Perspectives, Corporate Lagos and Me

Opinion

So I have stayed away from the writing community for a long time, all because I decided to get caught up in the vicissitudes of life embodied in the standard working hours popularly called “The 9 – 5”. In my case I was doing 4 – 11. Whew. I can’t even remember the last time…

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So I have stayed away from the writing community for a long time, all because I decided to get caught up in the vicissitudes of life embodied in the standard working hours popularly called “The 9 – 5”. In my case I was doing 4 – 11. Whew. I can’t even remember the last time I read a book. O yeah, I do! 4 months ago. And as at last year before I got a job in corporate Nigeria I read a book a week, on the average.

This was becoming too much for me to handle, so I decided to resign my job and become self-employed. I am now self-employed. My work is a lot more demanding, but I have time – surprisingly – to read and at the point of this writing, write again.

Working in Corporate Nigeria, like the corporate world any other country, can be hectic and demanding. But the one that characterises corporate Nigeria, and makes it take the shape of indentured servitude, that the benefits and remuneration for work done.

I earned 3,617 dollars per annum after taxes; I had no health insurance, not even the basic one – like treatment against malaria, in which the average Nigerian get 2 times every year according to the director general, national institute for pharmaceuticals research and development (NIPRD); I had not transport or feeding allowance.

Some may be wondering why I am making a fuss about, because for a fact I am better off that very many people. Counterparts in the same industry I worked in, at the level I was in, doing the same job I did and with the same level of education I have, from other parts pf the world, earn 85,000 per annum after taxes. So you see my frustrations – please do not even bother about an allowance of the wardrobe kind.

Everyone who works in Lagos can understand that 9 – 5, is not 9 – 5. You would have t0 be up at 4 or 4:30 am, to leave your house at 5am, so you can get to work at 8:50am. To begin work at 9am. After the work day is over, you get back home at 10pm, after leaving the office at 5:30pm. So technically you are doing 5 -10. This is the life of the average individual who works in Corporate Lagos.

But After I decided to start my own company, I find myself no longer subject to the horrific traffic movements of Lagos anymore. I wake up when I like, and go to the office when I like. And, like I said earlier on I even work harder than my previous job working for the man, and I definitely earn many times more.

The decision to resign was a very difficult one, and all my mentors and friends where against it, after I had done it. I remember telling them when I was thinking about doing it, but they all thought I was joking, so they ignored me. But when I eventually did it, the censure began.

Someone once asked me, if I would have resigned were I to be earning a 100,000 dollars. And I was like, Nope! Never.

I resigned for the following reasons: I am a performance freak, I hate doing things sub-optimally, but I could not be productive at work as I wanted to be, because of my lack of sleep; I attended one of the best schools in the country, paying top dollar in tuitions, I wasn’t going to earn something that meagre and console myself with “it’s only a start”; and I hate authoritarian settings, that’s why I did not become a soldier or a medical doctor, even though I wanted to be a Naval doctor, I even started military school, but after a year I knew this was not for me.

What surprised everyone was the fact that I did not know what wanted to do after I resigned. I just went to a lawyer friend of mine and told her to help me register a company. And that was it!

Sometimes, setting up plans and goals before making certain decisions might be an impediment. There are certain things that need to be looked at when getting into certain, but this is not always the case. Looking from multiple perspectives is always very important

But what do I know? Would like to hear from everyone else.

Image via Mused

Responses

  1. Blaqlotus
    This post is for me. I work 8 – 6, but like you said i have to be up by 4:30am to beat the 3rd mainland traffic to the island, and most times i don’t leave work till 8/8:30pm. I’ve been thinking about resigning but everyone keeps telling me not to. I went to a catering school and i’m just here building away at another man’s asset instead of building mine. It’s not an easy decision, but it’s one i’ll take soon.
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  2. A Loco Viva Voce
    First of all, well done Tee for that bold step! Walking away from convenience takes a lot of balls and vision because clearly, you want more for yourself than just getting by which is the first step in becoming great in life.

    Now that you’ve taken that step, you need to figure out your passion. It could be anything at all. Most times, it is something that probably doesn’t even exist yet. By exist, I mean people are yet to really get into it here in Nigeria.

    As a 3rd world country, Nigeria is behind on a lot of things. So figure out one of those things we’re behind on and bring it home to us and my dear, you would be a billionaire in 5 years. Like I said, it could be anything at all. The sky is your limit.

