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!

WEBINAR WITH BUNMI SIMOYAN: HOW TO LAND A JOB AT A GLOBAL COMPANY LIKE SHE LEADS AFRICA (FEB 27)

Have you thought about what kind of company you’d like to work at? If your dream job is a traditional 9 – 5, where you get to send out a couple of emails and scroll through your IG feed for the rest of the day, this is NOT for you! Now, if you’re wondering how you can land a job at a global organization or work with a dynamic and innovative team that’ll inspire you to learn continuously and be part of something bigger – don’t sweat it, girl, we’ve gotchu!

Join us on Tuesday, 27th February, as we host a Webinar with Bunmi Simoyan, who will be sharing exclusive advice on how to land a job at a global company like She Leads Africa.

Bunmi is the Head, People Operations at She Leads Africa. She is passionate about building successful careers and connecting the right people with the right jobs.

Some of the topics we’ll cover

  • Creative ways to get a recruiter’s attention with your job application
  • Traits global recruiters look for in candidates
  • How to slay the interview process
  • How to demonstrate that you are capable of doing a kickass job
  • Do’s and don’ts of securing a job at such companies
Register below to have access to this opportunity and submit questions that you would like Bunmi to answer.

Webinar Details:

Date: Tuesday, February 27th, 2018 Time: Lagos 4pm // Johannesburg 5pm // Nairobi 6pm Place: We’ll send you the link to watch once you register

Watch here:

About Bunmi

Bunmi Simoyan currently works as the Head of People Operations with SheLeadsAfrica.org, where she adopts innovative HR solutions to drive and promote leading-edge people strategies. She is also an independent HR Consultant for various small to medium-sized companies. Prior to joining SheLeadsAfrica.org, Bunmi spent the first 8 years of her career at Ecobank Limited Nigeria, where she worked in e-business, transactional banking and operations before pursuing a career in Human Resources. Born in France, raised in Nigeria, Bunmi is a trained HR professional who is passionate about providing innovative HR solutions. She is convinced that her purpose is connecting the right talent to businesses and providing solutions that can help businesses succeed. Bunmi graduated with a Distinction in Human Resources and Knowledge Management from Lancaster University – UK. She also holds a Post-Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management from Laval University, Quebec, Canada.

What is your next employer looking for?

Employers have a certain type of candidate they need to join their organization. Opportunities will open up, and you will be among those seeking (and eventually chosen) for that role.

This article shares what the employer is looking for as well extra tips on what you also need to avoid or stop doing if you want to enjoy a fulfilling career.


Reliability, dependability, and trustworthiness

To succeed in your career, you need to be trustworthy. Your boss, team members, and other colleagues can depend on you to carry out agreed tasks and keep your word. You need to be a reliable member of the team. Those are the ones that get recognized and get to higher heights in their careers.

Listening

Communication as an essential skill cannot be overemphasized. Unfortunately, listening is a challenge for most people. Learn to listen attentively and go a step further to ask questions and clarify statements or comments so that you avoid making mistakes in the long run.

Do not assume that you heard one thing and then do the other. That is a career stumbling block right there. Try and re-iterate what needs to be said enough to make sure you are sure about what you have interpreted.

Know your onions

Make sure you have the ability to actually carry out the job you’ve been employed to do. No distractions or time wasting on tasks.

Let your wardrobe SLAY

Depending on the type of job it is, wardrobe co-ordination is very essential. Your day at work should be a day you can easily create a professional impression. Get your outfits suitable enough to show that you are ready, qualified and happy to be given an opportunity at the company.

I suggest you do smart and professional dressing in your first few weeks until you settle into your role and the organization’s culture.

Always be punctual

Being punctual is essential. From your work start time, to your work prioritization, you need to eliminate all forms of “African time”. Click To Tweet

Know your key strengths

You have a gift. Call it talent, skill or passion. Just know you have a gift. Figure out what it is. It is also identified as your key strength. You already have it. It may take time to discover but you will and can discover them.

