An HR Executive’s Tips for finding a job during COVID-19

This is by far one of the most challenging times in history. Businesses are shutting down, people have lost jobs and finding a job is even more challenging than ever.

As we adjust to life during a global health pandemic, operations departments all over the world are looking for ways to stay lean to weather the storm. While this might seem scary as hell if you are trying to find a job now, the good news is that there are still a lot of opportunities out there.

As you try to find a job to help you move on to the next phase of your career during COVID-19, here are some smart things you should do.

1. Restrategize

When it comes to finding a job, it might be time for you to go back to the drawing board. Be open to roles outside of your current career path. Think about what you can do today, or in the next 30, 60, and 90 days. It’s fine to take a job outside of your field for a little while, especially if it means it’ll help your personal finances.

Expanding your scope of work may even make you more marketable when the crisis is over. Use this time to explore jobs you may have not considered in the past, and perhaps you’ll find opportunities you’d never have thought of.

finding a job

2. Pick and Choose Your Targets

I cannot overemphasize the importance of research. It is very important to keep up with the latest news on companies hit by the crisis. This may not be the best time to be targeting a job in the oil and gas sector or the aviation sector, for instance.

Find out which companies and industries are still in operation and may not have been hit as much by the pandemic. Top picks to focus on for me would be logistics, technology, food, entertainment and telecommunication industries.

It doesn’t matter how many jobs are or aren’t out there, you must focus on looking for the right one for you- Nneka Alfred, HR Manager at She Leads Africa Click To Tweet

3. Work Your Network

There is no better time to reach out to your network. You may have been in contact with a recruiter, co-founder, or business owner in the past but slowed down on conversations.

Now is the time to rummage through those business social media contacts and let them know you’re available. As a recruiter, I can tell you that during these unprecedented times, what matters is value. More than ever, we rely on referrals and direct candidate sourcing versus investing time/resources on probability.

finding a job

4. Consider Freelancing

Freelancing does not mean that you are not good enough or that you stop chasing a full-time job but you need to keep an open mind. Most companies would rather not commit to long term funded projects as there is no clear or specific timeline for when this pandemic will phase out.

You can get freelance gigs on African focused sites like NoSweat, Jobvine, CediJob, Hausbuddy. You can also check out global freelance sites like UpworkFiverr, and Solidgigs. You never know, your first paid gig could be one click away.

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5. Know the job description of the position you are applying for

Knowing more about the role helps you recall past achievements in previous jobs that align with the job description Click To Tweet


It is important that you study the job description to truly understand what the employer is looking for. This is extremely important. While the primary purpose of the job description is to detail the role and entice you to apply, there’s so much more you can do with it.

Knowing more about the role helps you come up with possible interview questions and recall past achievements in previous jobs that align with the job description. This is one of the easiest ways to ace your job interview.

6. Sell Yourself

Selling yourself involves you doing more than learning about the company. You’ll also need to also focus on the employer’s needs.

Learn how to talk about yourself in a meaningful and powerful way. Include testimonials or proof of past achievements to your resume, application, or professional profile. Your resume inspires any recruiter’s first guess, so you want to make sure it’s a compelling portrait of your strengths and skills.

The recruiter should not only see what you were responsible for but how well you did it and how you can make that success happen for them.

7. Ask for advice

We are humans, not robots. And when things don’t go as planned, we feel very sad. Reach out to colleagues, friends, mentors in similar sectors for moral support and practical advice on the best ways to land that job you seek. Be specific about the ways you want them to help you. Do not be afraid to ask for help.

8. Stay Positive

The most important thing when searching for a job in tough economic times is to keep a positive attitude. No matter how hard or how gut-wrenching these times are, my first order of business is to smack myself across the head with the simple message, “I will not give up. Caving in is not an option.”

Focus your energy instead on what you can control. Call that person at your dream company who is friends with your friend. Figure out how to use LinkedIn to your advantage. Take an online Excel course to shore up a required skill. Celebrate after each milestone to keep you energised.

