In her five years with GardaWorld, Nonye Christie Chalokwu helped grow south Nigeria’s operations from a small group managing a single contract, to a major office with a big team and numerous clients.
When I first started at GardaWorld in 2015, we were operating out of a small room in a hotel in Lagos. At the time, I was the office manager. Now, I work as operations manager for the southern region. I was motivated to grow our business in southern Nigeria and I was given the freedom to pursue contracts and expand our operations. Though most of the employees here are men, and having a female supervisor isn’t as common, I’m a respected and effective leader.
Visible results, impressed clients, and a real sense of accomplishment
I’m proud of our visible results. We’ve grown our operations from one oil and gas company to include agriculture, development, finance and health care projects. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to know that my clients are impressed. I can look back on my successes over the past five years and see how we’ve expanded our office space, staff and vehicle fleet, and I can say, “I achieved that.”
Focus on the solutions, not the problems
To succeed in this type of role, it helps if you enjoy the challenge of learning and growing new projects. When a new office is opened in an area, there is so much opportunity to grow the business and to grow professionally.
In a managerial role, it’s important to be confident in the decisions you make and to be optimistic. You need to focus on seeing the solution, instead of problems. I strive to be an effective team leader and bring out the best in people.
Advice for those early in their career
I encourage anyone starting their career to identify their goals and develop a passion in their job. See any challenge as an amazing opportunity for growth. Remember that success is not a straight line. There are ups and downs along the way. Build strong working relationships with the people you start with because they will be the ones who grow in your career along with you. You’ll be helping each other in the future.
Find out how you can pursue a meaningful career at GardaWorld. View our job opportunities here.