Develop and learn from others

The interesting thing is that you can always find a person who also identifies with your strength and has done more in developing this key attribute.

That is why we have mentors or coaches and role models. You should have an attitude that is willing to learn. Your attitude to learning from others will determine your acceleration.

Take personal responsibility

You are what you create. Make decisions and stand by the consequences of them. Click To Tweet

Kill that entitlement mindset that blames everyone but yourself. Determine to not only grow but to also be the one going to make sure you definitely grow.

Below are some habits that employees need to really avoid.

All employers aren’t the same but you can be an exceptional employee and that attitude will take you higher. Click To Tweet 

I recommend this to everyone looking to attain a higher impact in their chosen field.

1. Taking all the credit

Working as part of a team means everyone contributes their own quota to the success of a task, goal or project. Do not take credit for anything you do. Even when you work alone on a project, it will be obvious what your contributions are but even in that, you still would have needed some input or help from someone other than yourself.

Avoid taking credit that you don’t deserve and over-estimate your participation to the achievement of a goal.

2. Talking down on others

It is totally wrong to speak to a colleague in a derogatory manner. It makes you project yourself negatively and gives off the impression that you lack confidence and possess low self-esteem.

Avoid the urge to speak of or join in, to destroy a colleague’s work reputation. It’s an epic no for your career success.

3. Expressing anger at work

To be in a position of leadership is not a walk in the park. Expression of emotions especially anger is a skill that needs mastery. No one is entitled to use anger to intimidate or communicate at work. It is not a management or leadership tool. To ensure you enjoy a successful career, do not wear your emotions on your sleeves and express emotions when you need to and appropriately.

4. Negative Personality

Another career stall is one who has a negative personality. Everything about you is negative and distasteful. Nothing good comes from your conversations, you always have negativity and spread it to anyone around you. Your contributions are always negative, your output negative, your impression or comments about colleagues are also negative. The outcome is disastrous to your career success.

5. Inability to take responsibility for actions

Avoid the need to point fingers and blame everything and everyone for the mistake or gap. It is going to stall your career if you are unable to own up to it. When you lead a team, you, as the lead, are responsible for the success or failure. Do not pass on the buck but stand tall, admit the wrong, learn, adjust and move on.

6. Hoarding Information

Withholding information from your colleagues so that you can be in competition or at an advantage over them is not a criteria for a successful career.

It shows you are not a team player neither are you a candidate for getting into higher leadership positions. Information is to be shared, not kept as a secret weapon.


What key lessons have you learned as an employee or an employer? Share your experience with us here.

Writing cover letters for jobs in media or communications

Remember, it's not about you, it's about what you can do for them Click To Tweet

The media industry is a very cutthroat place driven by extreme timelines and deadlines. That being said, most media professionals will not have time to read through pages of a cover letter explaining every single job you have ever had or what clubs you chaired in high school. They simply want to know these five things:

  1. Who are you?
  2. Why should we hire you?
  3. What do you know about us as an organization/company/institution/publication?
  4. What sets you apart from the rest?
  5. How do we find you?

Put all this in a cover letter and you’re on your way to getting that interview call back you are hoping for. How to go about this though, is where most of us get it wrong. The world changes every day with each passing day, hour, minute and second, therefore it is imperative to keep up with the constant changes going on.

What worked as a cover letter say 5/6 years ago, is definitely not the case today in 2017. Check out the dos and don’ts below which I hope will be a quick guide to writing a great cover letter.

DO: Start off with a very intriguing first sentence

The media/comms industry is all about being creative and thinking of different angles to put points across. Do not just say, “I’m applying for this position because I really need a job and I feel this would be it”… Let’s avoid the tired cliches, shall we?

Start with what you know, which is your field, where you saw this vacancy and that you are interested in the position. This, first of all, gives them an assurance that their ads are being seen. Secondly, it tells them you know you fit the description by saying what you do already and lets them avoid wasting time reading the entire letter only to find out you don’t even know what you are applying for.

