Personal Leadership, Published Articles

10 Things That Are Holding You Back as a Professional

If you follow successful professionals, you’ll notice that there are certain things they have in common, and that there are many similarities in the pieces of advice they share.

The interesting thing is that, from speaking with others, I know that these aren’t peculiar to me.  Every time I sit down with someone to talk about what they could have done differently, and the small moves that made a big difference, it turned out many of us were making one or more of these mistakes that are probably holding you back as well.

Family Life, Health, Published Articles

5 Things We Should Know About Workaholism

It has been said that too much of everything is bad, and for the most part we believe it. Yet, work is such an honourable endeavour that it’s not so easy to comprehend “too much” of it. Is there really such a thing as being a workaholic? Yes there is, and here are 5 important things to know about workaholism.

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

10 Little Tips for a Productive 2017

Lifestyle changes have been known to produce better results than resolutions. You need to take action each day if you will make progress.

Everyone usually looks forward to a better year each time January comes around, but what will you actually do, or do differently, to be productive and achieve more in 2017? Here are a few suggestions.

Family Life, Published Articles

Does Your Family Need a Staycation?

I’ve been in love with the concept of staycations for years. It’s a great thing to do with your annual leave or any other time you have off, especially in a recession like this one we’re in.

That you can’t afford to travel somewhere on vacation does not have to mean missing out on all the delights of a vacation. By planning a staycation you can enjoy the pleasures of a vacation that don’t involve travelling. Read more about it HERE.

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.

Inspiration, Personal Leadership, Published Articles

5 Traits of Bosses Employees Love

A couple of months ago, I wrote about handling difficult bosses and it got me thinking, what does a good boss look like and how can you ensure that YOU are one when the time comes?

1. Know your onions: To be a good boss, you’ve got to know what you’re doing; none of that barely getting by and cutting corners to get to the top. There’s nothing like a boss who knows their stuff. Oh, the joys of working under a maestro, an expert, a master of the game! If you’ve never had one of those “Nah, MD is good!” moments, I have been there, and I can tell you that this is the kind of boss we all dream of working with and learning from, and this is the kind of boss you want to be, at any level. 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.

Family Life, Published Articles

5 Tips For Parenting When Mum And Dad Work

At a seminar I attended years ago when I was a single woman, a speaker told a story to buttress the point she was making about work-life balance that stayed with me.

A little girl whose mother had just started a demanding job was having a hard time adjusting. Before she woke up in the morning, her mum was gone, and she was usually in bed by the time her mum returned. One day, she left a note for her mother before going to bed. It read simply, “Mummy, long time o.”

The woman resigned that month, and who can blame her? Things are even more challenging in homes where both parents work and kids come home to caregivers with whom they spend most of their waking hours. What can working parents do to raise healthy, well-adjusted children? Read more…