Developing resilience isn’t easy, especially in these tough times. Pause, take a few deep breaths, meditate if you need to. But strap on your boots afterwards and find some new ways to muck your way to victory. You’ll find a job in no time!


Want access to more resources and articles to get you ahead in your career? Visit SheLeadsAfrica.org!

Meet Chebet Chikumbu: The Global Citizen trying to solve Africa’s youth development and education crisis

Chebet Chikumbu identifies as Pan-African

“Inside Global Citizen” is a limited series that will run during the month of August. It will pull back the curtain and highlight members of Global Citizen staff who are key parts of the organization’s advocacy, impact, and more. 

Be part of our community of outstanding women by joining today.

The United Nations estimates that a quarter of the world’s illiterate population lives in sub-Saharan Africa. With the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic further crippling Africa’s already fragile education systems, the challenge to develop the future of Africa remains a daunting task.

At Global Citizen, Chebet Chikumbu is leading an all-women team focused on youth development across Africa to solve this big education and literacy crisis.

CHEBET’S JOURNEY INTO YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

Chebet’s passion for seeing growth in Africa started at a very early age. When she was 10 years old, her parents whisked her away from Kenya to boarding school in South Africa where she developed an appreciation for Africa’s diversity. 

While she initially wanted to become an accountant like her father, her goals shifted as she began to learn more about countries across Africa, and noticed the prevailing inequalities that were similar across the board. 

With this new awareness, she found herself leaning more towards humanitarian work than accounting.

young Chebet Chikumbu

Today, Chebet works as the Regional Director for Southern and Eastern Africa at Global Citizen and identifies herself as a Pan-African woman with roots in Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe. 

“I have really come to understand our similarities as Africans but also the nuances in a way that has given me a very profound appreciation for what it means to identify with a Nationality like a singular place.” – Chebet Chikumbu.

INSIDE CHEBET’S JOB: SOLVING A MAN-MADE CRISIS

To create sustainable and practical solutions to the problems of youth development and education, Chebet’s team identifies governments and corporations that can support priorities around the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), develop campaign strategies, and mobilize support across sectors.

With her all-star team, Chebet oversees Global Citizen’s campaigns and ensures that commitments made through the Global Citizen platform are delivered and have a real impact on the intended recipients.

“It became clearer to me that a lot of what we see is man made. And, if these are man made problems, it means that there are man made solutions. And if we collectively put our heads and our hands to work, we can come up with the necessary problem solving that is required to address the world’s most pressing problems.” – Chebet Chikumbu. 

BeyGOOD: A SUCCESS STORY IN AFRICAN YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

Chikumbu has had great successes with her team at Global Citizen. Inspired by Nelson Mandela’s passion for youth development and education, as well as his legacy of empowering future generations, Chebet and her team launched the  Global Citizen Fellowship Program Powered by BeyGOOD.

 

The Global Citizen Fellowship Program Powered by BeyGOOD is equipping young people with the skills they need to play a role in social justice, helping their communities achieve the SDGs, and amplifying causes that they believe in.

Global Citizen Fellowship Program class of 2020

Now, the Fellowship program is kicking off for its second year — with an extraordinary class of 10 young people. Designed to empower young people with work experience, the program is not only supporting the vision of a South Africa that nurtures its youth.

Each fellow will also have the benefit from personalized mentorship from leaders in entertainment, business, government, and civil society — all aimed at enabling them to realize their potential to become global agents of change.

Chikumbu encouraged young people to apply and engage in the paid, year-long fellowship aligned to one of Global Citizen’s four pillars of activity: creative, campaigns, rewards, and marketing. The next application period would be in 2021. 


ADVICE: HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT MENTOR  

The mentorship program is an aspect of The Global Citizen Fellowship Program powered by BeyGOOD that Chebet is especially proud of. With a career that has spanned over 15 years, she emphasizes that an effective mentor can create an open environment for young African women to express themselves and be heard.

“I can attest to the fact that mentors have really helped me shape my career in my 20s, and especially now in my 30s because I am thinking more broadly around how do I deepen my thought leadership and how do I truly become the light that I want to be and that I want to see in the world.”- Chebet Chikumbu. 

