Humble beginnings and hard work

From domestic work to financial advisor
Jamie-Lee Loss
Paulina Kauluma hails from a difficult background and fell pregnant at a young age. She thought the news of her pregnancy would mean that her life, as she imagined it, would never be possible. Fortunately, she had a solid support system, and she was encouraged to return to school and complete her final year, grade 12.

During that time, her peers mocked her for being the only mother in class, but Kauluma was not deterred. She was determined to study and finish what she had started.

She was nominated for best typist in Namibia when her matric results were released.

She intended to attend the Polytechnic of Namibia, now the University of Science and Technology (NUST), but due to unforeseen circumstances, that did not happen.

Job opportunities

Her first job was as a domestic worker in 1998, followed by a position as a cashier at an Engen service station from 1999 to 2000. Life gradually improved in several ways.

Soon after, in 2001, she was appointed to work as an office administrator at Sanlam, a position she held until 2010.

Next, Kauluma joined Old Mutual in 2010, and her life changed for the better again.

Highs and lows

Kauluma works as a personal financial adviser for Old Mutual. She chose this job because she enjoys working with people, making a difference in their lives, and adding value to their financial situation.

She says her favourite part of her profession is interacting with different types of people, and she views everyday difficulties as valuable learning curves.

Some of her work obstacles include dealing with difficult clients, updating her portfolio when the market is down, and remaining in touch with all of her clients.

Kauluma adds that this career was not always part of her plan.

"Being an introverted person and not having any sales experience, this was not initially where I saw myself," she said.

The first six months were tough, and she thought of quitting a lot. The motivation and encouragement from her husband and mentor pushed her to keep going. Advice to the youth

"No matter what difficult situation you are facing in life, always remember that only you can rewrite your life story. If you are out there having a hard time and thinking your life is over, it is not.”