By Moses Nosike
Motola Oyebanjo is a communications consultant and career coach with about 20 years extensive experience across corporate communications, marketing communications and development communications.
She has previously served as the Head of Corporate Communications, Lafarge Africa, Head of Strategic Communications and Media, Union Bank of Nigeria, Head of Corporate Communications, British Council and as Internal Communications Manager, Unilever Nigeria.
As a consultant, Motola has delivered high impact brand and communications projects for local and international organisations including the Australian Trade Commission, United Kingdom Education Advisory Services, Kia Motors, NISSAN Motors, Haansbro Confectioneries, Edinburgh Napier University Scotland and BPP University UK.
She is currently a Partner and COO at AerialView Communications Africa – a marketing communications outfit, Director at The School of Life – a learning academy that trains career professionals to excel in their careers and the Founder of When Women Win – a women empowerment platform providing affordable access for women to the inspiration, knowledge and opportunities they need to succeed.
Communications consultancy and career coach, how did you settle for this among others?
Corporate communications is a profession I am passionate about because of the value it brings to organizations; whether governments, businesses or development organizations. With effective communications, an organization is able to position itself properly with its different stakeholders and build equity and affinity with those it wants to influence.
The spectrum of communications including Public Relations, Media Relations, Thought Leadership, CSR, Employee Communications and even Brand and Advertising, helps organizations achieve their business goals, that’s why it is invaluable and indispensable. I was very fortunate to discover early in my career that my personality type, skills and talents are a perfect fit for communications and have since then enjoyed a successful career in this field.
Deciding to become a career coach is an offshoot of my communications career. With about 20 years working for some of the leading organizations in Nigeria, I kept getting several requests for coaching and mentoring. So many people struggle with finding the right career path for them, having the right knowledge to get quality jobs and moving up the career ladder steadily. You therefore find that if they can access the right knowledge and information, they will do much better than they are currently doing. Unfortunately, these skills are not taught in our Universities and people get thrown into the deep end after NYSC.
With ‘The School of Life’, what we are doing is creating learning experiences that help teach those important career growth and development skills with one-on-one coaching and Masterclasses. We also just launched a very useful online course for young to mid-level professionals. More information about the course and our services is available on our website and my social media pages.
Who are your targeted audience in this mission of career coaching?
Every career professional who seeks to improve his or her career, from entry level to senior executives. Entry to mid-level professionals in areas such as defining their career path, getting their dream jobs, understanding the application and interviewing process, succeeding at work etc. Senior executives in areas such as positioning themselves as industry experts, speaking and presentation skills, media interviews, thought leadership and exit strategies in their careers.
What is your testimonial in this vision?
Within the first month we have had close to 2000 people request access to our downloadable training materials. The one-on-one coaching sessions have also been well received with positive feedback from those who have attended, both young professionals and senior executives.
Like I mentioned earlier, we have also just launched an online course titled, ‘The Super Successful Career Professional’ which will teach people how to define their career path, develop attractive CVs, Bios and LinkedIn profiles while also teaching them how to apply and interview right and succeed at the jobs when they get them. I will say the response has been quite positive within such a short time.
You have had experiences working with different organisations. How has it translated to your personal life as a woman?
Working in different organizations has been a useful learning experience as you get to meet different kinds of people and work in different environments. This has significantly expanded my world view while building my cultural and individual tolerance. As a woman, this is very useful as I am able to develop quality relationships with people much faster and easier than most. This has helped improve my career, my family life and my social impact.
Your challenges, and what has kept you moving?
Challenges are an integral part of life and I have learnt to expect them and deal with them when they come up. In my life, I have faced serious career challenges, medical challenges and even relationship challenges. If you try to avoid them, you simply will not get anything done or achieve anything significant.
We are celebrating 50 years of man landing on the moon this year. What we should also remember is that the initial crew of 3 astronauts got killed during a test mission some months before Apollo 11 landed on the moon. America could have decided to stop the project but because they pressed on, Neil Armstrong planted the American flag on the moon first.
Nelson Mandela was right when he said, “I learned that courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph of it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear”. Courage, the desire to do great things and a commitment to living a life of impact keeps me moving.