To find the right mentor, Chebet advises that you look for somebody who believes your intentions and is invested in seeing you be great without any strings attached -the key is you have to ask!

SOLVING A CRISIS DURING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC

The pandemic has not spared Chebet and her team. According to Chikumbu, prior to the pandemic, Africa had been making progress to meet the 17 goals. Now, even those targets where that had almost been hit are under threat of having decades of progress wiped out in a matter of weeks.

“Due to COVID-19, an unprecedented health, economic and social crisis is threatening lives and livelihoods …we know that people of colour are disproportionately affected and we know that on the continent it means that the majority of those people of colour will be young and under the age of 30.” – Chebet Chikumbu. 

The UN says global school closures have kept over 90% of students worldwide – 1.57 billion pupils – out of access to education, and among them, 370 million children are missing out of school meals that they depend on. For those without access to internet and computers at home, remote learning is not an option, meaning almost no education for the duration of the crisis.

In short, if we thought it was real out here, COVID-19 is teaching us things can be a whole lot more real with existing inequalities and injustices. 

THE FUTURE OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION IN AFRICA

While progress might seem daunting, all hope is not lost. Chikumbu and her team are making a collective response to the pandemic, which can serve as a ‘warm-up’ for their preparedness in revamping the progress they had previously made.

“What we are now having to, I suppose, absorb as a shock but beyond that, that’s why we are gathering stakeholders around now to try and think of ways to turn that around and ways to immediately find effective solutions in the spirit of catching up,” says Chikumbu. 

Interested in learning more about Global Citizen? Visit the Global Citizen Twitter Page.

5 Reasons Why Your Budget Is Not Working and How You Can Fix It.

Sis, let’s be real. Since you created that budget, you probably haven’t used it more than once or twice. If you are like me, you sat down when you were extra broke and created that “wonderful” budget that accounted for every single thing- including chewing gum. Once you got a little money, you forgot all about it.

I know it is tempting to spend. Most of us have the spending bug somewhere in our systems but we must learn to control it, especially now that Ms. Rona is out and about. 

Here are 5 budget mistakes and tips on how you can fix them.

You made it too generic

Budget mistakes

So, remember how you went online to download xyz’s budgeting template and never bothered to make it suit your own spending habits? Yeah, this is a common budget mistake. On a general level, we may have the same basic needs- food, housing, transport- but Akosua from Ghana’s expenses can never be the same as Sheryl’s from Houston. 

You have to modify your budget according to your location, lifestyle, and personal needs. Should you be budgeting for a gym membership when you work out at home right now? 

You do not have your day planned

Budget mistakes, Tamar Braxton

“What is the connection between planning my day and budgeting my expenses?” You may be wondering. 

Planning your day helps you recall those activities that will eventually require you to spend. Create a daily plan around work, chores, cooking, and transport and see if that impacts your budgeting.

Your budget is set in stone

Ah, this one. I’ve been guilty of this too many times to count. I would piously create the most frugal budget known to man and then wonder why I was so miserable after. See babe, budgeting like every other planning endeavour, ought to make your life simpler. Create a realistic budget that factors in enjoyment. That aspect of your life is hella essential too!

The danger of creating a frugal budget is that at 2 AM one day, you may snap and treat yourself to natural hair products you don’t even need. At the beginning of each month,  add a treat to your budget- a book you want to read, fancy skincare stuff, bralettes, etc. Pick one thing and treat yo self!

Budgeting like every other planning endeavour, ought to make your life simpler. Create a realistic budget that factors in enjoyment. That aspect of your life is hella essential too. Click To Tweet

You have not adjusted your budget in forever

You still have the same budget since last year and you wonder why it is not working for you. If you work from home or you are bored in the house, bored in the house, bored, I am guessing that certain expenses are on pause while others (like grocery expenses) are being incurred. 

If this is true for you, then you obviously should not budget the same amount that you did for transportation last year. Evaluate your budget at the beginning of each month to see if it is realistic to your current lifestyle. 

You have barely used it since you created it

This is another common budget mistake you could be making. What is the use of having a budget if you won’t use it?

