Why you should never say #relationshipgoals

Screenshot_2016-04-30-17-37-27Everyone, or almost everyone, has heard of the huge mess made when the marriage of  one of Nigeria’s celebrity couples Tiwa Savage and TeeBillz Balogun went South. No one saw it coming, and, to be honest, I had to stop reading about it at some point because it seemed like I was hearing/reading too much about a family’s private affair, and I want to retain the respect I have for Tiwa. And so I backed off.

Not that it saved them from anything, in fact, we all know how Nigerians love a good gossip, don’t we? BellaNaija and Linda Ikeji had a field day as their readers dissected the matter, insulted one or both parties, took sides with one or both parties, or simply relished the fact that celebrities weren’t so infallible after all. Look up there. On a good day, comments per post on bellanaija are between 20 and 200 for a very interesting post. Right now, there are more than 500 comments on one post about this issue, and more are still coming.

In my little corner, I had a little flashback: to when the wedding took place. Dubai wedding, adorable bridal shower, A-list celebrity attendance, echetaram echetaram. Every Nigerian girl’s dream. I had lost count of how many #couplegoals and #relationshipgoals hash tags I came across online during that period. On bellanaija I had seen comments like “Baba God I’m waiting for my own TeeBillz”, and all such nonsense. To be honest, what I admired the most was Tiwa’s traditional wedding attire. Period. I could understand that with the “scarcity of good husbands”  *cough cough*, people would be wishing for exactly what they saw online, without knowing the story behind the smile.

And that’s the exact reason you should never say #relationshipgoals. No one is ready to tell you the dark side to their different relationships, and so you can only evaluate from the “To-match Asoebi”, the shiny Instagram shots, the gift display on social media, the foreign trips, and so on. Nothing will ever prepare you for the diverse kinds of demons people are battling in their various relationships.

An acquaintance once told me of her experience when her and her (very average earning) husband were walking to the bus stop to take a bus to a wedding. They were well dressed, but not in the official Asoebi of the day because they couldn’t afford it as they were both running expensive higher degree programs at the time. As they walked, they saw a beautiful couple pass by in their tear rubber jeep, dressed in the very Asoebi. She looked on in envy. They had everything she wished for. She mentioned to her husband, “I love that couple so much. If only we could be like them. ” He looked at her mysteriously and smiled, but said nothing. Later in the day, while the wedding owanbe was in full swing, she mentioned the same thing to another friend, and the friend dramatically covered her mouth in full amebor  fashion.” You wish what!!!? ” Let me tell you before you wish yourself death, that that man was responsible for the loss of her last pregnancy when he almost beat her to a coma, and he cheats on her serially without remorse. Every one knows this, so I’m surprised you’re saying something so foolish. Don’t be deceived by all the appearances oh! Ees wash ooh! Even while they were coming in, they had a small fight at the entrance to the parking lot. They had to park on one side while a family friend came to make peace between them before they came in. Abi is it by To-match Asoebi that you evaluate the success of a marriage? Don’t be stupid abeg. ”

You see, in most rumors, there are elements of truth. That night her husband confirmed almost all that her amebor  friend had told her and she shuddered. To think that she had been wishing for THAT!

People, be careful what you wish for. Not everything is as it seems and no two relationships are the same. Work on your own relationships and goals, and see it all blossom. Don’t even pattern your relationships against 25 year marriages because in this day and age, even 30 year old marriages break up for stupid reasons. Admire them, and let them be.

Another thing: it is actually possible to have a successful relationship without the validation of social media. It isn’t every time you have a fight or have issues to sort that you need to spill it for everyone to see. Though I’m not married, I do know for a fact that marriage wahala can be terrible but trust me, social media will only make it all worse.

If you have something to add which you think might be helpful, let us know in the comments.

I am really heartbroken for Tiwa. I hope they work it all out.

Love, Chibugo.

Did You Know? Your Birth Month Supposedly Says A Lot About You!

As I strolled along Internet streets, I stumbled upon something about one’s birth month having something to do with one’s personality. I had seen things like this many times before, but out of curiosity, I delved deeper this time. I found a lot of interesting things. It was uncanny, the fact that my attributes from my birth month fit me to a T. I actually had a “jaw-drop”  moment and my mind went like “what the heck?!”

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Where did these people know me from? (All information on this post were extracted from buzzfeed, dgreetings.com, and allisimpson.com.) I tried finding out the basis of this classification but came up with some astrological bla bla bla, and that, to me made it lose credibility as I don’t believe in astrology. For fun’s sake though, you can zoom straight to your birth month and see if it’s as eerily accurate as mine was. I was born July 13th, by the way. Ack! I wonder why the July born has the longest list of attributes. 😕Anyway, read on! 