DON’T: Start writing out a detailed description of your resume or LinkedIn profile

By the time an editor, HR officer or head of department is receiving your cover letter, he/she has already looked at your resume. Do not waste time filling cover letters with repetitive content.

DO: Tailor your cover letter to the job description

Generic cover letters are a lazy way of applying for a job and they can be sniffed out from a mile away. A good example during my time working at an NGO, I was tasked with the job of going through various applications that had come in and had to cut them down to at least seven from 30 files.

Out of the 30, half the group had exactly the same cover letter, copied and pasted from a popular career website, just different names and sent on different dates. That saved me a lot of time in terms of evaluation but it cost those candidates a job because they did not bother to actually write a detailed cover letter.

Answer the questions they are asking by saying exactly how you fit the job requirements and you can provide one or two examples of what you have done in relation to the position.

Applying for a job in media/communications? Here are tips to write a stellar cover letter Click To Tweet

DON’T: Go overboard with selling yourself

Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about what you can do for them. Focus on that. Don’t talk so much about where you went to school, or the accolades you achieved. In this industry particularly, your honours, summa cum laude nod, distinction… aren’t prioritized as much.

Someone with a Ph.D. can just as easily be outshone by a freshly graduated senior from college, it all boils down to efficiency, skill and how badly you want this job. Show them you are worth the investment, don’t tell them what they could have easily looked up on Google.

DO: Your research

Find out all you can about the place you are applying to. Talk to them about their visions, their values, their goals. Show them how adding you to their team will contribute to bringing about even better communication campaigns or how efficient of a designer/copy writer/editor you are thus providing a fresh approach to their brand/publication/business.

Show them you know them and that you are ready to not change things around, but contribute to an already well-established organization.

DON’T: Have grammatical errors

None whatsoever. Cross all your Ts, dot all your I’s, have every comma, period and apostrophe properly placed. Proof-read your letter once you are done writing to make sure there are no typos, spelling errors etc. Have someone else check it as well to have a fresh set of eyes on it.

There have been cases where an entire application has been cast aside due to one single typo in the cover letter. This industry is very detailed in the work they do and a simple mistake such as wrong spelling or a missing piece of information can cost them millions in the long run. A cover letter with grammar mistakes shows you are not meticulous and are sloppy with your work thus a liability to the company.

DO: Be brief

I’ll reiterate the concept of time. Most people in these industries will most likely skim through these applications than actually read through them. They will look for the five things mentioned above and tick off or cross out where appropriate and move on.

Anything more than a page will not be considered at most organizations because again, no one has time to read through all that. Do be brief and concise yet include every detail you deem important to you and them on there. The art of paraphrasing comes in handy when applying to fields such as these.

A cover letter to the UN will be very different from a cover letter to a travel magazine Click To Tweet

DON’T: Forget to provide contact information

If it is not located on your CV, the cover letter is the place one shall look for a way to find you. Also, provide a period of availability (if asked) and when you can be reached. These industries do not work with your typical 9-5 schedule and may sometimes want to call you after business hours. Make sure you can be reached.

DO: Be gracious

Treat this is as a once in a lifetime opportunity and say how fortunate you would be to join such a great work place. Make them feel good as a business and show that you will do this job to your absolute best if considered. Sign off politely, prompting that you hope to hear from them soon.

DON’T: Forget to follow up

This is especially if you are applying to someone directly and not going through the HR office/automated job portal. Send a follow-up email to he/she asking if they received your application.

Give it 3-5 business days before sending the first follow up email and when you do send it, kindly ask when you are likely to hear back from them if it is not indicated on the vacancy announcement.

Now I’m no expert at all things resume/cover letter writing but these are tips I learnt in school and picked up in my time as a job seeker. My cover letter went from a generic 2-3 paragraph email to a concise, one page word document, tailored to the different positions I have applied to over the years.

A cover letter to the United Nations will be very different from a cover letter to a travel magazine or an advertising agency. Keep these tips handy and keep practicing on your writing, the more you do it, the better you get at it. I wish you all the best!