If you barely use the budget after creating it, consider setting a good ol’ reminder for checking your budget. And girl, when that alarm goes off, make sure you check, okay?


Join our community of young, ambitious African women to step up your budgeting AND money game! 

4 Ways You’re Losing Money Without Realising It

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Money is such an inexhaustible topic – we talk about earning it, investing it, spending it, and even sometimes losing it. We’re usually focused on the first three and barely pay any attention to the likely ways we have been losing cash.

Most of us don’t have trust funds waiting for us, so every naira counts. Being on the lookout for money-sucking expenses can go a long way in increasing your disposable income.

I’m going to let you in on things you’re doing too much of or not doing at all that could cost you some dollar bills (or whatever currency you spend).

Tracking your expense schedule, asking for a discount and buying items in bulk can help save up cash and thereby reducing the risk of losing money - @adeyojuwon Click To Tweet

1. Bank Charges

It’s so funny that the banks are starting to do the exact opposite of what they’re meant to be doing- helping people save money.

The Fix

You probably have more than one bank account/debit card. Each account attracts individual maintenance costs.

A simple solution to ridiculous bank charges is trying as much as possible to have one savings account and one debit card. This will help eliminate charges that may arise from owning multiple accounts.

You can reduce constant cash transactions and erase the need for unnecessary bank fees by having a budget that’s restricted to how much you’ll need for a week.

2. Delay in Paying Off Debts

While taking a loan isn’t a big deal, delaying pay-off is quite a big deal. Especially when it has interest attached to it.

Interest accumulates over time so delaying your debt pay-off inevitably increases the amount you’ll pay eventually. This means you’re gradually losing money.

The Fix

Once you have an inflow of cash probably due to holiday bonus or a salary raise, it is advisable you pay off your debt as soon as possible.

This could give you a little extra to spend on other things and potentially save you a lot in interest payments.

3. Avoiding Negotiation

Another money-draining factor that might not have ranked high on your list is negotiation.

A lot of market vendors on this side of the world rarely quote the actual prices of their products. Most of the time, you’re expected to bargain and beat down the prices a little bit more.

This negotiation rule also applies to the professional world. You’re expected to negotiate your salary and not simply accept what you’re initially offered when you apply for a new job.

According to a paper by Harvard Business School, women are most likely to agree to the first offer on the table and lose money in the process, as well as better chances for career growth. It is time we change the narrative.

The Fix

Weighing other options available to you by knowing what prices other vendors are offering will go a long way when it comes to saving money. This also applies to knowing what other employees earn before you take a new job.

This similarly applies to online stores, when I was buying my new phone, I checked a couple of online and physical stores to get the best price and avoid being overcharged.

Always remember that avoiding negotiation comes with a price!

4. Subscriptions

Technology comes at a cost. There is a cost attached to watching an endless stream of movies and listening to your favourite music. There’s a long list of other subscriptions- magazines & newsletters, fitness groups, diet plans and a whole lot more.

It’s easy to forget what you’re subscribed to when payments are done automatically.

The Fix

You should only subscribe to plans you use regularly. This will help you avoid wasting money on plans you don’t get the most from.

Certain subscriptions can be done with a group of people to save money on the total cost.

Other significant ways you might be losing money includes wasting food, cancelling your Uber or Taxify rides, and impulsive spending.


 Interested in contributing for She Leads Africa? Click here.

Want to map out your own career path? Here’s how!

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Think about a career as a personal journey. How person ‘A’ makes it work, is never the same as how person ‘B’ makes it work. In an industry with hundreds of skilled talent coupled with the rapidly evolving times, how can you craft your own path and remain relevant?

Now more than ever, is the time to be intentional about what you bring to the table; what makes you unforgettable? Case in point- the career journey of popular Nigerian Media Personality, Toke Makinwa – she went from making the big move from banking to being the media star we know today.  The key to her progress has been owning her unique career journey.

How do you map out a career path tailored just for you? The three P’s for writing your script are Purpose, Place, and Plan!