JANUARY 
An ambitious person who finds joy in making others happy. Because of your insatiable curiosity, you enjoy learning and teaching others. Though you can be on the reserved side, people enjoy your company because you are very inclusive and attentive to others needs. Your hardworking nature as well as your sharp mind and organized habits will continue to help you throughout life.
Another source: Stubborn and hard hearted. Ambitious and serious. Loves to teach and be taught. Always looking at people’s flaws and weaknesses. Loves to criticize. Hardworking and productive. Smart, neat and organized. Sensitive and has deep thoughts. Knows how to make others happy. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Rather reserved. Highly attentive. Romantic but has difficulties expressing love. Loves children. Loyal. Has great social abilities yet easily jealous. Money cautious.

FEBRUARY 
You’re quick thinking and intelligent, and you hate nothing more than having your creative side restricted by outside forces. You’re a very driven person who aggressively pursues individual goals, but you’re also humble and private when it comes to your many talents. Though you are easily hurt and tend to wear your heart on your sleeve, you also enjoy the company of people who are bold and assertive.
Another source: Abstract thinker; intelligent and creative, temperamental and whimsical, honest and loyal. Determined to reach goals, loves freedom and space, rebellious when restricted, sensitive and easily hurt, shows emotions easily, loves making friends, daring and stubborn:ambitious.

MARCH 
You’re naturally creative and artistic, and you enjoy having the freedom to play and daydream. Though you tend to be a bit sensitive, you’re very slow to anger and very trusting of others, even strangers. If someone is unwise enough to betray your trust, you have a tendency to hold grudges. You’re appreciative of kindness, and you have a keen eye for all things beautiful.
Another source: affectionate and caring, naturally sincere and honest. Loves peace and serenity. Sensitive to the needs of others. Not easily angered. Reliable. Appreciative of gratitude ; observant. Let vessel to travel, aesthetically gifted.

APRIL
You’re direct and outspoken, and quick to defend the people and causes you care about. You love deeply and openly, and you possess a very keen memory(especially for those who have wronged you). As a natural diplomat, you are quick to jump in and assist in solving other people’s problems but when you are wronged, you are quick to become vengeful and hold grudges. You’re also good at motivating yourself and others.
Another source : Active and dynamic. Decisive but impulsive. Attractive and attention seeking; strong mind, diplomatic; friendly and solves people’s issues. Brave and outgoing, loving and giving, emotional and generous; easily envious.

MAY
Stubborn and adamant; highly motivated and inflexible. Attracts others and love attention. Physically attractive; understanding. Fertile imagination. Sharp debating skills, loves literature and the arts, dislikes being indoors, restless. Spendthrift.
Another source: Stong willed and Stubborn, you’re a very driven and hardworking individual. You’re very dynamic and understanding of others, and because of this, people are easily drawn to you and ready to see you as a leader. Your excess energy means you have a hankering for an adventure and you often find yourself restless at home. You’re also a logical thinker who enjoys clear cut goals and planning.

JUNE
You’re talkative, well spoken and easily able to captivate crowds of people. Your bright mind is always full of ideas and you are greatly appreciative of the kindness of others and eager to return favors. Though you tend to get hurt easily, you’re great at meeting people and making others feel at ease with your wonderful sense of humor.
Another source: far thinking, easily influenced by kindness. Polite and soft spoken; sensitive. Active mind, hesitating, tends to delay. Choosy and wants the best. Funny and humorous. Loves to joke. Good debating skills;talkative ;dreamer. Friendly, easily bored, seldom shows emotions. Loves to dress up. Takes time to recover when hurt.

JULY
Sharp and witty; you’re fun, approachable, and the type of person others want to know better. Though you’re friendly and amicable, you’re very private and its difficult for people to get to know you. You’re very quick to forgive, but you very rarely forget and are easily hurt when the people you trust wrong you. You’re a genuine person who appreciates honesty in others; and though you are sentimental, you dislike extravagance and unnecessary things.
Another source : Fun to be with. Secretive. Difficult to fathom and be understood. Quiet unless excited or tense. Takes pride in oneself. Has reputation. Easily consoled. Honest. Concerned about people’s feelings. Tactful. Friendly. Approachable. Temperamental and unpredictable. Moody and easily hurt. Witty and sparkly. Not vengeful. Forgiving but never forgets. Dislikes nonsensical and unnecessary things. Guides others physically and mentally. Sensitive and forms impressions carefully. Caring and loving. Treats others equally. Strong sense of sympathy. Wary and sharp. Judges people through observations. Hardworking. No difficulties studying. Loves to be alone. Always broods about the past and old friends. Loves to be quiet. Homely person. Never looks for friends. Not aggressive unless provoked. Loves to be loved. Easily hurt but takes time to recover.

