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YALI Voices: Perspectives on Professional Development
October 12, 2017

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Contributed by Anabela Marcos, 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow, Angola

In the past 10 years, Anabela Marcos has become a leader in the human resources industry, working up the ranks in corporations while earning her Master’s degree in organizational psychology with a focus on the impact between global management models and local contexts. She is also the founder of Gestão Profissional (GP), a talent-recruiting agency based in Angola. She spoke with us about her experience and views on starting her company and on the YALI Network, and even shared professional development advice!

What inspired or motivated you to start your company?

I created the Gestão Profissional (GP) after a long career working with human resources. By getting in touch with a lot of people, especially in job interview situations, and low-productivity employees, I’ve come to realize the importance of professional development and how much feedback is key to the development process. I realized that it was important to look at the potential, and I decided to work on the other side, in favor of professionals looking for jobs and career growth in general, in order to make them more ready for the job market. The motivation: to believe that it is possible to develop human potential and how much it can transform society.

How has the YALI Network/Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF) helped shape your career?

The YALI Network platform offers free training, and any form of learning is by itself always a help for building our career. The MWF program was important to me in many ways. Although at the time I went to the program I had started to undertake and already had a company, it was essential mainly for two reasons: I sought very valuable tools of management, business and entrepreneurship, and — something that is difficult to explain as it is not tangible — is the exchange of experience, challenges and dreams, learn from peers, and principally a lot of inspiration. I think the impact that this had on my career is enormous and continuous, as I have been growing a lot since this experience.

How often do you see the YALI Network on resumes? What is the reaction by you or people who are looking for employees?

I believe we still have to do a bigger job in terms of publicizing the platform, but more and more I see people mentioning the YALI Network courses. This is certainly seen in a very positive way. In addition to the appreciation of the skills developed by the training, the recruiter ends up perceiving the professional who carries out courses such as the YALI Network as an individual who is interested in learning and developing, knows how to manage their time and has a sense of organization, fundamental characteristics, and a lot of value to companies.

What skills do you look for in candidates? Do you think participating in the YALI Network makes for a more qualified candidate? Why?

Being proactive, having technical knowledge and working group skills are important and important features to stand out. It is important to show capacity for readiness and willingness to learn. And as I said before, people who are looking for these courses demonstrate beyond the skills learned, the will to learn and the proactivity.

What is the best advice you received in regards to your career?

I got the advice when I was still young, which was to make sure I was not financially dependent on anyone in my life. That advice was undoubtedly what led me to take a few steps I’ve taken and still do today. I also learned from an early age that knowing where we want to go is key, as it will allow us to guide ourselves on where we are and how we want to go, as well as the means we will use to arrive. Knowing to recognize our own needs and limitations permits us to draw a career that suits our professional profile. Keep in mind that a career is something individual, unique, and that we cannot just follow what most of the people think is right. When I went to study psychology, I heard people saying that I would starve. Today it is more than clear: the road is us who build.

What advice would you give to people who are searching for a job?

It is very important to keep in mind that finding a job is something that in itself gives a lot of work, and it involves investment of time and some financial resources, planning and dedication.

It is important to be prepared, because even when the market is prosperous, and there is a great demand for professionals, if you do not have the minimum requirements to occupy a place in this productivity chain, it will hardly be considered. So before you claim a lack of opportunities, reflect on your responsibilities in this process and take the right steps to ensure that you are prepared when opportunities arise. Being prepared means building the solid foundation of knowledge and experience that will ensure a difference in the selection process. Also note that knowledge and learning is a continuous process. So empower yourself, develop behavioral skills, stay informed, learn other languages, frequently attend workshop and career fair events, take advantage of technology and be active.

Anabela also offers resume tips. Find more information about professional development on the YALI Blog.

Anabela Marcos is a 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow and founder of Gestão Profissional (GP), a talent-recruiting agency based in Angola. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

The views and opinions expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the YALI Network or the U.S. government. YALI Voices is a series of podcasts, videos and blogs contributed by members of the YALI Network.

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