 

No purpose means no perspective!

career path- I see you gif

The secret to a knock-out career is a personal vision. What is your ‘why’ and how can the world benefit from this? Quickly identifying this helps you to know right where you fit in. Think about it this way: without ‘you’ there is no career. So, authenticity is required to create or find the right opportunities for you.

This is what will enable you to be successful irrespective of the dynamism of your sector. So, what if machines took over your sector, how would you evolve to stand the test of times? The answer is ‘you’.

I have always envisioned a world with more women who are relevant and living their authentic lives. This is my personal vision and it translates to the kind of career choices I have made. Through my various roles as writer, administrator and civil leader, my purpose has not changed.

Knowing your place means there is a vacuum just for you

Career path -Chess gif

What are you able to bring to the table? Remember it is all about you, and how you can make everything work in your favour.

What has kept Ms. Tyra Banks relevant until now, is mapping out a career path that only she can execute. What is your place in the industry you are in? Where can you work or not work? The path becomes even narrower.

It takes consistency to find a niche or establish a track record, but when you can identify what exactly it is you bring to the table as well as where you can function in terms of delivering your personal vision? That’s when you know you are off to a great start.

In my case, after identifying how I could add value to the female audience, I developed my niche as a columnist on a lifestyle blog for women. I created a column for aspirational women; for daily motivation and personal development. This was how I started out, which in turn enabled me to learn a lot about myself, and evolve. I have built my career on this foundation.

Draw up a plan for you or go home when their plan changes

I mentioned Tyra Banks earlier. Actually, Tyra was forced to make sustainable career plans when her industry rejected her. If she took the list of designers who said they couldn’t book her anymore and admitted that she was done, she wouldn’t be who she is today. Instead, she rewrote her narrative by creating opportunities for herself.

Having found a purpose and a place, then there has to be a great plan to keep you relevant. Like a custom-made strategy just for you.

In formulating a plan, ask yourself the following questions: What is the right network for me? Where is the right environment? How can I gain more confidence and experience? What is crucial to remaining relevant? In answering these questions, you will be able to craft a career strategy for yourself.

To wrap this up…

I have been able to identify opportunities that re-enforce my competencies, which in turn have helped me evolve in my career. This consistency has helped me to learn more about myself, and envision where I would like to be in years to come.

I first started out as a content creator for women, but I have evolved to channel my passion of empowering women, into development work and not just media. As a key-employee in an organization for women, I have first-hand experience in helping women stay relevant. 

If you are hoping for a Toke Makinwa or Tyra Banks type of evolution, then you need to put yourself at the centre of your career. Not the money, or being on fleek, or the people you are rolling with. Think hard to make the right decisions. Long-standing personal brands are birthed from consistency.


How have you mapped your career path?

Let us know more about you and your story here.

Overwhelmed? Here’s How to Succeed in these Times

For a start babe, how are you feeling today?

I know that these past few months have been challenging. Business sales are declining, pay cuts at work, bank accounts are turning red and being indoors is getting the best of us. For some of us, thinking of how to succeed is the last thing on our minds. We’re more about how to survive.

There is SO MUCH going on and I bet we are all looking for ways to stay sane during and after this pandemic. 

But the truth is, bags still need to be secured and money has to be made- pandemic or not! So here are a few tips on how you can succeed in the new norm.

1. Stop feeling sorry for yourself

If you really want to succeed, you will find ways to change where you are right now. Self-pity won’t take you there. If your mood is not right, take a brief meditation break or dance to your favourite song. Shake off that bad energy because better days are here!

2. Create a gratitude journal

Get your notepad and list out a few things you’re grateful for today. Think about your family, friends, things that went well, the growth you’ve experienced and any other positive parts of your life no matter how big or small.

3. Never stop marketing yourself

If you’re a business owner, start treating every piece of communication you send out as another chance to market your product. Show your best pieces and update that Instagram account with your latest products or discounts. Most importantly, remind family and friends about your business.

4. Don’t be stagnant

We’ve been forced to conform to changes that we have little or no control over. If you’re thinking about how to succeed, this is the time for you to re-evaluate your business goals in relation to the current economy. Find ways to thrive girl! The world is evolving and so should you. Don’t just exist. Live. Explore. Challenge yourself.