AUGUST
Brave and fearless. Firm and has leadership qualities. Takes high pride in oneself. Thirsty for praises. Angry when provoked. Observant. Careful and curious. Sensitive but not petty.
Another source : you’re a strong leader who enjoys the company of strong and fearless personalities. As a very quick learner, you enjoy praise and take extreme pride in yourself and your work. Though you’re quick to anger and easily provoked, you’re great at consoling others and giving advice to those seeking it. You’re also very keen and Observant and a quick and  independent thinker.

SEPTEMBER
Suave and magnetic persona. Methodical and organized, likes to point out people’s flaws. Calm, cool and sensitive. Vivid memory, clever and resourceful. Loves to look for factual information.
Another source : You don’t speak often but when you do, it’s often well said and poignant. You’re a hard worker with the patience to pay attention to minute details that others may gloss over. You’re hyper critical of the work of yourself or others because you tend to be a bit of a perfectionist. As far as emotions go, you rarely show them and you tend to bottle them up.

OCTOBER
Loves to talk. Beautiful inside and out. Not deceitful. Sympathetic. Always making friends and popular. Hurts easily but recovers easily as well. Daydreamer. Emotional. Loves to travel. Loves the arts, literature and the outdoors. Spendthrift.
Another source : Friendly and outgoing, you’re a confident person who rarely cares a out what others think. You are decisive and opinionated and you treat those in your circle well. You’re always true to yourself and you treasure honesty above all else. Though you tend to be emotional and easily hurt, you recover quickly and always manage to land on your feet.

NOVEMBER:
You’re curious, thoughtful and full of amazing ideas. Your way of thinking tends to be different from others, making it difficult for people to understand you. However, you’re very sharp and self motivated, and as a determined individual, you always put in the work necessary to accomplish your goals. You also tend to be slightly wary of praise.
Another source: Thinks forward ahead of his time, unique and unconventional, fine and strong clairvoyance. Can become good surgeons. Dynamic in personality, inquisitive, always alert and thinking, patient and determined. Loves solitude, hardworking, honest and reliable.

DECEMBER
Loyal and charitable, patriotic. Impatient and impulsive, ambitious, influential. Fun to be around, loves to socialize. An extrovert. Loves to be admired. Honest and dependable. Not pretentious. Hates restrictions, keen sense of humor.
Another source: You’re loyal, social and incredibly ambitious. People find you a pleasure to be around and you enjoy praise and attention. You’re a very honest person who people can easily trusting you take a lot of pride in yourself and your work. You’re very inflexible in your various circles and organizations, and though you’re a tad bit impatient, you’re still very ambitious and hardworking. More than anything, you hate to feel confined.

Even though mine was virtually spot on, I’m not satisfied with this personality classification as I think how you were raised has a lot more to do with how your character turns out, than the month you were born. That’s me though. What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments! Enlighten us!

Kisses, hugs, and kulikuli

Sincerely, Chibugo.

Monday Humor : What the…?!

Let me tell you a story.

You see, Kiisi, my little sister, is a very special child. If not for anything, she’s the only really dark kid among us. I envy her that. Besides that, she’s really  smart(too smart for her own good sometimes), and for someone so young, gets things done in record time. As you must know by now, this post is not to extol her great qualities 😎.  She’s soon going to be a teenager, but this event happened 4 years ago.

You know how kids like to play and play and play till they drop? If you’ve ever babysat your siblings or any kids at all, you’ll understand what I mean. They play till you get dizzy from chasing them around and decide to be more sensible and leave them well alone.

This was one of those days. Homework done, chores done, the little ones went out to play. And play, they did. They seemed to have an endless store of energy. When they returned into the house, they stank of sweat and sand and every other thing kids play with. The thing is, after play and bath time, the next thing they do is sleep. Anyone with younger siblings should be able to relate with this: cooking dinner while doing everything to make sure that their eyes remain open till it’s served. I would play songs from my phone, dance for them, read to them, play games with them, sometimes to no avail. The more I did these, the more it seemed like fuel was being poured into the fire of sleep. Television was not even an option. It put them to sleep right away.

Anyway, I wasn’t letting them go to sleep without dinner no matter what. No way would anyone be waking mother or me up at 3 am to cry “I’m hungry”. So we sat to eat, and I was satisfied to see that everyone was actually eating. I faced my food.

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After a few minutes, I heard my sister Kato, snickering and pointing. Adinbilivit! Kiisi had been  putting her morsel of eba into the bowl of water reserved for washing hands, and eating it! She kept at it, rhythmically,and with her eyes closed,  until I smacked her lightly and she woke up from the loud laughter around her. I had to send the poor thing to bed before she hurt herself in the name of having dinner. Some things are better seen than retold, I tell you. 😂😂

Till my next post,  XOXO

Have a great week, and don’t forget to be awesome!

