I Quit! How to write a letter of resignation


I quit! I was too good for this job anyway. Kiss my a** and don’t bother contacting me.

P.S. Just to let you know, I was the one who ate the jollof rice you kept in the fridge that time.

Let’s be honest. How many of us have imagined sending a message like the one above before heading to your favourite suya spot for a treat yourself episode? When you’re leaving one job for (hopefully) better opportunities, you may want to use the opportunity to air grievances. This may provide temporary relief but you can’t burn bridges.

Resignation letters go on file and you won’t want to come back for a reference only to be confronted with an unprofessional resignation letter.

Here is a step-by-step guide to writing a letter of resignation.

The opening

Even before sitting down to write your letter of resignation, you will need to sit down with your boss for a one-on-one session informing them of your resignation. Now, you’re ready to write your letter.

The opening of your resignation letter should be friendly but formal. It’s a fine balance to maintain but it can be done. The most important thing is to remain professional at all times. Your letter’s salutation will depend on your relationship with your boss and the level of formality in your place of work. If you’ve been calling your boss Kemi all along, there is no point in writing “Dear Ms. Ade”.  Ditto if it’s the other way round.

Motherland Mogul Tip: Don’t forget to add the date. It should be aligned left, above your boss’s name and work address.

The body

Don’t beat around the bush and don’t sugar coat anything. You should state your intention to resign clearly. This way your boss doesn’t think you’re open to being convinced to stay. It’ll be quite uncomfortable having your soon-to-be former boss throwing in a higher salary to an attempt to halt your resignation.

Crystal clarity also shows that you are confident in your decision. A simple, “Please accept this notice of my resignation from my position…” will work great. Some advice stating your reasons for leaving but this is a must-do. Give as much details as you’re comfortable with.

Motherland Mogul Tip: Don’t forget to state your last date of work. Give your employer as much time as stated in your contract. For most, it’s a month’s notice.

The conclusion

As you’re being nice and professional, you should offer with helping any transition. This will usually involve training whoever will be replacing your soon-to-be vacant position.  Be careful not to promise what you can’t deliver.  Round things up neatly, based on how much information you included above. You may want to add in more details about your departure if you’re really close to your boss. Sign out with “warmly” or “king regards” or even “sincerely”.

Motherland Mogul Tip: Don’t forget to thank your employer for the opportunity.

Finally read through your letter, over and over. You’re looking for grammatical errors and typos. There should be no trace of hostility, remember you’re not burning bridges.

Have you written a letter of resignation recently? Did you make any blunders? Let us know your experience by leaving a comment below.

Yasmin Says: Mastering the art of the email follow up

She Hive Lagos Participant on Email


At the end of a networking event or conference, you may end up with dozens of business cards in your portfolio or your purse. While getting the initial card is definitely important, it’s even more important to master the art of the email follow up.

First things first: a few days after the conference, send a brief follow up email to everyone you met. Don’t wait too long or the conversation you had will no longer be relevant in their mind.

1. Have a clear subject line like “Follow up from XYZ Conference” so they don’t assume you’re sending spam since they’re unlikely to recognize your name.

2. Don’t assume they’ll remember exactly who you are since they probably met a bunch of people at the conference. So include subtle hints that will juggle their memory. Here’s an example:

Hi Mrs XYZ,

It was so lovely meeting you at XYZ conference and having the opportunity to talk to you about SLA, the organization that I co-founded which supports young African women on their journey towards professional success.

See what I did there? I subtly reminded them who I was by referring to my organization.

3. Don’t get aggressive if they don’t respond. Everyone’s busy and its not their job to help you. If they don’t respond at first, wait a week and then send the exact same email again. If they still don’t respond, wait a month and then send them an update email, sharing some of the progress you’ve made over the past month and then include your request again. IF they still don’t respond, fall back but keep sending them updates on you and your business once a quarter or once every six months.

Everyone likes to be associated with success, so  showing them how well you’re doing may encourage them to respond. I’ve emailed people for over a year before they responded!! Be persistent yet respectful, and keep up with the follow up.


7 reasons you should try a side hustle instead of a business

lupital nyongo

For a long time, growing up in Africa, especially in the western region, meant you had one path to take which was usually defined by an education in Medicine, Law or Engineering. To most of our parents and the generations before theirs, to succeed in life meant working very hard and long at a steady 8am to 5pm (or later) job in the hopes of retiring with a good pension package.

