All in Career

5 Things You Should Know: About Starting a Product Line Business

If you’ve been following us closely for a while now, you will know that every month since December 2018, I’ve had an IG Live Q&A session. I love interviewing people and learning from them and having this IG Live has been a great way for wider KT audience to join in and ask questions. So far, we’ve had 4 awesome sessions and I seem to enjoy these more with each passing one. The only downside is that the Live sessions are available for just 24 hours replay replay then it’s gone! To curb that a bit, I’ll attempt to recap each session and sharing 5 Things You Should Know.

Our last session was with Dami Ajibade who is the Co-Founder of Crownbury - makers of organic baby essentials. They started out with their Koala baby towel as their first product and have recently created their reusable nursing pads. I’ve loved the towel so much - spoke about  it in my post here and generally followed the impressive growth of Crownbury.

Dami dropped amazing nuggets in this Live session. This piece can’t do it justice but here are five things you should know about starting a product business.

4 Things I Learned from University

Do you think we place too much emphasis on having a university degree? My friend has been home for three months thanks to the ongoing ASUU strike, and obviously frustrated that it’s postponing graduation said to me, “it’s not like I ever want to teach social studies; what’s the point of it all?” Then she asked me if my degree had ever turned out useful.

Looking at the unemployment stats, especially in Nigeria—where the chances of practising what you studied professionally are slim—you may wonder if it’s all worth the hassle of attending a Nigerian university. I thought about it and wrote this post in partial response to my friend’s question. Here are some lessons I learned from my university experience and how handy it has come in real life.

4 Women on Leaving Medicine to Pursue Their Passion

As a child, medicine was seen as the “ultimate career.” In school dramas, the coolest and smartest kids were roped to play “doctor” with the stethoscope hanging over their necks. I was definitely one of those who bore the constant stream of people’s advice to study medicine.

As a young adult, I saw way too many people retaking the university entrance exams just to get into Medicine. After seeing firsthand—thanks to my friends at university—their struggles and complains, it’s hard to not wonder if it was ever a true passion. In my opinion (and asides from Law which I eventually went on to study), Medicine seems to be the one profession individuals are constantly quitting to pursue their true passion.

I got curious about their journeys, and 4 awesome ladies agreed to share the whys and the hows, the challenges, and their truths!

A Day in the Work Life of: Tiese Etim-Inyang

I’m really excited about Tiese sharing a day in her life with us! Before we go on and just in case you’re wondering how to pronounce her name (as she says many people do!), it’s pronounced  /tee-eh-seh/ and is short for Etieseabasi, which means sit down and look up to God.  On social media Tiese is a travel blogger and lover! You will also often catch her dancing to her favorite Latin-American songs on her Instagram stories.

But behind this 25 year old  travel loving, expressive dancer and spicy food (Nigerian and Thai cuisine) enthusiast, with an irrational fear of birds, is a career lady whose day job involves an important world objective - eliminating malaria in Asia / Southern Africa.  At first, I thought to myself that I wouldn’t possibly have imagined her in that role - but it’s interesting to see how she’s ended up there and what she thinks of it all.

From her morning routine, misconceptions about her jobs to career advice and curiosities - she shares it all in this feature!

A Day in the Work Life of: Modupe Oloruntoba - Freelance Copywriter

So, I stumbled on Modupe after reading a piece she wrote on Man Repeller - one of my favourite content websites. She had written on natural hair and there was just something about it that drew me in. Of course, I also connected with her name, seeing as it’s a Nigerian one. So first I followed her on Instagram, and her Instagram stories fascinated me. You could see just how much in-depth knowledge she had about the fashion industry and fashion writing. I was really intrigued, and in typical fashion (no pun intended!) wondered what she did for a day job.

As it turns out, she’s a freelancer that sometimes becomes a permalancer (hey, new word alert!).

A Day in the Work Life of: Clara Affun - Health Policy & Systems Researcher

Even if you have no interest in medical research, you should read this piece. Clara, at 34,  has had an interesting career path and life in general - including two self confessed midlife crisis.  From attending secondary school in Nigeria like many of us, she now speaks 4.5 languages: German, French, English, Yoruba and Italian (the .5).