 

Now that NYSC is over, what next? Part 2.

In our last post under this series, we discussed preparatory steps to ensuring that you are employable when eventually you are done with NYSC. Congrats to the newest batch of ex-corps members in the market. I hope your allowee translates into something more tangible in no time.

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Okay, so you have finished NYSC and you’re ready to take the Nigerian employment market by storm, eh? You have edited your resume until it could be edited no more, shoved it in the face of anyone who as much as asked “how are you?”; your applications have been flying out in all directions and now you’ve finally landed an interview, or an exam, at the very least. Read on for tips on how to make sure that you don’t get another degree –  in Jobhunting. 

1. Do your homework well: Every organisation has a system of operation, and this extends into its recruitment process too. Know everything there is to know about the company, and be armed with the kind of information about them, that is useful to your role in the company or industry. Also, know the kind of exam or interview format you’re expecting, so that you don’t go expecting a personality assessment test while the company shortlists using a more detailed approach. If you are in a specific field, be prepared to be tested about anything and everything in your field. You may be asked to make a sales pitch, answer a call in a polite manner, or write a board full of code. Be prepared.

2. Compare what you have to what they’re asking for: While as a fresh graduate, you may not have all the skills listed in your preferred job, check to see that those you do have are in line with what the job description requires. If you are applying for an administrative job and have a problem with keeping records and accounts, or generally being organized, you might want to change careers or adopt a lifestyle change. (The first option may be easier)

3. Prepare responses to all possible questions: when you’re invited to an interview, its usually in a particular field. Check online or brainstorm with any professional in the same field, to find out what kinds of questions you are likely to be asked and prepare adequate responses to them. There are also some questions that are seemingly easy but make people do badly at interviews. For example, “Tell me about yourself”, “What are your interests? “, etc. Good old Google has almost all the answers. Knock yourself out. In addition to this, prepare some questions of your own for them. It shows that you are a candidate who is genuinely interested in the company.

4. Be aware of body language, a.k.a non-verbal communication: A huge amount of what you communicate in interpersonal relations comes from your non verbal communication. Knowing the right thing to say means nothing if you don’t communicate it in the right manner. You may not realize it, but people react to what you don’t say as much as what you do say. Slouching in your seat, frowning, crossing your arms, repeatedly doing something like tapping your foot, twirling your hair, etc, all have interpretations that the human mind immediately translates. No matter how fast your heart is beating or how your nerves are fluttering, maintain a calm front and answer every question the best you can. Project confidence, respect their space(no keeping bottles of water on the table or anything silly like that) be attentive and mindful of their reactions to your responses. Above all, be yourself. Your interviewers are human anyway; the worst they could do is turn you down, not have you for lunch.

5. Pay attention to your appearance: I know the power situation of the country is at an all time low; as a matter of fact I haven’t had power at home in days now. Regardless, you, my dear applicant, have no excuse to come to an interview in rumpled clothes. It is unacceptable. For a token fee, you could have your clothes ironed at any laundry shop. Its a really small price to pay to look presentable. If you’re male, keep a clean haircut(no dada please, unless you’re interviewing for some artsy role)  and for the ladies, no overly long weaves or braids all over the place. Keep your hair away from your face so it doesn’t distract from the purpose of the interview. For those of us with natural hair, its no excuse to look untidy. Put it in a neat bun or any other neat protective style, and if the company has an anti natural hair policy, put it in a wig for crying out loud! It’s a shame that many corporate organizations do not want natural haired ladies in their company, but changing their minds about it is not a battle that will be won overnight by aggressiveness. Wig it! Better wigged than jobless, I think.

6. Follow up: While this is not compulsory, it is sometimes a advantage especially in roles that require someone who has good skills in correspondence. Some recruiters may not find it funny though, so it would be nice if you asked them how they would feel if you contacted them to follow up on the interview, before placing any calls or sending any emails.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and while I wish whoever reads this good luck, if you have any bits of advice to add, do add them in the comments section. You may be helping someone.

 

Monday Humor : Designer ko, designer ni!

How una dey?  It’s been a while we had a good laugh in here. Lets get right to it.

I was at a gathering of some sort and since we were few in number, we mingled and talked to each other. As usual, to avoid too much talk, I was a watcher. I watched people evaluate themselves to determine who was in the same class as them, so as to know whom to talk to and whom to avoid. I don’t know how people just assume your financial status from how you look. I’ve had friends in my uni days who would scrape the last five thousand Naira they had just to look “among” in any party or get together. Kontinu.

So as the people assessed themselves, I assessed them from my corner. The girls were the most open about it. You walk across the room, and they would evaluate you from head to toe. I could almost see the calculations going on in their heads. The price and quality of your “human” hair, the kind of make up you have on, how you speak, the designer brand of your clothes or shoes or handbag… There’s that thing about public gatherings where there are many females that makes me very uncomfortable.

