If you’re reading this, I assume it’s because you’ve read the first part of this article and I’m thankful that you came back for me.
If you haven’t read the first one, please go back and read it for more context.
Trust me when I say you didn’t miss much by not getting into Unilag. I really couldn’t wait to leave. People talk about how fun schooling there is – the parties, friends, and places. I honestly cannot relate because, for me, it was class, church, fellowship, and back to my hostel. I wanted to leave so badly but I had no idea what leaving was going to mean. Soon I got hit with one of the worst things that has ever happened to me. Did you ever hear of that BBC documentary – Sex For Grades? I think God used that to save my life. There was a particular lecturer who seemed bent on keeping me in that school for as long as he could. I went back and forth with that craziness and I finally got out.
One thing I feel like they need to include in our education curriculum is how to actually use “school” to get a job. I didn’t have to wait so long before I got my first job, but I was so confused. I had no idea what Zoology was supposed to be used for in the real world, that was why I majored in Parasitology in the first place. But after graduation, I knew I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to write. So I started applying online and through the help of a friend I got one. I was excited at the thought of being an adult and doing what everyone said couldn’t. My parents didn’t even know I had started working at the time. I kept going through life with the burden of their disapproval and the fact that I had to squat from place to place, but it was all going to be fine because I was a Digital Marketing Analyst at a well-known firm. So everything was going to fall into place, right?
I soon started to realise why my parents were against me working at the time. My health gradually deteriorated as I struggled to combine Lagos traffic and accommodation issues, with my new job and the peanuts I was paid. I have a thing for wanting to do well at my job, so I sometimes find myself doing way too much. I did way too much than I was employed to, and these people hardly ever appreciated it.
As if that wasn’t enough, I started to get sexually harassed by my bosses. Let’s also give a special shoutout to the lady who constantly bullied me for whatever reason. She went around reporting me to my bosses with reasons she made up. Today it’s that she doesn’t like the way I am dressed, and tomorrow it’s because she felt I was too proud. But that’s enough spotlight on her. Let’s move on to the grown-ass men with children who kept trying to force themselves on me in the office. One of them even invited me to his house the day after his wife gave birth. I remember the other one also tried to kiss me on the mouth multiple times even when I clearly didn’t want anything to do with him. Another person “nibbled” on my ear and bit it right in middle of work. I was stunned! I was scared and anxious everyday at that job. I hated it so much. I hated everything and everyone. After almost two years, I finally left. I had no plans, and you could say I was depressed and even traumatised. But I left.
I honestly think if I had gone to Unilag, I might have had quite a different experience than you, (obviously I won’t have lecturers trying to sleep with me) but no regrets really. I mean my first 2 years in “YCT” was just extended secondary school. I had a girlfriend in Unilag I almost never went to see, (which I now find extremely ridiculous, given the proximity). It was just classes and then home, I mean immediately home!
When I came back for my HND, I decided I’d do things differently and I did. I contested for Presidency of the faculty and won, went to hangouts and for parties. Being president compelled me to actually interact with people. I made some great memories and some great friendships, cause what’s the purpose of it all if it won’t be memorable? I finished school and I knew immediately I didn’t want to practise estate management. My classmates that actually did a year of Industrial Attachment instead of writing ICAN like I did, came back with stories of woe from beyond. I wouldn’t be paid 50K as an entry level salary. Never!
I spent the few months between my graduation and NYSC call-up learning Technical Analysis and the Crypto Market. I made some money. I lost a whole lot more. I got really good at it and then the Bear Market hit (this is basically when prices are down for an extended period of time and you really cannot invest in any crypto assets), and there was no longer fast cash.
I still tried to power through, and started a business with a couple of my people where we analysed the market and provided trading entries for people for a subscription. We did this with the hopes that the Bear market will disperse quickly due to increased crypto adoption. It is now about a year and half since then and the Bear market still has not gone anywhere.
I ditched everything and worked my ass off to impress at the job. My friends often forgot I was just an intern. Even I did sometimes. I was giving it my all.
