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How I switched careers between a trained engineer and a news editor within 1 year

Feature Article Ebenezer Agbey Quist
JUN 8, 2020 LISTEN
Ebenezer Agbey Quist

If I say to you I (Ebenezer Agbey Quist) am a news editor at one of Ghana's leading news websites, you would probably think I studied General Arts in high school.

No, I studied General Science. Then you might think I pursued an editing-related programme in tertiary school. But no, I did not. I studied Chemical Engineering and graduated with good grades.

Then you might think I probably got a way to have my national service in a media company. But that is also wrong. I did my service at Wilmar Africa Limited (Producers of Frytol and Fortune Rice) and was trained as a full engineer.

After that, you might say maybe I got the chance to have an internship at a media house, which is why I was able to get recruited for the role of an editor. Nope. As a student, I had two internships, both in engineering companies.

Then you might presume I pursued some related short courses after university, got an opportunity and moved. But no. Until now, I have no academic qualification in what I do. (But if you ask around today, you might just be told that I do it like a real expert).

6. Finally, you might say, perhaps I did not get any chemical engineering job and maybe I had someone to connect me at the media house to become an editor. But that is also untrue. I actually got a very mouthwatering role as a chemical engineer that I had to turn down for the role of a news editor.

And I knew nobody to link me at the media company. I went through the routine of submitting a CV and getting shortlisted for an interview and then passing from all that.

How is that even possible?
You see the title, "switching careers within a year" is true. However, it is not complete. My journey to becoming an editor did not start in the year I made the physical switch but 5 years earlier.

I was in the university by then, studying my chemical engineering when I came to realize that the path was not for me. So I decided to change to something else without having the financial luxury to quit my program and pursue another.

That year, I started writing. The next year, I started a blog. The year I started the blog, I wrote my first book. Then the blog got some more attention and so did I. And it kept going on and on.

All of these were alongside my studies and engineering path. By the year 2019, my experience with words grew so strong that a major news website in Ghana found me a viable candidate for the role of an editor at their firm.

It is barely a year since that happened and they have not regretted that decision.

Some more background
Over the years, I came to find tested and proven answers to some of the biggest answers young people face. Examples are:

"Is it still possible to get a good job without connections, links, bribes, illegalities or nepotism? Yes? But how?"

"What do I possibly do when I discover that my career path is not actually what I desire to do in life?"

"Is the path I am on actually meant for me? How do I check if it is or what do I do if it isn't?"

"Should I quit my job to start a business? Should I start before quitting? Should I even start it at all? Can a job offer me enough? No? Yes? How? Why?"

From the real-life experiences of other young people who have failed or succeeded, I came to find many insightful answers to these questions and all of that was documented in the book Cheers and Tears of After-School Life (see Facebook: https://facebook.com/cheersandtears ) which would be launched on WhatsApp or Telegram on June 13, 2020.

The first book I wrote was Reformed Or Deformed which was a complete guide on living tertiary school life fruitfully and graduating without regrets.

Permit me to conclude it all with a quote from Steve Jobs: “The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking, and don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it".

[The author of this piece is Ebenezer Agbey Quist, an inspirational writer, author of a book on tertiary life titled “Reformed or Deformed?” A new one titled "Cheers and Tears of After-School Life", Chief Operations Officer at Eqay Inspire, and the main administrator of a Facebook Group, “What Life Just Taught Me”. Whatsapp him on +233501360650 or email at [email protected]]

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