So I overheard two lovely ladies having a discussion while a third sat close by. It began on a note like “Oh I love your handbag! Where did you get it?”, in a fake accent that almost made me choke on my drink. It moved down to the dress one of them had on. The other one fawned over it so much that I had to look too. It looked shapeless to me😕, but then, what do I know about fashion? When the wearer of the dress finally left, the two of them got down to the real business of dissecting what she wore, bit by bit. They finally got to the dress. The other one said with spite: “I was just watching her tell the lie. My ears couldn’t believe it until she said it the third time. Mogbe! Why people too dey lie naa? I dey there for Yaba early morning market, the day wey she pick that dress for okirika! If not for the fact that she almost fought with another lady because of that dress, I wouldn’t have known her. But because of that fight, I recognize her, and I recognize that dress. Nonsensical nonsense!”

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You know when you want to laugh so bad that you have to leave for fear of giving yourself away? 😂😂😂 I had to immediately change positions, using my movement to cover my laughter. Don’t blame me joor. Lagos girls will not kill somebody with forming.

I hope you had a good laugh at the expense of our dear Lagos girls. Biko how much is fuel in your area? Our country is becoming a place where only the rich can survive oh. I can’t think of one thing that hasn’t increased in price this period… Meanwhile don’t let your blood pressure get too high. Its not worth it. Cool off with these two posts here and here. They’re from the earlier days on this blog and if they don’t lighten your mood, I don’t know what will.

If you have any funny stories that aren’t too embarrassing to you, which you’d like to share, send them in an email to bugovidase@gmail.com. Have a productive week!

Three lessons you could learn from basketballer Stephen Curry

You don’t need to know basketball to know Stephen Curry. He’s that popular. Lets learn a bit about his background. Born on March 14 1988 into the home of NBA player Wardell Curry, young Steph began playing as soon as he could but his father seeing his many weaknesses, groomed him to be a better player. This was not enough though, because he had the “disadvantage” of being slighter than most athletes in his game. As a matter of fact he was often overlooked in selection because of this when he was younger . This however spurred him on to perfect the skills that have earned him the name “baby faced assassin” today. So, three years ago, he wasn’t even an all star; four years ago he had chronic ankle problems that threatened his career and kept everyone on edge. How did he then go from that to being NBA’s most valuable player of 2015? Here are some lessons I have gathered from Stephen Curry’s journey, which I think everyone could learn a thing or two from

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Be the best version of yourself ;every single day! @stephencurry30 on Instagram

1. Never be regular; exceed your former self: Stephen had his fair share of rejections, especially at the beginning when he was younger. That drove him to look to creative means to work around his lightweight and stature. But that’s one of the things that are great about Steph: his work ethic. He is full of talent, but hear this: he’s always in court long before training begins, and by the time others get in, he would have worked up a sweat and would be ready for whatever. After the session, he would remain behind and wouldn’t leave until he had scored five free throws in a row. If he scored four and missed the fifth, it didn’t qualify. It had to be five in a row. Even in this time of great fame, he spends much of his off season time honing his skills so that he’s in excellent form. Now that’s what I call commitment to improvement. Having a disadvantage turned into a blessing can only come from commitment to making it so. He is in the same league now as much bigger and heavier guys like LeBron James (250 pounds, 6 ft 8, and Kevin Durant, 240 pounds, 6 ft 9 ; both great champions in their own right. On a good day, Stephen weighs 185 pounds and his height is at 6 ft 3. Therefore he knows that every throw matters, every dribble, every back pass, every single move has to be honed to perfection so that he’s a lithe monster on the court.

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Like the saying goes “the only room that is never full, is the room for improvement”.

2. When success comes, do not forget what drove you at the beginning: Stephen has always been outspoken about his faith, and used to write 4:13 on his sneakers when he played in his college team. (Philipians 4:13 –  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me). When he got a deal with Under Armour who makes his shoes now, he had it printed on it. After every winning shot, he often beats his chest and points to heaven, as a reminder that he’s playing for God. He’s 28, but is married to his college sweetheart, Ayesha Curry, whom he met in church years ago, and they have two daughters. How does he do it? You may ask. His value system. I don’t know the details of how he balances pro basketball with a family, but he’s doing it, and doing great at it! He has an example in his father Dell, who played pro basketball for 16 seasons but was blessed with a family that stayed together. He says he wasn’t afraid to take the plunge! That’s what faith and a good family will do for you. I believe it would be the same even if he wasn’t famous. Do not forget what drove you at the beginning.