Clara is British-Nigerian: but unlike the standard validity of 10 years, her current British passport is an awkward 11 years 5 months. Despite this extra cherry of validity on top, she’s currently chosen to live and settle in Belgium for some reasons. In her words “One is that I love the country and want my future children to grow up in such a multilingual society, and two is because Brexit kind of means that I am marooned in Europe because of fears of losing my residency if I ever leave”. She loves travelling, languages, cooking (without ever tasting in the process!), reading, learning in general and living a nomadic life. In the last 12 years, she has lived in  6 countries with the most remote location being Chandraghona, a little village in Bangladesh on the border with Burma/Myanmar.

In terms of career, hers has definitely not been a straight line.

7 Women on Pursuing a PhD Degree - Experiences, Challenges, Myths and Advice

Almost every time I speak to or see one of my uncles, he asks “so when are you going for your PhD?”. I tend to mumble a response and explain that I really have no interest in pursuing a doctorate degree. But he goes on, sometimes switching to Igbo language perhaps for emphasis “you really should. You’re very smart and you’d complete it in two years. Just tell your employers to give you a 2-year study leave”. To end the conversation, I say “okay uncle I’d think about it”.

But seeing my husband go through his PhD journey, I currently think that one in the family is sufficient - asides the obvious fact that I'm not inclined to. So although I’m uninterested and sincerely doubt I’d have the determination to push through, I find myself utterly proud and impressed by women who enroll for a doctorate degree.

In this post, 7 awesome women in different fields and in institutions all around the world share their journey: on why they wanted a PhD, finding a supervisor, institution and funding, myths, perks and whether or not the title "Dr" has a nice ring they’d love. They also give incredibly valuable insights and guidance for aspiring PhD holders!

A Day in the Work Life of Ugochi Obidiegwu: Airline Cabin Crew Safety Officer

Every time I have to travel by air on a plane, I'm genuinely intrigued by the cabin crew and my thoughts range from the serious - how they ended up in that role, fears and challenges about being up in the air many times, perks of frequent travel - to less important things like whether or not they truly like their uniform! 

Thanks to this feature, you and I get some answers to these questions. Ugochi is an airline Cabin Crew and Safety Officer in Lagos, Nigeria.  Asides this day job, she's also known as "The Safety Chic" on social media, where she engages in safety conscious advocacy and focuses on creating unique safety education products for children and educators in order to intentionally groom safety conscious children. She's also an author of a child safety storybook series - The Adventures of Muna.

She shares her work life with us, tips for a similar career and perks of the job - amongst other things. I particularly love the story around her most favourable moment on the job - and you will too!

9 Common Words and Phrases You Should Stop Saying at Work (+ what to say instead)

There are a few work-related encounters that I wouldn’t forget so easily. One of which was with a previous supervisor. There was an opportunity I was keen to attend, and so after putting myself forward and having a chat, I said to him:

I have to go for this conference”. 

He turned around, looked at me with a straight face and said “you don’t have to”.

If I could, I’d have turned red in the face. Of course I didn’t have to. It would have been great to. I’d have loved to. But I didn’t HAVE to. 

How to Network Better and Where to Network Easily (asides networking events)

Ever heard the phrase "you’re only six degrees of separation away from anyone in the world?" So you should know a friend who in five steps can connect you with anyone in the world. When we put it that way, no one seems so out of reach yes? And there-in lies the power of networking. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my career in recent times, it’s the power of networking - the ability to interact with others and develop professional or social connections.   

But the real essence of networking - is the ability to build these relationships before you need them.   One must learn how to approach people, talk to them, maintain small talk conversation (even when it seems unneccesary), remember their pet’s name and generally have a laugh. It’s a skill that’s so important, as when push comes to shove what makes one outstanding is really how you get along with others. Many people want to work with people they truly like and can crack a joke with in the midst of work pressure. Customers would rather purchase items from a business owner who’s personable. Employers and bosses tend to promote people with a large network which can benefit the organisation.  So wherever you fall,  it’s necessary. 

And sometimes, it’s such a pain. Why do you have to do all of this? I have no mind-blowing answer for that, so we better move along to how it can be done.