FSD)

  • System requirement specification (SRS)/ System Requirement Document (SRD)

  • Test case

Let’s discuss the second part of these documents in details, as we discussed 4 of these important documents last week.

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9 Important Documents created by every Business Analyst (Part 1)

Documentation is one of the integral job functions of a business analyst and he, throughout the course of a project, prepares many documents. These documents are created to fulfill the varied project needs and cater to audiences belonging to different spheres of a project.

The type and specifications a business analyst is expected to create in an organization depends upon many parameters like organization’s processes and policies, need and expectations of the business, and the stakeholder requirements. Detailed below are the common documents a business analyst is expected to create and they are extensively used throughout the course of a project. Each of these documents has a specific template and it’s a part of the overall project documentation. The documents are:

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How to Identify and Source Business Needs for Analysis

Business analysis work begins with the discovery of a business need. Business needs are problems or opportunities of strategic importance to the organisation.

A good example of a business need that can trigger a comprehensive BA work would be: customers from certain parts of the world experiencing slow performance on a website that they have paid to have access to premium content.

If the complaints reach a certain level, they can become business needs that may trigger an assessment for possible changes.

According to the BABOK, business needs can come from a variety of internal and/or external sources including the following below.

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8 Essential Business Analysis Questions for a Successful Elicitation Session

“Guiding” elicitation means to think of the right questions to ask to obtain the desired outcomes from elicitation.

To achieve this clarity and focus, the business analyst needs to keep 8 important questions in mind while conducting his elicitation sessions. Think of these as the “eight essential business analysis questions.”

They are:

1.       What are my elicitation activity goals and agenda?

2.      What is the scope of the change?

3.      What type of output will each activity produce?

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Can a “pain letter” alleviate your pain in searching for a job?

Can a “pain letter” alleviate your pain in searching for a job?

So there’s been this relatively recent term that’s used in the HR and job-searching circles. You might have come across it, or perhaps not yet. But if you haven’t, I’m here to introduce you to it. It’s called a “Pain Letter.”


A Pain Letter is like a cover letter, but it is much more powerful than a cover letter. A Pain Letter doesn’t talk about you, the way a traditional cover letter does. It talks about the letter’s recipient instead – your hiring manager.

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These simple career hacks will take you places

These simple career hacks will take you places

Everyone wants to advance at the workplace. Better jobs, better remuneration, more opportunities are just a few of the benefits of success in the work environment. And while it's easy to describe what the "goodies" look like, it sometimes can be a challenge determining how to rise to the heights that deliver those benefits.

I decided to create this blog post to make simpler the process of advancing on to greater things at your place of work. There you have it: simple career hacks that will help you go far in your career.

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A RACI MATRIX: What Does that Even Mean?

A RACI MATRIX: What Does that Even Mean?

A RACI matrix, also known as Responsibility Assignment Matrix is a very powerful tool used to ensure that roles and processes in a company are well aligned. As you go through the various process steps (or activity), it enables you assign responsibilities to all the roles involved. It provides understanding about how to relate with personnel with respect to the various processes in the flow.

A discussion about roles and responsibility can help facilitate stakeholder understanding of various roles and responsibilities, as well as how the Project Manager should relate with them in the light of these definitions.

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How do Recruiters Evaluate and Select Resumes?

How do Recruiters Evaluate and Select Resumes?

I’ve had the privilege of sampling opinions and ideas from firms in a few industries, and while I can’t speak for the world, but I at least have an idea as to how this process works, especially as it is identical in most of the industries sampled. I also have evaluated pools of people for recruitment.

In a previous blog post where I discussed resumes, I stated that the time taken to read them varies, but not much. It usually takes between 10 and 15 seconds. 

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What is the Best Way to Prepare for the Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam?

What is the Best Way to Prepare for the Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam?

PMP certification is regarded as highly prestigious among project management certifications, and perhaps one of the top reasons for this prestige would be the difficulty of the exam.

If you want to pass your PMP exams in the first attempt, you must understand certain facts about the exams. The first of these is that you can’t pass the exams by just cramming or reading, because the exam is based on situational questions and your concepts will be thoroughly checked.

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What Do Great Project Managers Do that Average Project Managers Don't?

What Do Great Project Managers Do that Average Project Managers Don't?

A participant in one of our discussions sessions in the PMP preparation classes asked the above question. I have to state that, if the question had been “what do good project managers do that poor project managers don’t?” it would have elicited a totally different response, but because the questions asked was; “What do great project managers do that average project managers don’t? There is a demand that I make the distinction between average and poor project managers …

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