There are many hidden opportunities right now. You just need to put yourself out there! Click To Tweet

5. Keep the vision alive!

You need to have a vision of who you want to be. Succeeding in the new norm means breaking through the hard shells to come out renewed and rejuvenated. It means doing it your own way and making the best out of everything.  

To build that amazing business or career, you need access to resources that can help you. She Leads Africa has consistently delivered valuable content and experiences for women to live their best lives over the years.

Where did the pandemic hit you the most? A decline in business sales, a pay cut or you’ve exhausted your savings. Whatever it is, you need a strong support system to push you to exceed limits and take on opportunities you never thought you would. These are some benefits of being a part of the SLA community.

 

 


Grab your squad and join the train of successful women in the 21st century. Join the SLA community!

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How to write an email- 5 spam-proof tips

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There are a couple of important things to note when you’re writing an email. The average person receives about 120 emails each day and only opens 25% of them. This is approximately 30 but I guarantee you that it’s probably way less. I for one only open about 5 on a good day. You need an email that doesn’t get lost in the noise of the receiver’s inbox.

When the receiver opens, the goal is to get them to read your email instead of adding it to spam. Here’s how to write an email in 5 easy steps:

1. Start with an eye-catching subject line

Your subject line is the make or break part of your email. If you’re competing with 130 emails for attention then you want to stand out in every way possible. Make sure your subject line goes straight to the point. NEVER send an email without a subject line.

If it’s a job application, sometimes employers give guidelines for what your subject line should be. In this case, follow the rules. It’s not the time to get creative. Keep your subject line short and sweet- should be 55 characters or less.

Here are a couple of good examples of good email subject lines:

Job Application: Application for the role of Marketing Associate
Cold email: Career growth training opportunity for your employees
Follow up: Re: Application for the role of Marketing Associate

2. Time for salutations

‘Dear Ms. Z’ Or ‘Dear Mr. Y’ is really your safest bet in formal situations. If you’re sure about the gender of the person you’re sending to, you can use ‘Dear Sir’ or ‘Dear Madam’.

Please avoid saying ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ as much as possible because it tells the person that you didn’t really bother to do a bit of research on who you were sending the email to.

For less formal companies and organisations, you can just say Hello X. If you’re in doubt, always use Mr., Ms., Dr. or Professor to be on the safe side

3. Ask how they’re doing

This is just a one-liner that makes a good difference in your email. It’s a tad rude to just go straight to what you want. When you’re sending an email, you want to ask how they’re doing before saying anything else.

4. Introduce yourself and get straight to the point

So you’ve gotten the receiver’s attention, good job! It’s time to give them a brief but concise introduction of yourself  and what you do in relation to the email you’re sending.

An email

Here’s a great example:

My name is Sola Adebakin and I’m a software engineer at XYZ solutions. I am writing to apply for the role of Chief Technology Officer at She Leads Africa.

If you’re writing on behalf of a company, you should introduce yourself first and say your role before introducing your company and what your company does.

Example:

My name is Sola Adebakin and I’m a software engineer at XYZ solutions. I am writing to give you a better and faster alternative to 4G internet for your company through a new solution provided by XYZ

XYZ is a wifi solutions provider that gives companies up to 5 times faster internet services. We’ve helped companies like Sterling Bank, Frosty Bites and MalcolmTrust get up to 5 times faster internet and we’d love to do the same to you.

You can then go on with your ask but keep it as short as possible never let your email exceed 4 paragraphs unless absolutely necessary.

5. Close it out

For your closing words, Warm regards is one of the safest options to use. You could also use Best or Regards in a more informal email.

Example:

Warm regards,
Tiffany Aku

That’s it! your email is ready to conquer your receiver’s inbox!

 

How to find a job on LinkedIn

Need a new job?  Well in case you didn’t know, LinkedIn can be one of the best places to start. This is why we’ll be taking you through 5 major tips for how to find the job of your dreams on LinkedIn. Play your cards right and you’d be surprised when potential recruiters are the ones reaching out to you! 

