All in Career

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.

A Day in the Work Life of: Alma Rex- Ezonfade - Client Account Manager

While her idea of a relaxed evening is drinking Corona, watching movies and dancing to her favourite tunes in her apartment, during the day Alma works as a client account manager at a retail activation company (Don't worry I had to google that too!). 

It's exciting to read about Alma's work life because if we judged solely from her fashion / style photos that we're privy to on social media and blog - you might think her day job is one very closely related to fashion. So I'm very glad she reached out to share this with us. 

From an engineering degree in Nigeria to changing paths in Canada, she shares her journey and what a day in her work life looks like!

10 Women on the Best Career Advice They Ever Received

I remember my first job straight out of law school. It was exciting, but yet challenging. I remember writing legal opinions that substantially covered the heart of the matter - but was clearly not in a form to be sent out to the client.

And did I have to bother with this - I was only a junior associate and was very aware that before any advice got the client it was likely to go through a minimum of two reviews - one senior associate and one partner. And it was bound to come back to me with an array of red pen corrections and edits.

But one of the most memorable advice I've ever received has to do with this

I Quit Banking to Become a Natural Hair Stylist - and Here's My Advice

"If it is to be, it is up to me" 

You're probably wondering if you read right. But yes, I quit my job as a banker to become a natural hair stylist!

Before I go further, a little introduction?

My name is Ajibike Salami, but Jiji for short (my now 14-year-old nephew gave me that name when he was about 2 years old and could not pronounce my name. It stuck!) . I graduated with a second class upper in Physics (yup! Physics) from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. I completed my mandatory national service year with a reputable bank and got a job there as well. So yes, I had been gainfully employed for almost 7 years. I like to think that I am one of those children that any (Nigerian) parent will be proud of.

Looking back, I have had a pretty decent career earning a relatively good salary but I just wasn’t feeling myself – satisfaction was lacking.

A Day in The Work Life of - Nicole Asinugo, Editor & Content Producer

You know how we often wish we could get paid to eat good food, visit cool places and have a glam squad to look all fleek? Well, Nicole sort of has that job!

She once wrote in my high school year book that I could win a Pulitzer prize for writing. I must have laughed when I read that, because she was the writer! She was the one who, with her instantly recognizable handwriting filled notebooks from cover to cover with short stories and almost full blown novels with intricate plots . I wasn't quite sure how she could be so creative. She may have introduced me to John Grisham - and we'd generally have a good time talking about his legal thrillers. At that point we'd also thought we'd be lawyers.

Interestingly, we got called to the Nigerian bar on the same day - but law wasn't just it for Nicole - the sober profession couldn't contain her creativity.

A Day in the Work Life of: Dee Olateru - Audit Senior Manager

I'd previously featured Dee on here as she, amongst other female travel enthusiasts share their experiences as travel lovers. 

If we could depict in a pie chart what gets Dee excited and what she lives for, I'm willing to bet that while travel may take up a significant portion, her career could take up almost half! Her friends are often surprised at the amount of dedication and love she has for day job! But if you don't look too closely, you'd miss this other side of her - which is easily hidden amongst her goofy, playful side and love for 'ratchet TV'.

And it isn't one to be missed. Such passion, optimism, hard work and motivation like I told her, must be shared. And so I'm glad she's agreed to share all the details of her work life with us!

Dee is an Audit Senior Manager in one of the Big 4 Accounting companies having risen through the ranks in 8 years from an Audit Associate. But this job didn't exactly land at her feet.