Webinar with Odunayo (PushCV): Writing your cv and cover letter for your dream job (July 13)

What do the first six seconds of your CV say to a recruiter?

If you’re attending many job interviews but never get a call back from employers, we’re about to solve your job hunt misery.

It doesn’t matter how smart you are, or how much skills you possess, having a bad CV and NO cover letter can end your chances for a job in no time.

Learn all you need to know from @OdunEweniyi about rewriting your CV and cover letter. (July 13) Click To Tweet

Now, whether you’re planning to write your CV yourself or get a professional writer, you also need to understand the difference between your CV and cover letter and know how to construct and present both to potential employers.

We’ll be chatting with tech founder and Chief Operations Officer of PushCV – Odunayo Eweniyi on Thursday, July 13th, about how to get the attention of recruiters, through your CV and cover letter.

Odunayo launched PushCV for both employers and job seekers – to fully harness the power of technology in the search for the perfect candidate or the perfect job.

Register for this webinar below.

Some of the topics we’ll cover

  • Techniques for Job application
  • Rewriting your CV and cover letter
  • How to get the attention of a recruiter in 6 seconds (Presentation)
  • Interviewing processes every job seeker must know of

Webinar Details:

Date: Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Time: Lagos 1pm // Joburg 2pm // Nairobi 3pm

Place: We’ll send you the link to watch once you register

Watch here:

About Odunayo

Odunayo Eweniyi is the Chief Operations Officer of Sharphire Global Limited – which owns subsidiary companies like PushCV, Piggybank.ng and FrontDesk.

Odun, as she is called, is very passionate about education, employment and most importantly, female empowerment, which enabled her to work with her team to build products to achieve that goal over the past 4 years.

She graduated with a first class degree in Computer Engineering from Covenant University. She loves to write a lot, and when she’s not working or eating, she’s watching TV shows.

The art of public relations

A degree isn't enough to be a PR specialist, we share insider tools and tricks to the industry Click To Tweet

Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds and manages mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and the public. This article breaks down public relations for those considering a career in the industry.

Who is the “public”?

Public, in PR terms, is anyone who ever has or ever will form an opinion about a client. Depending on the nature of your client, these could include clients, potential clients, members of the local community, members of the media, online fans etc.

Public relations success requires a deep understanding of the interests and concerns of each the client’s many “publics”. The public relations professional must know how to effectively address those concerns through Publicity.

Why is public relations important to an organisation?

Public relations can be used to protect, enhance or build reputations through the media, social media, or company generated communications.  The world of business is characterised by fierce competition and in order to win new customers and retain the existing ones, companies not only have to distinguish themselves from the competition but must also create and maintain a positive public image.

A PR specialist or firm helps them both create and maintain a good reputation among both the media and the customers by communicating on their behalf and presenting their products, services and the overall operation in the best light possible.

A positive public image helps create a strong relationship with the customers, which in turn increases the sales. Public relations people working for a company may handle consumer relations, or the relationship between parts of the company such as the managers and employees, or different branch offices.

Which situations or crisis may require public relations?

A client may need PR for many situations including;

  • Technical problems
  • Human error
  • Executive wrongdoing/legal problems
  • Any bad publicity generated from internal or external sources
  • Building a new business or brand
  • Communicating major changes in the organisation that may affect the public, for example, moving to a new location or new management.

How does a PR practitioner work?

A good PR practitioner will analyse the organization, find positive messages and translate those messages into positive stories.

When the news is bad, they can formulate the best response and ease the damage. PR people are image shapers. Their job is to generate positive publicity for their client and enhance their reputation.

A good PR practitioner will analyse the organization and create positive stories Click To Tweet

What are the public relations tools and techniques?

PR specialists use a number of tools and techniques to boost their clients’ public image and help them form a meaningful relationship with the chosen target audience.

