Curiosity, Opportunities and Connecting

Curiosity, Opportunities and Connecting
Copilot Designer: "A futuristic image of a person looking at a holographic map of Africa with various icons and symbols of AI, innovation, and opportunities"

My time at CSquared concluded last month, marked by a wealth of valuable experiences and meaningful relationships fostered. I extend my sincere gratitude to the Warriors and the broader CSquared community for the enriching journey and enduring memories cultivated over the past 20 months.

I’m currently thinking through a series of questions; from a long term perspective, what I should work on next - what problems and opportunities I should explore, and who I should work with - which is probably the most important!. Having worked for quite some time mostly in the tech world, and across different roles and organizations, this is surprisingly hard for me to do – especially as I’m one with a diverse set of skills and interests. My hope is that embracing curiosity and learning will help me, and others via this post at a similar juncture in their professional life.

Curiosity and Learning - What do I need to learn (or unlearn)?

(also - what domains should I focus on? Where do I need to play catch up?) I am a firm believer in lifelong learning, and embracing a growth mindset.  One should keep in mind that a domain like tech is constantly in flux. AI is what everyone seems to be talking about, with many organizations looking to leverage it in one form or the other. What does this mean for you, me, or that company in question hiring for a particular role? Sora is mind blowing in its capabilities yet I think we are still in the early days. This is one area of great interest that I’m continuing to explore. There are hours and days of content out there that one can use to explore LLMs and their use cases,  even as my brain tries to keep up. 

One useful approach to learning that I’ve used in the past - apart from signing up for classes and courses or finding a coach or mentor - is by engaging on personal projects. From a use case perspective, I’m exploring how these exciting tools can be applied to solving 'boring' but painful problems, particularly those faced by businesses on the African continent, and in areas such as risk and compliance, business operations, as well as telecom and infrastructure, among other areas.

Problems and Opportunities - What Opportunities Exist?

This could be a painful problem faced by people or organizations in need of a solution or product that one could provide or build. It could lead to a new business. A question that comes to mind is whether this opportunity is worth pursuing. Is it a solution that I can provide with my skill set or via collaborative partnership? Do I need to go through a product development process assessing problem/solution fit, product/market and potential for growth? Do I have the resources to go through this process - and if I don’t, where can I get these resources?

This could also be a role at an organization that fits one's skill set and experience as they consider the next phase of their career. Having a good understanding of one’s areas of strength as well as of growth is important as they evaluate possible roles in the marketplace.

Connect - Whom do I need to talk to?

This ties in nicely into being curious, learning and exploring opportunities. Everyone is in sales - and seeking out opportunities is like a sales process. It’s also a great idea to show value as one connects with others. I believe that everyone has something to offer regardless of experience and exposure.

This is easier said than done, but learn by doing and connecting. Being part of a community or a professional club in an area of interest broadens one's horizon, as one gets to meet new people, exchange new ideas and hopefully learn and grow, and benefit from new opportunities.

On that note, if you have any additional insights, leads, are on a similar journey, or simply want to connect, please reach out!