Update your profile

Think of LinkedIn as an online CV but with more. Don’t hold back, use this opportunity to detail the work you’ve done and the skills you have. Apart from a brief summary of your work experience, have a LinkedIn bio that’s interesting enough to read through with hobbies and a bit of what you’re passionate about. 

Set up job alerts

You can set up job alerts on your career interests dashboard so that LinkedIn notifies you when a new job is open. With this feature, you can be one of the first to apply for jobs you’re interested in.

Build your connections

Be sure to connect and engage with things and people that interest you on LinkedIn. Following companies that you’re interested in and connecting with their employees and recruiters is always a good idea. 

If you have a list of emails of people that you have connections with offline, all you need to do is upload a CSV file of those contacts and LinkedIn will automatically send connection requests to all of them. This can also help to give your LinkedIn profile a little boost. 

Reach out

When you’re looking for a job on LinkedIn, you’ll need to reach out to recruiters in your choice organisations. One way to make this easy is to have a message template that you can tweak

Here’s a good example: 

“Hello Ms. Archer

My name is Lerato. My background is in software engineering. I’m exploring job possibilities and at this stage, am thinking that Maverick could be a fit for me because I can design systems exceptionally well. Can we meet for 15 minutes to discuss?

Recruiters are busy people so you want to make sure you give at least a week for a reply. 

Let Recruiters Know You’re Open

Showing your profile to recruiters is another great way LinkedIn helps you find a job. To do this, enable the open to job opportunities feature on your LinkedIn profile. You can also choose to opt in to appear in recruiter searches that match your career interests.

LinkedIn tries to protect your privacy by not showing your preferences to recruiters in your current organisation but you need to know that it’s not a 100% guarantee that you will not be visible.

That’s it! You’re now on your way to applying for the job of your dreams!

4 Tried and Tested Ways To Be Productive At Home

Whether you are still on lockdown or not, working during a pandemic can affect your normal levels of productivity. You are not crazy or lazy or lazy. These are unique times none of us ever thought we would have to deal with. However, there are ways you can be productive at home.

Isioma Ononye is a YouTuber, writer, and fellow Motherland Mogul who founded WomenRising Nigeria, a forum to discuss and advocate for the rights of women and girls. She is currently focused on creating content to help other women get through the challenges of the pandemic.


In the struggle to stay laser-focused on goals, I have tried different ways to stay productive. Here are my personal tried and tested tips for staying productive while staying productive at home.

1. Wake Up Early

As everyone stays at home due to COVID-19, it is normal to feel demotivated. However, staying at home does not mean your goals have to suffer. While at home, you could still treat things like a normal workday. That means waking up early as if you were going to work.

I found that starting the day early really sets you up to tackle your goals.

2. Set A Schedule

Another way to be productive at home is to have a schedule. Writing things down has always been an important way for me to stay focused and be productive. Having a schedule really helps guide your day.

Having a schedule is especially effective if you’re feeling restless and unmotivated. You don’t need to have a long list to pile up in order to feel accomplished. You just need to have at least 3-5 things that you plan to do for the day.

3. Eliminate Distractions

When at home, there are so many things that can distract you. You can easily be distracted by social media, relatives, and anything in between.

4-simple-ways-to-remain-productive-at-home

You can deal with this by designating a time for your work. During your work hours, use apps like Freedom to avoid digital distractions for non-work related apps.

If you’re distracted by family or housemates, communicate clear boundaries and schedule quality time outside your work hours. If you have space, you can set aside a spot for getting your work done.

4. Remind Yourself Of Your Goals

4-simple-ways-to-remain-productive-at-home

At this time, you can easily lose sight of your goals and passions. You can get so caught up in the news, that forget to take time to reflect.

It matters that you continue to take time to reflect on your goals and passions. Remind yourself of what fuels you and what you aim to do. Though we are going through peculiar times, you can still adapt to the situation and remain productive.