There was no alternate plan (Plan B) so we rolled with it. However, with recent advancements in technology and rapid globalization, people have found other means to succeed through entrepreneurship (Plan B).

At some point, some, if not all of us, have been tormented by the “which path should I take?” question. Plan A provides security/comfort of a steady paycheck but tends to seriously lack in the fulfillment department, while Plan B allows us to reach for the stars but takes a lot of tears, sweat, and even blood before a business breakthrough.

The good news though is that you can enjoy the pros and negate the cons of both by creating your own path through side gigs. Motherland Moguls, it is time to take destiny into our hands; to build castles that reach to the stars

1. Show me the money!

It is often said that the customer is king, but running a business teaches you that cash is the kingmaker. Let’s face it: life is expensive!

Starting a side hustle while maintaining your day job affords you the opportunity to cater to all aspects of your daily needs and set aside savings to build capital for your business.

2.Calculated Risks

Side hustles help you advance your career or business before taking any major risks e.g. changing careers or launching a business in a particular industry.

You can take incremental steps/investments and review to see if it is profitable.

 3. Career diversification


Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 11.50.11 AM
Image source: Chris Gilbert (equitise.com.au)

It is the best way to prepare for an uncertain future and mitigate risks such as job loss or bankruptcy by creating the opportunity to develop multiple streams of income.

4. Experience/Career accelerator

A side hustle enables you to build skills and new business ideas that kill it at work and makes you an authority in your field of expertise.

It also increases your marketability by adding a wealth of experience to reference at job interviews and client meetings.

5. Experiment

It gives you the opportunity to explore different passions, experiment with creative ideas and find your purpose without the added pressure of having everything figured out.

6. Altruistic expression

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 11.51.37 AM
Image source: Anubis2kx

Some moguls want to run the world while others want to save it. Solving the world’s problems could be a thankless feat but doing it as a side gig is rewarding enough.

Not only are you attending to your basic survival needs, you are also able to find fulfillment by playing your role in helping to shape your community for good.

7. Because you can

Why not? You are only young once. What better way to live than embarking on projects that either fail or succeed? By embracing failure, we learn to be/do better and by achieving successes, we build a better tomorrow.

Many have said in the past that the life of an entrepreneur is not for everyone. This much is true, however nobody ever said you could not succeed as a part-time entrepreneur. So a big shout to all our Motherland Mogul hustlers and to those thinking of starting something…Start!


5 proven ways to improve your personal brand


What exactly is a personal brand? There is no official definition but it’s artful combination of your expertise, talents and skills as well as the platforms that you use to present these. Many people focus only on their personal brand when they’re looking for a job, but the work doesn’t stop there. As a young professional, you can continue to find new opportunities and establish yourself in the job market by keeping your personal brand updated, fresh and in front of the right people.

Whether you are in your first job after youth service or a brand new entrepreneur looking to establish credibility in the market, below are 5 things you can do today to build and sustain your personal brand.

1. Define your brand

lovefolaWhat do you want to be known for? Are there certain attributes that you want to be linked to? What is your area of expertise? What are you passionate about? Once you establish this, you will be able to clearly define your brand. Be specific.

Choosing a general subject matter like “lifestyle” will not make you stand out of the crowd. According to Inc. Magazine, with a niche focus, you’ll have more opportunities to prove you know what you’re talking about. While your potential audience might be slightly smaller, it will also be that much more relevant.

2. Social media presence


Social media platforms are great tools for promoting your personal brand. Make sure that the content on your profiles is consistent across the board and aligns with your brand. Flesh out your LinkedIn profile. Contribute to conversations on Twitter. Delete or untag yourself from questionable pictures on Facebook. Post regular updates about issues you care about on all three. Be careful about the images and videos you upload to Instagram. Remember that all the content you post online contributes to your personal brand.

3. Write


Take advantage of writing opportunities. This allows you to not only share your knowledge but also establish yourself as an expert in your field. You can start by guest blogging for blogs that you admire. If you want to write more frequently, you can start your own blog or create a personal website. An added advantage of having your own website is that it increases the rank for your name on search engines. You can also reach out to newspapers and magazines, and write opinion articles to be published in them.

4. Network

lovefolaNetworking is important in building and growing your personal brand. Engage with other people in your industry both online and offline. Participate in online professional discussions and forums. Attend networking events and be ready to make connections with, share and learn from the people you meet. According to Forbes, your personal brand is strengthened or weakened by your connection to other brands. Find and leverage strong brands that can elevate your own personal brand.

