How I Became A CEO At 29

    Perminus Wainaina, CEO, Corporate Staffing Services

    By Perminus Wainaina

    Resigning from a well-paying job and diving into the deep end of entrepreneurship was one of the boldest moves I have ever made in my career.

    A decade ago, I made a choice to quit a good job and follow my passion.

    The choice to finally quit from being an Accountant to a Human Resource professional stemmed from not being fully satisfied in my career.

    When I resigned back in the year 2008, I immediately went back to school to study HR.

    And in that same year, with a capital of only 500 Kenya Shillings ONLY in my pocket behind a slow computer in a cyber cafe, I embarked on starting my own HR consultancy firm.

    Was it easy? A walk in the park? Certainly not! The last ten years have been a journey of patience, resilience, failures and comebacks but most importantly, it has been a journey of immense career satisfaction and advancement.

    And I don’t regret it!

    The point of me telling you my story is not to blow my own trumpet or come across as a show off.

    But rather it is to inspire you to take bold steps!

    Unlike me, you, you may not be looking to resign or start your own company but you want to take a step to make bold decisions that will take your career to the next level of greatness.

    From an entrepreneur’s point of view, here are 4 crucial pieces of advice you should bear in mind if you are looking to become a CEO, run your own company successfully or simply advance in your career.

    One; Re-align your career goal;

    In my coaching sessions, it is not uncommon for 8/10 professionals to tell me “I’m stuck in my career”.

    Upon digging further, I often realize that these professionals have lost sight of their career goal.

    And if they have a career goal, they are not sure how to get there.

    If you are experiencing challenges in getting to where you want to be professionally, simply start by re-aligning your career goals.

    And the best way to do this is to use a simple yet effective tool that will help you in clearly mapping out your career goals.

    Two; Get a career mentor;

    Get someone who will inspire you in your career. Someone to motivate and challenge you by offering you constructive criticism where your career is concerned.

    Look for help. If you are stuck in the wrong career, seek the help of an experienced professional who will walk with you as you endeavor to make strides in your career.

    A good career mentor will also help you design a tailor made strategy of attaining your goal.

    Such a mentor will also act as your accountability partner by making sure you remain focused and committed to the plan.

    Three; start making bold moves!

    Start networking in the right field. Attend events and seminars where you can share contacts with other professionals.

    Don’t be afraid to make the right choices for your career no matter how difficult.

    If you have been thinking about starting your own company, do your research and start making smart investments. Create your own website, start positioning yourself like an expert.

    Use any and all available channels to sell your skills and expertise.

    If you are seeking a promotion/salary increment, get your facts right and make a convincing presentation to your boss.

    Four; Know that you will fail a few times but remain focused

    I always say, “Keep your eye on the prize”.

    If like me you are looking to run your own company, know this, you will fail quite a number of times.

    But the catch is to NOT give up in spite of failing.

    Rather, dust yourself up, learn from your mistakes and keep learning and growing.

    Remember that those very mistakes and setbacks will serve as a foundation for you to grow immensely in your career.

    Have I helped?

    I would love to hear back from you. Let me know what you are currently planning to do in order to advance in your career and what is holding you back.

    Perminus Wainaina is the C.E.O and Managing Partner at Corporate Staffing Services, a leading HR consultancy firm based in Westlands. Through personalized career coaching he assists mid level and senior professionals get solutions to complex and challenging career issues that they are facing. Click here for more on career coaching.


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