To achieve that, they use tools such as;

  • The writing and distribution of press releases
  • Speech writing
  • Creation and execution of special events designed for public outreach and media relations
  • Conduction of market research on the firm or the firm’s messaging
  • Expansion of business contacts via personal networking or attendance and sponsoring at events
  • Writing and blogging for the web (internal or external sites)
  • Social media promotions and responses to negative opinions online
  • Newsletters to new and existing customers

Using the mentioned tools, PR specialists give the target audience a better insight into their clients’ activities and products/services as well as increase publicity.

What skills are required to be a PR specialist?

A PR specialist is usually required to have a relevant type and level of education such as a Bachelor’s degree in Communications or Journalism. Proper education, however, is not enough.

A PR specialist needs certain skills in the first place such as excellent writing and verbal communication skills. Two other important skills for the PR professional are;

  • The ability to work under pressure and to be able to answer a variety of questions including unpleasant ones. For example, if the client is under a public “attack”, a PR specialist needs to establish a control over the situation and protect the client’s good reputation.
  • People who work in PR are regarded as experts in media relations. They’re often asked to train employees on how to effectively communicate with the media, particularly during print or TV interviews. Public relations can’t function without the press. PR professionals spend most of their day maintaining existing relationships and cultivating new ones with journalists and other members of the mass media.

How to land a job with the United Nations

United Nations Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

The United Nations is probably one of the most well known organisations in the world. Around the world, wherever the UN is present, it is widely regarded as a symbol of peace, cooperation and development.

For someone like myself working in the development sector, landing a job at the UN is considered a major feat and one that is likely to open doors for you throughout the rest of your career.

So the question is, how exactly does one go about getting a job at the United Nations? Having successfully gone through the process recently, I would like to offer a few key pieces of advice that I believe worked to my advantage.

1. Become an expert at something

Whatever your qualifications are, know now that for every position you apply to at the United Nations there are hundreds, if not thousands of people with the same qualifications, or even better. So what’s going to set you apart from the competition?

In my opinion, you have to be an expert at something, anything. You should also be able to demonstrate how you can use your expertise to make an impact on the job if you are hired. In my case, while the job description did not immediately ask for it, I knew that I had a flair for design and communication and so I was sure to highlight that.

In my opinion, you have to be an expert at something, anything Click To Tweet

I showed this not just in my CV but in the way my CV was designed. Also, in answering the questions in the application process, I made sure to weave this fact into my answers, and it worked.

After I was hired my boss told me that was one thing that stuck in her mind. In addition, the fact that I was able to display that skill at every stage of the interview process, both on the written test and during the oral interview, was impressive.

So my advice to you is, be very good at what you do. Also, have a few unexpected tricks up your sleeve. In this day and age, don’t limit yourself to any one way of doing things.  Rather use your time wisely to cultivate skill sets outside of your field of work or study.

In this day and age, don’t limit yourself to any one way of doing things Click To Tweet

2. Be bold and daring

For most positions advertised at the UN, it seems that they are looking for experts with tons of experience. At first glance I think it can be very intimidating to most people, especially those in the earlier stages of their careers, who feel that they do not have the necessary profile to apply for the jobs they come across.

My advice to you is to ignore the doubt and dare to go for it anyways. The position I applied for asked for at least 5 years of experience and I had only 2. But reading the job description, I was convinced that even with my limited experience I could take on the role successfully. So I set out to show that in my application.

My advice to you is to ignore the doubt and dare to go for it anyways Click To Tweet

I enlisted all the help that I could get throughout the application process. I familiarised myself with the work being done by the United Nations body I was applying to. Also, I read through tons of reports, case studies, partner organisation websites.

I must have spent close to two weeks crafting the perfect application and going through it over and over until I was fully convinced that I was submitting an application that would get me the job.

After I was hired, I heard from my boss that my application immediately stood out. My boss said it was complete, compelling and presented in an attractive format. By the time they realised that I did not have the 5 years of experience that they were looking for, they were already sold on my qualifications and abilities to think outside the box. That was what put me through to the next round.