5. Speaking engagements

lovefolaSpeaking at different events gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and meet new people. It also builds a rapport and trust with your audience. This will allow you to not only communicate effectively with them but also to grow your network. Interacting with people this way differentiates you from your competition and increases your credibility.

Cultivating your personal brand is not an overnight task. Like everything else, it takes patience, perseverance, proactivity and a lot of time. Don’t just limit your personal branding to online tools like LinkedIn and your website. Get out into the world and find opportunities to keep growing and connecting via media interviews, networking events and conferences.

Happy branding!

Images of and from Folashade Adeoso. Follow her here and here.

All the reasons no one is responding to your emails


Even for tech-savvy millennials, emails can be tricky, especially in the workplace. Every once in while, when you send an email, you might not get a response. It could just be that the recipient hasn’t seen it yet, or perhaps started replying and then got distracted (this happens with texts all the time, no??).

But it could also be more than that. Here are a few things to consider when you don’t get a reply from your boss or colleague.

1. Wrong Recipient

This doesn’t refer to an instance in which you meant to email Tayo and ended up emailing Taiwo because they have similar email addresses (though that very well may be the case). Rather, this is when you email Taiwo about an issue that Tayo should be handling or is more suited to respond to.

Always make sure your email is going to the appropriate recipient. There’s no need to email the CFO of your company about something the Finance Manager can handle.

2. Unclear Content

Maybe you went into too much detail, maybe you didn’t go into enough detail. Either of these can lead the email being confusing for recipient and may lead to you not getting a response. With most emails, brevity is key. But every once in a while, you’ll need to send an email with lengthy project descriptions or detailed instructions.

Make sure to read over emails to ensure that they’re coherent. Proofreading may seem like a chore but with short emails, it won’t take you more than a minute. With longer ones, it’s important that there isn’t any miscommunication.

3. Poor Timing

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 2.35.03 PM

Sometimes a co-worker may not respond to your email because of the timing. Perhaps you sent them some information too late, or perhaps it’s a question that can be answered in a meeting later that week.

Either way, make sure to consider the timing of the email if you find yourself wondering why you haven’t gotten a response.

4. You were rude

Hear us out! You may have not intended to be disrespectful, but we all know how emails can be misconstrued. This depends largely on the recipient and his/her perspective, so to be safe, it’s best to use language that is either pleasant or at least neutral and innocuous.

If however, you intended to express displeasure or be combative, don’t be surprised when you don’t hear back, as some people would rather not engage in heated email exchanges.

5. A response isn’t required

Some emails just don’t need a response. If you send your boss some information she asked for, she may respond or she may not and will discuss it with you at a later time.

Other times, if you’re sending a thank you email or an email about something that is not pertinent, it’s possible you won’t hear back. In most cases, it’s nothing personal, so there’s no need to worry.

All in all, remember that proof-reading and clarity are very important when emailing at work, along with being polite. Emails rarely get lost, so if you don’t hear back, consider one of the five instances above. Then call to make sure the recipient has seen the email or send another email following up.

3 business lessons I learned from Beyonce’s Super Bowl Weekend

Beyonce formation

Ok, so Beyonce happened this weekend and apparently so did the Super Bowl! I don’t know who has fully recovered from it because none of my social media feeds have. That’s the Beyonce effect. I mean she has me wanting to eat at Red Lobster and I live in South Africa??!! Do they deliver?

Apart from the epic dance moves that I need to start practising, I think there is something we can learn as business-minded women from the event!

1. Let’s get information

Education and self development are important for us as women, especially in these days where almost every company/ institution/ government wants to be seen to be progressive by empowering the women in their societies. There are so many free learning opportunities that exist we have to look around us and take advantage of them- especially in tech and business management.If you can’t find free, look for cheap, but credible courses. We can find Chanel on the low low so lets channel that to finding Harvard learning on a budget. MIT has free online course materials; you won’t get a degree but it does boost your confidence.

Beyonce did an interview looking back at her 2013 halftime show and she said “part of the reason I rehearse so much and part of the reason I study everything is so that I can completely let go and relax, so I am not in my head and I am confident.”

Be like Beyonce and study as much as you can so when opportunities arise, you are confident to put your hand up in that meeting! You should lean all the way in!

2. Let’s see that coordination

How dope were the black panther women in their fros and leather ensembles? Wouldn’t you love to have seen Beyonce in an afro? I have read some interesting articles for and against Beyonce’s support of the black panthers.

