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Acquire skills or upgrade to avoid layoffs – Patricia Obo-Nai

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

The Vodafone Ghana 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 so acquired new skill sets by studying Law, venturing into Marketing and Business Strategic Management.

Ms. Obo-Nai explained that she readied herself for leadership role and became head of the Customer Operations Team, running a commercial function which run the company’s fixed business.

She further warned, acquired skills can become obsolete as the world moves at a fast pace. She stressed professionals and the youth must update their skills.

“Automation is happening across the world spanning various fields including Legal, Human Resource (HR) and Finance.” She added at Vodafone Ghana, Machine Learning is already happening noting an algorithm filters applicant seeking employment, paving way for a video selection and recruitment.
She further pointed out that those who went through Curriculum Vitae (CV) without other skill set would be without job. Still at Vodafone Ghana, she submitted “at the back office, there are robots helping the team to respond to customers.”

Given that 45 percent of task will be automated according to a recent report, the Vodafone Ghana CEO noted taxi drivers wishing to be on the Uber platform must learn the use of the app which is an obstacle to old drivers who are not 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 your head.”

In interviewing her for the CEO, she revealed she wasn’t asked about technology nor marketing but how she will execute her role given it was her first time.

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

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

Talksafrica.com

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