To be honest with you, having an HND doesn’t particularly make you the first pick in the draft and I knew this. You had to really prove yourself and show your personal effectiveness for people to remove you from the generalisation.
Luckily I have a boss that would let you shine. But surprisingly, this meant giving you work like crazy. However, it is in almost working to death that you build capacity to do more (well, if you don’t actually die lol). So yea, it paid off.
I’m glad you were able to find someone who was willing to give you a chance to prove yourself. I really thought that once I had gotten into that business space, as someone who was talented and eager to learn, the sky was the limit. How badly everything went for me really broke me. I don’t think I mentioned before that I went to the MD/CEO to report everything because I was constantly battling with anxiety attacks. I couldn’t take it anymore. The day I finally left for good, it took one last panic attack. The next day, I woke up without the familiar feeling of what felt like a rope around my neck. It felt different – good different. But for the next 3-4 months after that, I was completely lost. I went through all the phases of depression. I was so disappointed that after doing the right thing, I lost and was mocked. So called friends from work blocked and ignored me, probably for jeopardising their future at the company. And doing what I did best seemed to also be sabotaging me.
I wrote a very long article about my experience and put it on my blog. During job applications, it kind of felt like that one article might have been a problem, so I took it down. After that, I couldn’t write again for a while. I decided to “pester” God for a direction. He geared me towards writing still. But it still proved difficult, so my boyfriend would pay for courses and encourage me to take them seriously. It felt like nothing was sticking, so I went home (my parents’) and decided to just sew.
I’ve always had a thing for fashion designing but it wasn’t my first love. So soon I was back to writing. It was such a difficult time for me for so many reasons. I had a fear of failure and it felt like I had failed woefully. I also lost my self esteem. I didn’t believe in myself.
After about 6 months, I started to figure out what I wanted to do. The courses I had taken helped me realise that I wanted to be a content strategist. I got a job and started working on my personal brand too. I also started a small business where I sell thrifted clothes (@teaselgarms). I get to work from home now which is such a big win for me. I still have a long way to go but I’m so thankful for where I am. I am thankful to myself for taking that bold step to get a job when I did because it really taught me a lot. I’m also thankful that I was strong enough to leave despite my fear of looking like a failure, and the fact that I had no plans.
I’m thankful to God for giving me clarity and direction, and I’m thankful to my boyfriend for the constant push. On the days when I didn’t feel like I had anything to live for, he reminded me of everything I could be. And I’m also very grateful to my best friend. Everyone needs someone like my best friend. Life is way better for me now and I’m not even a doctor.
I remember reading your article and I felt bad. You mentioned HR too was also acting unprofessionally, and I wondered who you’d report to if HR isn’t even right. I understood your rationale for quitting the job but I was worried. Anyways I’m glad you had the support you required to deal with such a difficult time and that you’re doing much better.
For me, all my life I’ve just been doing whatever I thought was lucrative. I constantly have my hands in multiple pies trying to find which I enjoy the most, till I get bored, and start the next, just because I’m able to.
For now, I’m trying to be the best I can be at the consultancy business. Eventually, I hope I’m able to just be a writer, writing with the creative freedom I love to have.
Writing seems to be the only thing that truly excites me, the whole process, from getting a topic, to building up points in my head. I’d be staring out the window of a moving vehicle or catching my breath between sets at the gym and a punchline for a blogpost I’m about to write will just pop in my head. I’d giggle and scribble something down in my note. It’s really enjoyable for me and I hope I’m able to do it as “work” someday. Maybe along the way I will find a deep passion for something else, who knows? But for now, I have to build a career and get my bread up. You know, I cannot eat excitement.
Speaking of always doing multiple things, I’m starting a real estate company with some of my friends from school and I’m taking this one very seriously. You better tell your guys to follow us @nexus_realtygroup on Instagram. We should be in full swing when this post goes up, and we can be your go-to guys for any sort of real estate property.
I might be a long way out from being Spider-Man or a Vet doctor but I’m enjoying the ride.
If you read this to end, I have so much love for you! To support me, please share this article.
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