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3. Give back to society: Stephen has been involved with the UN’s nothing but nets campaign, which they use as a platform to provide aid to countries still battling with malaria. Stephen pledged that for every three pointer he makes, he would donate three nets to the cause. He is involved in many other charities. We could learn from this, since here in Nigeria, it seems to be the unspoken rule to succeed alone. You can read more about Stephen Curry here, here, and Here.

I hope this inspires you to go beyond the discouragements and obstacles. Number one lesson is probably the most important advice us young people need today. Here’s to the success of the dreams we’re working hard at. May we all succeed.

Now that NYSC is over, what next? Part 1.(Long post!)

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At a certain career conference I attended 2 months after I passed out of NYSC (to be precise, it was Sterling bank’s Get Ready For Work event) , I met a fellow jobseeker. As expected, we got talking and I asked her about the challenges she had faced in the job hunting process. To which she replied that there were just no jobs. I laughed it off, saying it was still too early to say so. I then asked her how many steps she had taken towards securing a job and she replied that she had been submitting her CV at some firms but was yet to be called for an interview. I then asked her how many job websites she was subscribed to and she said none. You can imagine my surprise when she drew out her phone and it was an android device! What then was her excuse for not being subscribed to a job site?

Have you just been applying for jobs, and have never been invited for an interview? If this is you, I believe I have a few tips that should make 2016 your “testimony year”. (You might want to fill your email into the subscription box on the right so you can get updates on this post)

Now, at the time of this exchange, I was also unemployed(Okay not really. I was working at an unpaid job. Pretty much the same, no?) Anyway, I knew something was definitely not right. I’d been home for barely 2 months after NYSC but I had already attended a couple interviews and even declined some. I didn’t have anything special, I was just armed with my degree, my ancient blackberry and laptop. As a matter of fact I didn’t even have Internet connection on the laptop but I was the number one Customer at a nearby internet cafe. I know that a new batch of corps members will soon be sent out into the same overcrowded employment market, and so this is timely. Better for you if you’re still in uni or still actively serving. Its never too early to plan your life.

WHILE STILL SEARCHING FOR A JOB
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1. I don’t know it all, but I would advice that you begin putting out your CV as soon as you’re in your final year at University. I wish someone had told me this then. It only occured to me that this was really a good move, when I came across an old school mate who was a year below me and worked at a multinational organization before NYSC. It was a paid internship and she was earning six figures every month(in naira, of course). I was envious. While in final year, most of us were concerned with getting our GPAs set in time for graduation, without really knowing what was waiting for us out there. The national internship body SIWES doesn’t work out great for most undergrads because time isn’t really provided for the exercise and so an internship immediately after graduation would be a very good way to find your feet in the professional world. You may not be paid much, if you’re paid at all, but as long as it is an industry relevant to your career path, you will not regret making the move. Relevant experience is priceless. Where you don’t have such an opportunity, begin sending out applications as soon as your service year begins.

2. Have a well written CV, tailored to every application you send: I cannot stress this enough. Nothing puts a HR officer off more than a shoddily written resume. As to the finer points of CV writing, that will be the subject of another post. These days, its not enough to just write one “banging” CV and keep firing it in all directions, expecting something wonderful to happen. You have a first class, great! But here’s bad news: No One will be interested in your first class if you don’t put it to them in a way that will make them interested. In fact, let me cut down to the chase. These days, HR officers have found a way to get around the massive numbers of applications they receive each time they put out a job ad. Now listen, and listen well. I’m not a tech person, but I’m going to explain this the best way I can. In the HR department of most medium to large organizations, there’s a software called ATS(Applicant Tracking System) which is usually attached to the email into which you, the applicant, send your application. This software works by sieving and grading the emails which come in, and checking them for matching key words. You may note that in every job description, there are usually specific words used in describing the kind of employee they want. So if the system recognises the phrase “good team player”, but you put “I work well within a group”, you might just be ignored, and your resume sent into trash. The resumes that are graded well by the software get to be viewed by the HR. Keep it simple and ask for help if you need to. Use formal expressions. Check the key words in the job ad, and tailor your application to fit into the requirements of that position. This also goes for skills. If the skills you have in anyway match what is required, please put it in. Yes, searching for a job is a job itself. If you want to win, you gotta put in the time. It helps if you already have two or three CVs for different kinds of job industries you fit into. That means that for any application into each group, you just have to edit and click “send”. Be very meticulous about this, if you actually want your application to be viewed by human eyes and not sent to trash by the robot called ATS. Please ensure you check before sending, so that you don’t submit a CV for a secretarial role to an ad asking for a business development officer.

3. For every application you send, include a cover letter: The presence of a well written cover letter (written with what I said in number 2 in mind), shows your level of interest in the job, written by your own hand. It is definitely a plus. Focus on your strong points and highlight how your skills can be helpful to their company. If possible, show how you have successfully utilized these skills in the past.

