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Dorcas Rutunda shares lessons learnt from mistakes

Mary Tyler Moore once said: “Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow.”

People are sometimes afraid of making mistakes because they associate them with failure. However, this is not always the case.

Dorcas Rutunda, the Managing Director of ITM Africa, a human resource firm that provides staff management services, recruitment, and training, states that mistakes are a part of life and that she would advise young people to make them.

Rutunda has been working in human resources since 2019. She started as an executive assistant and is now a country manager. So, you can imagine how much she has seen and learned.

Rutunda describes her experience in the corporate world as one of constant learning and making mistakes.

According to the ITM Country Manager, she doubted herself too much in the beginning of her career and second-guessed everything she did, as many other young people do.

“At first, you’re always questioning yourself and second-guessing everything,” she says.

However, Rutunda claims that the best way she overcame self-doubt was to constantly seek knowledge and know more than she became confident.

“Knowledge was the best way to overcome self-doubt. Find information and do research. The more you learn, the more confident you will be, and be okay with making mistakes. Do not take failure or success personally,” she says.

Rutunda further observes that young people may make mistakes as they continue their learning journey, which they can use to learn and improve.

During our conversation, Rutunda recalled some of the mistakes she had made but from which she had learned and improved.

One of her errors was believing that things like networking were unimportant to her.

“When I first started, I thought that some things, especially networking, were none of my business. Later on, I realized I should have networked more effectively. I should’ve put myself out there,” she admits.

She goes on to say that while mistakes are inevitable on any learning journey, there are some that should be avoided at all costs.

Among the many mistakes that a person can make, she mentions a few that young people should avoid. Rutunda states that young people, particularly those in the business world, should not believe they know everything.

“Do not be closed-minded and believe that you know everything there is to know; seek knowledge, find information, and conduct research,” she advises.

Rutunda underscores that she was able to get to where she is now because she was open-minded and always sought to learn more.

“My path was not as I had imagined it, but I was flexible. Everything I didn’t understand, I tried to research as much as I could and find people who knew more than I did,” she advises.

“Always seek long-term learning, research more knowledge, ask questions, and be curious wherever you go,” added Rutunda.

She emphasizes that young people should take the first step and look for available opportunities.

“Instead of waiting for an opportunity, avoid being idle and waiting to be noticed. You can do other things because waiting does not allow you to learn or grow.”

The ITM Country Manager strongly advises young people not to have a sense of entitlement or expect opportunities to come to them. She believes that once they are out there, people will come to their aid.

“Do not be afraid to seek assistance and advice. Put yourself out there to make mistakes, learn from them, improve, and grow as you go; you’d be surprised how many people are willing to help you,” she says.

“There is no better time than when you are young to make mistakes because you can actually learn from them,” adds Rutunda.

Rutunda believes that information is power and that it is a necessary tool for young people to excel in their fields

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