Interview

21 Questions for Joy Ehonwa, Writer and Editor

I’m always interviewing people; it was nice being on the other side this time 🙂

I shared about how I started my writing and editing career, life in the freelance world, what I’ve learnt along the way, and more, in this interview with Afoma Umesi. Enjoy!

Interview, Published Articles

Career of the Week – Obiajulu Uzoigwe, Marketing and Retail Professional

Obiajulu Uzoigwe is a marketing and retail professional with a BA in Linguistics from the University of Benin and a diploma certificate from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Nigeria. She is currently Head, Retail Leasing at Broll Property Services Limited (Broll Nigeria). We chatted about career decisions, and the challenges of being a woman in the corporate environment in this interview.

entrepreneurship, Interview, Published Articles

Meet the Boss Iretiogo Oke, CEO Protouch Janitors

While some entrepreneurs quit their jobs to start their businesses, others choose to straddle both worlds, running successful, impactful businesses without giving up their 9-5. Iretiogo Oke, a marketing professional who is also the CEO of Protouch Janitors, talks to me about being a career woman and an entrepreneur, and her passion for sanitation intervention in this interview.

Personal Leadership, Published Articles

6 Things Every Team Leader Should Know

It doesn’t matter whether you’re the head of the home, the head of a church department, or the head of a team at a multinational: the essentials of leadership are the same. Here are 6 things to keep in mind when it comes to leading your team, no matter how small or big.

Personal Leadership, Published Articles

The Number One Reason Why I Love Mondays

I embrace Monday instead of resenting it because it always signals a fresh start for me, a chance to do better than I did last week; an opportunity to succeed where I failed last week.

The new week is like a clean slate to me. Now that I’ve recharged my batteries over the weekend, what can I accomplish? What will I do better? How can I be more fulfilled in life? How can I get closer to being the woman I want to be? Read more…

Personal Leadership, Published Articles

After NYSC: 12 Nuggets for Young Graduates Joining the Workforce

For the record, I think NYSC should be scrapped. We’ve lost too many young people, and the scheme is of little or no value now.

Until we get there however, Nigerian graduates are entering and passing out of the programme every day, so until we can #ScrapNYSC and get #StraightToWork, we’ll keep finding our way together.

The khaki days are over and it’s now time to join the labour pool proper. Read a few nuggets of wisdom gleaned from professionals who have spent time on different rungs of the ladder HERE.

Family Life, Published Articles, Relationships

5 Ways to Help If Your Husband Gets Laid Off

Recession is not just a word. Every day, people are losing their jobs and it’s not a function of their performance. Many companies just can’t afford to keep people on.

Being there for a fired husband is not a walk in the park. Men are expected to and socialized to see themselves as providers, and when a man can’t provide, it affects him seriously. As a result, even if his severance package can tide you over until a new job comes so you don’t have to deal with the financial strain, being out of work is still extra hard for a man’s ego.

What can you do?

Published Articles

7 Traits Of Outstanding Executives

The most outstanding employees everywhere you look are not necessarily the most hard working ones, but the most effective ones. What does it mean to be effective?

To be effective is to be adequate to accomplish a purpose; producing the intended or expected result; successful in producing a desired or intended result. What qualities set outstanding employees apart from the rest? Read more…

Relationships

Letter to Dee

Dearest Dee,

It’s been a while. We don’t talk as often as we used to, and yet nothing has changed; not my admiration of your femininity, poise, wisdom, grace, eloquence and uncommon kindness, not your inexplicable fondness for and devotion to me, and certainly not our ability to talk about any and everything – when we do get to talk.

I remember the girl that I was when I first arrived Lagos. When I think of her, and then look at the woman I am today, two words flash before my eyes; God…Dee.

In May 2007 I left my little job in Warri after many months of longing for a better life. I remember walking home from work one day and, in a moment of intense awareness of the sheer ordinariness and tedium of my existence, muttering a quiet but heartfelt prayer: “God, please let me be somebody in this life.” So the next time my friend in Lagos raised the issue of relocating, I said yes without knowing how it would come about.

It turned out that saying yes to myself – yes to my potential, yes to my greatness, yes to more – was enough.

On the 4th of September 2007 I showed up ready to begin a career in Public Relations. I was prepared for work, but I was not prepared for you, Dee. When I first set eyes on you that first day at work, I had no way of knowing how much you would come to mean to me. It still amazes me how quickly we took to each other, even now that I can clearly see it was meant to be. What would a senior colleague, 11 years older than I for that matter, stand to benefit from a relationship with me?

I did not understand it at the time, but I do now. It was through your eyes that I truly saw myself for the first time. It was you who made me aware of my personal brand. My ability to look at a document and spot errors – from typos and grammatical blunders, to double spaces between words – was something I took for granted.

“It’s not about knowing English, Joy. I have a good command of the English Language myself; I was a broadcaster for almost a decade, FRCN trained. It’s the combination of language proficiency AND attention to detail. Don’t take it for granted. My husband’s company would benefit greatly from having someone like you.”

You influenced everyone in the office with your opinion of me. It wasn’t long before the MD insisted that no document leave the office without having been checked by me. You praised me publicly and corrected me privately. You gave me books and magazines to read. You gave me clothes, shoes and jewellery. You shared life experiences with me. And if that was all you did, it would have been enough.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about our relationship is the fact that you did not need that job. Oh, everybody who worked there knew that; we all realized from the car you came to work in, the clothes you wore, and the trips to South Africa and Paris for medical checkups, that you were not there for the money; but it was only later in our friendship that I would realize just how much you did not need the money.

You also did not need to keep in touch with me after you resigned to go start a family. You were no longer my boss, and even though I still wanted to be friends with you, it was your call, really. And you chose to be my friend. You chose to drive from the Island to the mainland just to take me out for starch and banga soup. You took my calls and counselled me when the need arose. When it became necessary for me to leave that office, you recommended me for a role in your husband’s company.

The pride you took in me as I grew in my new job meant almost as much as the fat pay check. You made sure to tell me all the wonderful things your husband said about my intelligence, dedication and readiness to learn new things. “He believes you can do more than research. He says he’s discussed with the Consultant to train you as a scriptwriter.” By believing in me you gave me more than a job, Dee; you gave me a sense of worth, a new career, the opportunity to learn new skills and a lifelong mentor who taught me how to write documentary scripts, and more.

You saw my gifts when I couldn’t see them, and you did your best to open my eyes to my own value. I look at my life, count my blessings, and count you 10 times.

There’s no way I could possibly recount all the things you’ve given me and done for me, and all the opportunities I have had because of you. Neither is there any way I could ever pay you back. Still, when I remember the girl I was when I first arrived Lagos, and look at the woman I am now, I purpose in my heart that I will pay. I have made a commitment to be to someone what you have been to me, God willing. I will pay it forward.

 

Love,

Joy.