4. Proof read, proof read, and proof read again: whether it be your edited CV, a cover letter, or whatever, this pretty much explains itself. Proof read, my people. There’s no such thing as being over correct.

5. Learn a skill: While waiting for a call or email, or while still serving, learn a skill relevant to the industry you have interest in. Please don’t follow the crowd. The fact that everyone is doing a project management course doesn’t mean that you have to.

6. Account for every time space on your CV : Make sure there are no extended empty time spaces on your CV. No one wants someone who is content with inactivity on their payroll. If you spent 2 months for computer training, or a year to have a baby, or something like that that you may not be able to put on your CV, have the info handy for your interviewers when the time comes. Its nothing to be ashamed of.

7. Have email courtesy: know whom you are applying to and address him/her accordingly. Use formal language. Presentation is key at this stage.

8. Make sure that your referees/references are aware: it will be a very painful thing if you manage to go through the rigors of exams and interviews only for your company to call your references and they reply “Who is Frank Donga? I have no idea whom you’re talking about!”. Inform them before hand. At the beginning its allowed for you to use a lecturer from school or any academic reference until you establish more professional contacts.

9. Network! : Wherever you go, be ready to sell yourself. You never know, your job may come from someone you meet at the next event you attend. Also, extend your connections to online forums like LinkedIn,( I’m still guilty of this one), Facebook and Twitter.

10. Get rid of all your scandalous pictures on social media: Your undergraduate and NYSC days were turnt, I know. Just make sure you remove every pictorial evidence that might stand in the way of your favourable employment or even future political ambitions. I hope I’m talking with smart people. Let it not be said that history repeated itself in you. Enough said.

11. This may seem like a no-brainer but you would be surprised at the number of young unemployed graduates who have smartphones but are not subscribed to any job website. I wonder what the function of the device is then? You could start with jobberman.com, hotnigerianjobs.com, myjobmag.com, and ngcareers.com. I can at least vouch for these four.

These posts will come sequentially in a series. Part 2 coming right up.

The Youth Enterprise Conference 2016 – The Internet Entrepreneur

A week ago, I was at Eko hotels for the Youth Enterprise Conference organized annually by Akin Alabi, the CEO/founder of nairabet. I initially didn’t want to go but made my decision at morning mass and I don’t regret it one bit. I stood through the whole event in uncomfortable shoes, but, I tell you, it was worth it. There’s something about being in the same room with highly successful men and women and hearing their grass to grace stories that makes you feel like “Yes, I can do this, even if its not in the same industry”

At the event were Jason Njoku, founder of Iroko TV; Opeyemi Awoyemi, Co-founder of Jobberman; CEO of Ventra Media, Daryn Wober; founder of naijaloaded, Azeez Makinde; Craze clown /Dr Craze from Instagram (to be honest I came because of him lol) ;Tiwa Savage, and others.

As much as I wish I could talk about what each of them said, that would be impossible without writing a small book, and so I’ll try my best to summarize. One thing they all had in common was that they had PATIENCE and they were ALWAYS LEARNING. Another thing I noticed they had in common was that they began in unusual, even hard circumstances but their persistence prevailed. Jason Njoku had to go to Alaba market and do his thing from the grassroots, and even though the guys there didn’t quite understand him, they were able to work out a functional relationship that has made Iroko tv the brand it is today. Jason hammered on working with honest people. I completely agree with him. Opeyemi Awoyemi began trying to make something of himself from the time he was an undergrad student in Ife. He got tuned down by investors but after he decided to pour  his energy into developing his brand, he got his Major breakthrough through a million dollar Investment that came when he was at NYSC camp. Yeah. You heard right. A million dollars. Daryn Wober left a comfortable job in the UK to pursue his dreams and landed in Lagos. He’s been here for 3 years and doesn’t intend to leave anytime soon. His Instagram handle says it all:@oyinboinlagos. Lol. He’s very successful in his own right. And it all began under the stairs in his London home. Craze clown had written jamb about three or four times before his father finally decided to send him to Ukraine to study medicine. He’s in his final year now, and has been sponsoring himself for a long time. He was actually forced to, because times became too hard for his family. He currently earns 7 figures  annually from doing what he loves : comedy. He still intends to complete his degree as a medical doctor. Tiwa, dear Tiwa. She says the stats read that each time she trended online, she trended for the Wrong reasons. Handle your brand well, she says. You are your own brand.

There were impromptu giveaways too! A lady came up to tell Tiwa that she was a shoe maker, a very talented one at that(we all saw her work), but each time clients reached out to her after seeing her work online, they would say, “Oh, you’re a lady?” and that would be the end. Tiwa ended up giving her a free endorsement. I don’t know if you guys know how much it takes for Tiwa to endorse a brand. But she did it there and then for free. I envied  her. Opeyemi showed interest in a woman who spoke about production of brazilian wool, and said he would invest. Of course he won’t invest two kobo.

