Sam Semako Blog 7 Career Lessons from Babatunde Ajose

7 Career Lessons from Babatunde Ajose

It’s a great privilege being here to share with you.

I feel highly indebted to Sam Semako for this opportunity.

I am so proud of you bro.


My story is that of that of adventurous boy from the streets of Badagry to a global stage.


I started life very early.


As a matter of fact I rented my first apartment when I was in form 2 at age 14.


I have my parents around but we have the privilege of being born around the border, so the opportunities to make money from odd jobs at the border were there.


Many of my mates dropped out of school.


Yeah, I found a comfort zone at my level early in life.


My dad is the carefree type that is ready to give you freedom anytime you want it.


My resolution to step out of the crowd assisted my decisions to complete high school.


Today, 75% of those friends we did all that together are the sources of sorrow to their families.


Some were shot by Customs officers; some jailed, some are members of NURTW today.


My career lessons are as follows:


Career Lesson 1:

Discover yourself early in life; step out of the crowd and avoid comfort zones.


Meeting your daily needs today will not guarantee successful future.


Oftentimes we settle too early for cheap offers especially when they meet our needs at a particular time.


But your needs are shaped by time and event around you.


Look inwards, there is something you do better than anyone around you.


Don’t be too relax where you are now.


You need to also look ahead like 20 years to come.


Will that your comfort zone will able to contain you and your dreams.


I mean, how far can that thing you are doing for a living now take you in life?


Career Lesson 2:

Expect little or no support from people around you.


[bctt tweet=”Don’t expect too much from people around you.” via=”SamSemako”]


8 out of 10 times they don’t see what you are seeing.


They are likely to label you “too ambitious”, “too forward”, “irrational”, “ungrateful”, etc.


[bctt tweet=”You need to follow your dream.” username=”SamSemako”]


Even when help comes, they use it to distract you.


They provide the help and use it to interfere and impose their perspectives on you.


Let their support be the icing, but, please make sure you bake the cake yourself.


Career Lesson 3:

Develop yourself in your chosen areas.


Get empowerment; acquire education on your chosen path.


Remember some were already (on that path) doing very well before the idea even crossed your own mind at all.


So you need to equip yourself to be relevant there or make impact.


Reading books, going for workshop, seminars and talking to successful people in that field are the cheapest means to prepare you for challenges ahead.


Career Lesson 4:

Get mentorship or, career coach.


Get somebody who you are sure understands what you are doing to guide you.


Report your activities to him or her and carefully listen to his or her opinions.


It is 20 times easier and you make less errors when you are being guided especially by somebody who shares your dream and if you are fortunate to get someone who once walked your way, then your results will be amazing.


Career Lesson 5:

Be creative; make it your own world.


Innovations help you to stand out in your chosen path, avoid getting into unnecessary competition.


Develop your own model, do something new, studying and improving on other peoples’ error.


[bctt tweet=”Develop your own model.” username=”SamSemako”]


By doing that you are building your own model that people will later copy.


This will show to everyone that you are a master at it, even your superiors will learn from you but avoid correcting or proving you know better.


If you try to prove or rock boat with your superiors they will cut you short in your career.


Career Lesson 6:

Be disciplined! Work as if you have a time-bound task.


Becoming successful is easier than managing success.


[bctt tweet=”Discipline is the key to go far in your chosen career.” username=”SamSemako”]


Your level of discipline with time, finance, human relations, leisure, goals and plans goes a long way to protect what you have laboured for.


Career Lesson 7:

Be thankful and help people as much as you can without hurting yourself.


Learn to appreciate the Almighty God and people around you, be it your staff, wife, colleagues, boss, subordinates or your associates.


If you appreciate God and people around, you will attract more favor because people want their good deeds to be appreciated and they will want you to continue thereby serving you more.



Questions and Answers:


Sam Semako:
I was still wondering why you left your High Commission job?


Babatunde Ajose:
Different people ask me this question at least 4 times a week.

Getting the Nigerian High Commission’s job wasn’t easy at all, so people wonders why I left the job.

My passion wasn’t there. I wanted to do something different.

The Nigerian embassy job is just the same as the civil service. I made up my mind to leave. I met four of my bosses with First Class degrees sitting redundant.

I tried to cope with diplomatic life and I discovered it’s all fake life.

Then I hate how the embassy treated fellow Nigerians there.

Finally, I knew my chances back home are great and I need to avoid falling in “Baba London trap”


Sam Semako:
What are the lessons you have learned from contesting for the chairmanship of Badagry Local Govt. Maybe 2 or 3.


Babatunde Ajose:
My experience as a contestant in the election is very revealing and highly challenging as well.

Nigerians are not ready for change.

Our problems are more with the followership.

The number one lesson is that until the people suffering are ready to be liberated there is little or nothing you can do to help them.

The second lesson I learned is that our values are very wrong. We need to reshape our values system.


Sam Semako:
Why are you SO PASSIONATE about TOURISM? When I see you, I see MR TOURISM.


Babatunde Ajose:
I live Tourism. In fact, it’s my second religion.

It’s all about BADAGRY. I started in the media but I saw my superiors how they were living; I saw their standard of living despite their popularity. I decided to follow another career where we BADAGRY people have comparative advantage, which is tourism.

It paid off because it is a new industry in Nigeria, we are the pioneering trained professional.

People just build hotels, open ticketing firm and acquire knowledge on the job.

Till now, there is no department of Tourism in any University in Nigeria. So there is shortage of personnel.

I saw this long ago and I decided to follow that part.

It’s my pleasure being here. I really appreciate the opportunity.


Sam Semako:
Sir, your last words!


Babatunde Ajose:
There is no accident in life. Nothing happens by chance.



*Baba Tunde Ajose


Born in the Mid-70s, Babatunde Ajose attended Badagry Grammar School for his WASC and Lagos State University where he obtained Diploma in Social Work & Administration. He proceeded to University of Greenwich, London where he bagged B.Sc Tourism Management and University of Manchester for his M.Sc in International Business Management (with specialization in Tourism). 
After his study in England, Babatunde Ajose worked with many organizations in UK including Nigeria Embassy in London before returning to Nigeria recently to contest for the just concluded Local Government Chairmanship election in Badagry Local Government in which many great lessons were learnt.. 
A well-travelled and exposed personality who had visited about 38 Countries in 4 Continents and presently lives in Badagry where he runs an Agro-Processing Company producing Coconut oil. 
His Tourism Consultancy firm is one of the most trusted in Nigeria and he currently consults to 4 States Governments in Nigeria, UNWTO, UNEP & UNESCO and just signed a Partnership Agreement with a Government University in Lagos to start a program in Tourism Entrepreneurship. 


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Author: Sam Semako

I am a Career Development Consultant who mentors those who are confused regarding what to do with their lives, or frustrated about their work or struggling to find what they need to do with their lives. I also help train them to become experts in their fields by providing them with significant career-based information, resources (in form of opportunities and networks), and training relevant to their fields in order for them to live their dreams and make a lasting impact in a space of 1 year and beyond.

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