3. Cultivate an international outlook

For the most part, the work done by the UN strives to find out what works in one part of the world. Whether it is in terms of promoting socio-economic development, peace or security. Then trying to see how the lessons learned can be applied or reproduced in another part of the world.

What that means is that if you do land a job at the United Nations, you are going to be interacting with people from different cultures and backgrounds. Together, you will find common ground so that you can do meaningful work and enact real change.

Part of what I believe helped me through the application process was that I was able to display the fact that I had a very international background. Not just that, I had successfully thrived in different cultures. I had also been able to build things i.e. networks, grass-roots organisations, communities, everywhere that I had been.

Landing a job at the UN is hard, but the truth is that it is actually very achievable Click To Tweet

Finally, be determined and proactive

In all honesty, landing a job at the UN is hard, but the truth is that it is actually very achievable. It’s one of those things that you have to be really determined and proactive about. Be on the lookout for new job postings on the various UN sites at least twice a month.

Do your research into the different United Nations bodies you think you would like to work for. Know what they are truly about. Then, appraise your background and expertise to determine how you could really make an impact there. Seek counsel from people who have worked in the UN or other international organisations. It never hurts to get a more realistic picture of what it’s really like from an insiders perspective.

Be on the lookout for new job postings on the various UN sites at least twice a month Click To Tweet

Be patient and persistent. You may not land the first or second or even third position you apply for at the United Nations. Still, that should not deter you. Even if you do make it past the first or second round, it can take weeks or even months before you advance to the next round. In my case the whole process took about 4 months. During that time, I still had to focus my time and energy on the job that I already had.

Believe in yourself and in your abilities to succeed and to thrive anywhere. When I got the call saying I’d been offered the position, there was no hesitation and I immediately said yes, even though I knew it would take me away from everything that was familiar to me. I have not regretted one minute of it!

Do you work in the development sector. Do you have a job that has taken you to far and remote corners of the world? What have your experiences been like? Are you considering applying to the UN or similar organisations? We would love to hear from you about your experiences. Visit www.globalcareersfair.com for information on jobs in the development sector.

Is it a good idea to move back to Nigeria?

Bitstrips

It seems like everyday, there’s another of your friends who is moving back to the promised land of Nigeria for a shot at making it big. They either grew up or attended schools in the UK, America or South Africa, etc. Our generation seems to be leading the great diaspora exodus from the comfortable Western world and jumping back into Nigeria for a chance to “make it”.

But for those of us who aren’t yet convinced that moving back to Nigeria is the right move, there are typically a couple of questions that come to mind:

– Are there are any real opportunities there that I can’t find anywhere else?

– How do I even get situated in the job market and meet the people who can help me find a job?

– What things should I be looking out for to make sure I don’t get hustled?

– Should I ask for the same salary I made before?

As founder of a recruitment firm specializing in connecting diaspora returnees (Nigerians who have studied/worked abroad) with top companies in Nigeria and a returnee myself, I’ve faced all of these questions and more.

Here is some advice for you on the areas with the biggest opportunity and some helpful do’s and don’ts.

Ready to move back?

Employers want what you’re offering. Diaspora Nigerians (aka repats) are the ideal package for employers as they help bridge the capacity gap in-country while simultaneously fulfilling local content obligations. As Nigeria becomes more globally competitive, repats are in the best position to maximize on the opportunities that accompany such growth.

Those on the fence about moving back are being seduced by the promise of endless champagne nights, parties, and lucrative money making ventures. However, as likely as this may be, it’s extremely important to make sure that you are fully prepared for dealing with all sides of Nigeria, not just the glitz and the glam. You must have a clear plan about meeting your basic needs, that aren’t so basic in Nigeria (e.g. housing, transportation, electricity), otherwise you are on a fast-track to misery and likely to leave without maximizing your full potential, but I digress!

All things being equal, lets assume you’re prepared for the move, let’s move on to what opportunities are on ground that aren’t available in more developed markets.

