Oluwaseyi Olaniyan is a member of the ProjectManagers.Org community. He shares his story on why he became an Internet Service Provider (ISP) Project Manager in the following interview:
Why did you become a Project Manager?
Proper Planning, Process, Structure and Timely execution of any deliverables had always been my concern (and of course a societal concern at large). Building a career that helped me get involved in solving these issues and also having it as part of my Job description gave me fulfillment.
What work were you doing previously?
Previously I have taken up a few responsibilities both as volunteer and also as an employed staff. I have worked as an IT engineer in a Radio station (BOND FM) a subsidiary of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria. My responsibilities included computer systems maintenance and studio support for on-air presenters and newscasters. I also worked as an IT support staff and Network administrator.
What are you doing now?
I am currently working in the Project Management office of a renowned ISP (Internet Solutions) in Nigeria. My Job description includes, but are not limited to: coordinating internal and external resources to manage complex IT implementation projects, deploying a wide range of IT services to clients Nation-wide and across Africa.
When was the moment you decided to make the change?
As soon as I realised that Managing Projects would give me a holistic view of a Networks Architecture and also its required resources for a successful implementation. I became enthused to see that I successfully solved not only the technical demands of an IT project, but also managed its business demands by ensuring that the deliverables are achieved using the best resources to implement in good time and within budget.
Are you happy with the change?
I am really happy with the decision I made to become a project manager.
What do you miss and what don’t you miss?
I do not really miss anything. The challenges encountered in the process of managing projects is what makes the job interesting.
How did you go about making this career move?
I realised where my passion was, and I went at it.
What didn’t go well? What ‘wrong turns’ did you take?
Currently I have no regrets and I do not think I would have needed to do anything differently.
How did you handle your finances to make your change possible?
Savings, planning, and support from my immediate family.
What was the most difficult thing about changing?
I knew I had to learn a few new skills for the path, but studying to be a project manager already prepared me to learn to embrace change and its accompanying rigors. Hence, anytime it seemed difficult, I got more and more excited to surmount it.
What were other difficulties and how did you overcome them?
Like I said earlier, for every difficulty, challenge or hurdle I encountered an excitement to surmount it stirs up to keep me seeking for the right solution.
What help did you get?
When I decided on this new career path, I knew I would have to take some trainings and examinations to be qualified. I took free online courses and did a few volunteer programs to gain experience for the role. I engaged in personal projects and I continually sought divine direction as my ‘change’ decisions were being made.
What have you learnt in the process?
I have learnt that passion and focus is the driving force for success. If you seek a path to be successful, one has to stay passionate and continuously focused on developing oneself so as to stay relevant
What do you wish you’d done differently?
Maybe I would have loved to start on this career path a lot earlier. But, I have decided to do all I can to stay positive and look forward to opportunities that lay ahead even at this time.
What would you advise others to do in the same situation?
Make early decisions on a career path you are passionate about, Find out what it takes to be successful there, avoid discouragements (or take advantage of discouragements) and stay focused until you have achieved your goal.