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Molped Feature on Chidinma Ekile: Award-Winning Musician

Molped sanitary pad is a product from Hayat Kimya Limited (manufacturers of Molfix diapers), and is a skin-friendly, ultra-soft, sanitary pad, designed to make young girls feel as comfortable, soft, and secure as they feel beside their best friends.

Molped’s breathable layer keeps young women fresh, and it’s skin-friendly, cottony soft layer does not cause irritation. Molped sanitary pad is every girl’s best friend, helping them be more confident, and supporting them through their periods.

Molped has partnered with She Leads Africa to highlight the beauty and importance of valuable female connections. 

About Chidinma Ekile

Chidinma Ekile is a Nigerian singer and songwriter, popularly known by her stage name Chidinma. She worked as a business promoter in Lagos, prior to auditioning for the third season of Project Fame West Africa, in which she emerged as the winner in 2010.  

Following the release of the music video for her “Emi Ni Baller” single, she became the first female musician to peak at number 1 on the MTV Base Official Naija Top 10 chart.  In 2011, she released her first solo single “Jankoliko” featuring Sound Sultan.   Chidinma, her self-titled debut studio album, was released through the music platform Spinlet.  It was supported by the singles “Jankoliko”, “Carry You Go”, “Kedike” and “Run Dia Mouth”. Chidinma won the “Best Female West African Act” category at the 2012 Kora Awards 

Considered one of the most loved and respected African female artistes, Chidinma is verified across ALL social media platforms. 

A responsible, classy and elegant woman, devoid of scandals, Chidinma has over the years comported herself in a ladylike manner, evolving from the girl next door to becoming a role model and mentor for several young girls across Africa.  Chidinma recently signed an endorsement deal with the premium sanitary towel line, Molped, where she features in all Molped’sTV and radio commercials as the Face of the brand in Nigeria. She released a critically acclaimed joint EP with Africa’s foremost musician, Flavor.  

Chidinma is the founder of Nma Care Foundation, a non-governmental organization set up to cater to visually impaired children.  

You can connect with Chidinma on  Instagram and Twitter.

What does friendship mean to you?

Friendship to me, means identifying the traits and characteristics you favour in people. It means that you accept them for who they are, recognize their flaws and help them improve on themselves.

It also means being there for them as practically as you can.

What advice or tips do you have for women trying to build a professional relationship with mentors?

While learning from your mentor, it’s important that you make sure you never take their time, access and opportunities for granted.  You should recognize and respect their boundaries.

Also, always offer value, because a person’s gifts will make way for them.

What skills or character traits have been most helpful to you in building your career?

I definitely think it is treating the music business as just what it is; which is a business, something akin to a 9 to 5.  I am deliberate about my actions, my team and I plan ahead. We also don’t compromise on our standards or the quality of relationships we cultivate.

What advice do you have for women trying to build a career in the music industry?

As much as I am still learning, I will humbly state that any woman willing to build a career in the entertainment industry, must be ready to work twice as hard as the guys.  Make sure you pay more attention to details and cultivate quality relationships.

Do you think it is important to have a mentor as a young woman trying to grow her career?

Yes.  However, I think that it is important that any woman takes very careful time to evaluate the person she is submitting herself to as a mentee. This is important, in order not to have a misrepresented view of the industry they are working in, and also not be taken undue advantage of.

Since you are the Brand Ambassador of MOLPED, in what ways does the brand remind you about friends/friendship?

Ok I need to actually share this with the world☺. Let’s start with how the features of the product remind me of friendship. It’s not just soft, but cottony soft with no nylon and wide wings and because of these features, it causes no irritation or leakage. 

Those are definitely qualities that I expect of a friend. For them to be soft and comforting, with us having minimal to no friction or fights. I know we might fight at times though, but not all the time you know, and of course she always keeps my business my business.

In addition, the brand promotes friendship and girls being there for each other, and drawing inspiration from each other at all times.

Do you have any words of advice for our Motherland Moguls, trying to be successful like you?

Please ensure you are bringing value to the table. Develop your craft, hone it and guard it like a mother protects her baby.


#MyGrowthSquad series is powered by Molped (@MolpedNigeria). Connect with them on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube.


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