Opportunity:

Old dog, new tricks

Major multinationals that have been on the continent for decades have refocused their global priorities to favor their sub-Saharan markets, Nigeria, in particular. Their increased investment is due to the market size opportunity available here. Several companies have instituted specific programs for moving diaspora Nigerians to work full time in Nigeria indefinitely or for a set period of time. If you’re working in a company that has an office in Nigeria, definitely enquire about this, and move back corporate style.

Nigeria’s new wave of transition has led to an increase in development projects in established industries such as infrastructure (power, water, roads, etc.), agriculture, manufacturing, telecommunications, healthcare, you name it! Innovation is driving Nigeria at the moment, so you have to find the right opportunity at a major firm for what you are passionate about and drive it home.

Ecommerce Start-Ups

This is the golden goose for young Nigerian professionals considering moving back. Start-ups are great ventures to move back to work for, especially if you have long-term entrepreneurial ambitions. I actually moved back with a popular ecommerce company many moons ago and my experience there was invaluable!

They are extremely ambitious, have long-term growth strategies for Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa, and are looking for repatriated talent that has local understanding to really drive their objectives. There is immense opportunity for growth but just make sure you do your research on the right ones to join and ask detailed questions about your role, responsibilities, short-term and long-term objectives.

If you are on the same page, the sky is the limit with a start-up.

Do your thang

If you have a bright idea, pursue it. Do this intelligently and fearlessly. The opportunity potential here is true, the time for new ideas is not dead, even if someone is doing what you want to do, the market is big enough for both of you. I have friends that own bakeries, fashion labels, financial services companies, blogs, consulting firms, farms, you name it and are actually successful (no expensive hobbies here). If you know what you want to do, do some serious research, speak to the right people, and carry-out your plan. If you provide a great service, you will have clients. This is a huge consumer population with growing pockets. Create, plan, and deliver.

Do’s/Don’t

  • DO be open minded to different opportunities that you wouldn’t have previously considered. You moved back for a change, so go ahead and try something different.
  • DON’T just take any job that has the highest paycheck. Find something you’re passionate about and don’t feel pressured into a role that you won’t perform in.
  • DO network with people that have different backgrounds. This is the best way to find new opportunities and friends that can help you get acclimated in a new city.   
  • DON’T have an entitled attitude. If you’re coming from abroad people are looking for you to show that, so surprise them.
  • DO find things to do that remind you of your life back home (e.g. weekly manicure, grocery shopping/cooking, intramural sports teams). Moving back can move you out of your normal routine so find the things that keep you sane and feeling settled. 
  • DO keep following She Leads Africa to stay motivated and help you achieve your dreams

Compensation

This is an area that causes frustration for both returnees, the employers and the recruiter (aka me ). Employers tend to find repats “entitled” for expecting higher pay than market rate; repats expect to be paid internationally competitive salary’s given their education, and experience in other markets, and I, the recruiter, am stuck in the middle!

When discussing salary with potential employers, it’s always best to do the following:

  1. Research – what are companies in Nigeria offering from the role you are interested in
  2. Transparency & Flexibility- Let your expectations be known but also be open to reasonable negotiation
  3. Be a saleswoman – Sell yourself girl! (not in the pretty woman way) but be confident about your skillset, value, and why you are worth the amount that you are asking for

If you take these 3 tips into consideration, you will be in a better position to get what you want, or at least close to it. It works for other people, why not you.

She-Pointers

  • Your network is your net worth. Networking is vital in this community and is the best way to open doors for your career
  • Just Do It. Don’t waste time over planning or overanalyzing every decision, you lose valuable time and time is money.
  • Breathe! Nigeria can be a very frustrating climate to operate in, especially when you are used to certain procedures abroad. In order to not to be frustrated 75% of the time you should accept that things work differently here and not freak out when things don’t go seamlessly.

I love sharing advice on how to make sure your return to Nigeria is a positive one. If you have more questions, add them to the comments below or find me at ResourceNigeria.com.