I won’t get into the political debate, but I think we need to look at collaboration and coordination within the black community. It’s an open secret that black women have challenges working together. I have heard this story endlessly and have been a victim of black on black discrimination.

On 31 January 2016, thousands of black girls gathered in Johannesburg in a celebration of ‘militancy, magic and melanin’. I think the mobilization was great, the atmosphere electric – but my only criticism is there was no formation around a common goal. For example, we have to support black owned businesses or actively connect college black girls to career black women so as to help us survive the jedi mind tricks of corporate culture. Prime example, Beyonce gave a shout out to Red Lobster and their year to date sales went up by 33%??!! 

Beyonce said, “prove to me you got some coordination.” This reminds of a picture posted by Ava Durvenay of 3 little girls with their afros holding hands. The caption of that picture read, “if there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”  I think this challenge of working with other black girls comes from the ‘just enough’ mentality we were raised with. In our homes, there were just enough resources and we’ve transferred this mentality to our work. We think there is just enough ‘shine’, that the “enemy” is onto us, so they reserve only 1 spot for us at the 18 seater table, and we all clamour for it.

We don’t have to play by those rules anymore, especially if we play together! Come on, lets twirl on the haters together, it’s better for optics!

3. Slay…consistently

I think this is pretty self explanatory. Beyonce is a lot of things, but consistency is probably number 2 on the infinite list. She was on hiatus for almost a year, but when she hit that stage, it was like she never left. Be known for your craft and excellence: ” You just might be a black Bill Gates in the making!”.

Beyonce sparked something. We have to keep the flame burning so we can afford tickets to her Formation World Tour.

Side note to Beyonce: Africa is a part of the world, so don’t be planning world tours and excluding us! We are not represented by our colonisers in France and Britain. You need to come by and see us!

That said, I think black girls in Africa should start a petition for Beyonce to bring her tour to Johannesburg. Ok, now ladies lets get in formation!

5 ways to upgrade your LinkedIn profile

Improve your LinkedIn profile in just one

Your LinkedIn profile is your introduction to the professional world. It is just as important as your resume/CV. However, the two are different. If your LinkedIn profile is an exact copy of your resume/CV then you are doing it wrong.

LinkedIn provides users with a platform where then can include more aspects in their profile than they can fit in a standard resume/CV. Use that to your advantage. Think of it as a marketing tool.

Remember that recruiters are now using LinkedIn to not only vet job applicants before an interview, but also to find and contact potential candidates.

Wondering how to upgrade your profile? Here are 5 ways you can do it:

1. Get a great headshot

Yes, it is necessary! No one wants to click on a profile without a picture. You want your profile to get the attention it deserves so upload a photo. Not just any photo either. That means no selfies, group photos or pictures of you turning up.

Put up a high-resolution picture of yourself without anything distracting in the background. Dress appropriately and smile. You want the picture to exude confidence and happiness.

Read more here: 3 Ways To Transform Your LinkedIn Profile From Crappy to Fabulous

2. Add a creative headline

The headline is one of the first things that people looking at your profile will see. It should grab their attention and compel them to read on. Think about your next career step.

Where do you see yourself? What kind of opportunities do you want to explore? Use this to inform how you craft your headline. Incorporate keywords and structure it in a way that it shows exactly who you want to be.

 Think of your LinkedIn headline as a condensed mission statement. 

3. Write a concise summary

A well-written summary will help recruiters and potential partners find you. Make it personal. Share your passion about the industry you are in or are looking to transition to.

What is your background? What have you achieved so far? What are your career goals? Use keywords and weave your responses into a career story that will give recruiters insight into who you are, and make them want to meet you.

Read more here: Three Steps To Writing The Perfect LinkedIn Summary

4. Add media

LinkedIn allows users to incorporate media to their experience section. It’s a great way for people to get a sense of what you have done.

Have a presentation, video, photo or document that you worked on? Upload it. Is your work online? Link to it. Add media that you are proud of and that showcases the range of your abilities.

Take advantage of the media add-ons on LinkedIn to SHOW people exactly what you are capable of.

5. Skills and endorsements

Be strategic about the skills that you list. Limit them to the ones you are most confident in and that you want to be known for.

Endorse your colleagues’ skills. Chances are they will do the same for you. Endorsements show that you have the skills and expertise that you say do.

Have you tried any of these tips? Were they helpful? Any others I didn’t mention? Go ahead and share them with me below.