Another thing I noticed about them all was that they clearly had passion for  what they did. Loads of it. It had sustained them when the money was not there, and still drove them now that the money was there. In short, I was infected by it. Not that I’m about to begin a huge Internet business, but because their principles could be applied to any sector one wanted to excel in. I even managed to take a picture with Jason Njoku and a fellow UNN alumnus I met at the event. Anyone who knows me knows this is a big deal as I’m camera shy.

I know I looked horrible but I really couldn't care less at this point
I know I looked horrible but I really couldn’t care less at this point; kindly ignore the Peace sign. 
His name is Incometrader. Trust me, it was a well earned nickname from uni
His name is Incometrader. Trust me, it was a well earned nickname from uni

For more pictures from the event, you can check out Akin Alabi’s blog post here.  In my last post, I spoke about a small surprise. Its really simple. The first person to share this post on social media and leave a comment telling me what has changed on my blog gets airtime. Now, it should be in this format. Your name, your email address, what platform you shared this post on, what you like about this blog, what has changed on this blog, and how I can improve. First correct comment gets the airtime. May the fastest man win!

Monday Humor : Delirium

I was 11. It was a Sunday evening and we had just returned from visiting with family. We had to make a beeline from the house of our hosts to the car as it was raining. On the way home, I began sneezing. “Come on Chibugo! Is it this small rain that is making you sneeze?” asked father, and we all laughed. Despite all the teasing from him and everyone else, by the time we got home, I was shaking violently like cassava leaves in a storm. Someone put my favourite red and green sweater over my head and I crawled into a warm corner and dropped off to a feverish sleep.

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Now let me tell you something you don’t know. In our living room back then, everyone had their “television seat” (which was usually the closest you could get to the television without being spanked) and their “prayer seat”(which was actually the farthest you could get from the central table without being spanked. Everyone always tried to escape leading in choruses or having to explain the Bible passages. Lol). Usually, every morning, father’s alarm (which could wake the dead, literally) would ring at precisely 5:30 am and the older kids would jump out of bed, wake the smaller ones, take them to the bathroom to pee, and everyone would file into the living room for morning devotion, going straight to their respective “prayer seats”. Now I had slept for about an hour and Mother was not yet back with my medicine. Suddenly I heard the alarm ring and I jumped out of sleep, and headed straight to the living room for prayers. I sat in my prayer seat with my bible and sat staring bleakly, wondering through my pounding headache why father had the television on when we hadn’t yet prayed, and why everyone else was taking so long in reporting for devotion.

Father would look at me and look back at the tv, and look at me again and look away with concern all over his face. After a while, he lowered the volume of the tv and asked me “How are you feeling?” Even as I murmured something incoherent he came to feel my head. I was burning up! He immediately yelled for Mother and she came bearing my medicine. My annual attack of malaria had come when we least hesperredit😰😷

Obviously I recovered, but my “rep” suffered at home as I was the butt of jokes for a very long time. :'(😥😩Apparently, this was what had happened that day, as recounted by my siblings:

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We had gotten home and nobody knew how serious my symptoms were, until Mother touched me and discovered I had a high fever and went in search of medicine. While she was away, a truck on the road sounded its shrill horn and I jumped out of bed and walked straight to the living room like a sleep walker, grabbing my bible on the way. It was about 6pm. Father observed the strange behavior and reached for me, only to discover that I was murmuring to myself and I was as hot as a stove. That was when he yelled for Mother and my malaria-induced delirium and fever were taken care of.

My people, that was how malaria made me sleepwalk and sleep talk. The things that malaria fever has made people say ehn, I just kent tell it all 😭😭😭. May malaria never make you confess your sins in public. Lol.

I’m just getting home from a very hectic day at work and this is what I could come up with. Remembering it made me smile. I hope that reading it made you smile too.

XOXO, Chibugo.

Oh, Thank God I didn’t forget. How many of you attended the “Internet Entrepreneur” conference last week at Eko hotels VI? It was awesome and I regret not putting it up on the blog so that those who would be interested in going could sign up. There were really great guests relevant to the Nigerian Internet and social media growth and popularity present like Jason Njoku of Iroko tv, Opeyemi Awoyemi of jobberman, Craze clown from Instagram, Akin Alabi himself(CEO/founder of Nairabet), Tiwa Savage and the CEO of naijaloaded (I’ll put his name in the main post). I’m glad I went and I will be putting up a blog post soon about it. It will be coming with a small surprise, and I really hope I live up to this promise as this blog is fast becoming a Monday Monday medicine.

Before I begin rambling again, have a great week ahead, fuel scarcity notwithstanding.

Sincerely, Chibugo