Many millennial Africans do not see moving back to their native African country after living and schooling abroad as a viable option. This is mainly because they do not see the job opportunities available for them back home. Lola Coker, co-founder of Resource Nigeria, is looking to change that. Resource Nigeria makes the job transition from abroad to Nigeria as transparent and as seamless as possible. At the She Hive NYC conference, this Motherland Mogul gave the ladies some valuable advice on making the transition from working abroad to working in Nigeria.
We have highlighted some of the insights that Lola gave us during the discussion:
– “Have a support network. The relatives that you have been dodging, reach out to them and build a relationship with them. Even if you do not live with them at some point you will need them.”
– “Are you going to live with family? How is the setup? Are you going to have the freedom and flexibility that you want and need? Some African relatives can be quite strict. If you are going to live by yourself, ask yourself if you can afford it or if you will need a roommate.”
– “Location is really crucial. If you live on the [Lagos] mainland and you work on the island, you will face significant traffic daily going to and from work. Communicate with the company that you a working for before you start working there. Let them know your commute situation and see if you can get flexi hours, instead of doing 9-5pm you could ask to do 10-6pm. You could also ask to work remotely for part of the time.”
– “Public transportation is not really an option in Nigeria, you will need a car so consider petro expenses. If you are living alone, also consider home maintenance expenses such as a generator.”
– “Opening up a bank account in Nigeria can take a considerable amount of time. If you know that you are moving to Nigeria, find out all of the documents that will be needed to open an account. This way you do not have to spend months sorting that out.”
– “IJMB (I just moved back) does not equal fresh. Everyone has just come from abroad, it does not make you special or interesting to employers. When you are selling yourself to HR you must show them why you are the perfect person for the position that you are going for. Show them how your experiences from abroad can add value to their company.”
-“Make it home- if you were a part of a SoulCycle group in NYC find another version of that is Lagos. Whether it is yoga or wine tasting, all of these activities are available to you. Doing the activities you enjoyed abroad will make your transition so much easier for you.”
Lola concluded the segment by stating that it is inspiring to be amongst your people and seeing the success of their businesses. It fosters a sense of pride. It is not unusual to see people that look like you doing amazing things. It also makes your personal goals seem even more attainable.