    Most importantly, remember to put it to God in prayer for direction. I wish you the best of luck!

    MUST READ!
    CERTIFICATE OF PURITY?! YEA OR NAY?
    http://alocovivavoce.com/2015/11/02/certificate-of-purity-yay-or-nay/

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  3. Nosa
    *sigh*
    Makes me remember all those times i closed work at 9,10 somedays 11pm because tax people will not let us rest.
    Added to the no allowance part, i had no leave days for my work except public holidays and weekends ( i did go some saturdays and sundays though), i had to make up family members and kill them in my head just so i can take two days off for the burial, i forged exams forms, doctor’s report so i can rest for one day.
    I remember chatting with a female one day and she requested for my picture, i sent it and she asked me if i smoked (this picture was taken around 5 am).
    It is even worse when you are doing something you don’t love. I’m a tech-head but was working in administration and also helping with the firm’s accounting books, i felt like i was intellectually dying, like my brain was shrinking in size, i was only saved by my free time on some days which i used to read or sleep.
    I quit in april and while i miss the feeling of knowing where my next cheque was coming from and when, i do not regret it.
    9+
  4. SABIGGY
    Thanks gee for this post. This aint living mehn.
    Crazy daily traffic from ipaja to vi five times a week. spend average of 6 hours in traffic daily.This is reducing a man’s life span !!!.
    But resigning wont always be the solution esp if other lives depend on your paycheck.
    we just gotta plan well
    1+
  5. Olushola
    My experience was in reverse.
    I was really doing good but had to quit the gig so I could build an “imposing” cv. Joined a multinational and had to resign after 3 months because my job description was killing my brain. Recently clocked a year at my present job but I’m already considering switching to an organization with a different area of specialization. Making money for another person is entirely boring however convenient. As much as I love new experiences, the experience can never be like running your own errands.
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  6. Toni Osai

    This is one of the most sore points for me because my job is supposed to help others get better at theirs, keep them employed and turning a profit for their bosses. I left a 6 figure a day gig just because I could see the misery some staff go through and I was helping making that worse. Couldn’t live with myself for having it so easy at the expense of others. Then I read an article that told folks like me to get “real” jobs so that we can feel the pain of the average worker rather than stand aloof and spout theories and principles that weren’t achievable in real life. I got the said “real” job and it was one of the toughest periods of my life, yet I learned more than I had in the previous years of my work experience.

    Moral of story: you can only last so long at a job you dislike, but the chance to learn from such positions is priceless. There’s a book I think you should read, “Breaking the Bondage of Employment” it’s a small book that can be read in an hour or so. Trust me, after reading it you would have a complete mind-shift about sustained paid employment.

    1+
  7. Ray
    Hi Tee, Your post inspires me.
    While I’m not a worker yet, I have friends who have resigned from their jobs because they feel undervalued and unfulfilled despite giving much. Initially, I thought quitting was a bad Idea, but now, seeing that they are doing fine after their decisions and making their own paths, couples with reading your article, is making me retract that thought.
    I have to commend anyone willing to take that step as It’s a very bold one to take. I also think it’s very important to have something lined up as the next ‘project’ after quitting, whether it’s getting another job, starting up one’s own business, writing professional exams or whatever is next.
    1+
  8. Toni Osai
    For the book, any other info about the 6 figure gig, please send me an email.
    Disclaimer: I don’t sell the book neither did I author it.
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  9. Nelo
    I wish I can resign now. As in now. Seriously searching for an alternative. I actually wake by 6 am . Cook breakfast for family and leave 4 work at 7.50am. It’s not like the rat race in Lasgidi but then I can’t wait to leave. So help me God.
    1+
  10. GROTESQUE
    My employer recently acquired a banking software which in their own words “would make work simpler and smoother” and, boy was it the opposite!

    I was already complaining that with the previous software we close around 8, with the supposed “messiah” I leave the office after 10pm.

    I recently completed my service (while working with them) and am already looking for somewhere else.

    I would’ve quit in a heartbeat if not for my siblings who it will hit hard. I prefer the silence of my room to the barking of an incompetent boss.

    I recently downloaded articles to help devise a business plan but haven’t been able to get my head around where to begin. To draw up something I can start up in 6 month’s time.

    1+
  11. Tinuke
    I dont exactly work in “corporate lagos” but yeah i do have a “4-10” job….which includes long hours in traffic and the actual job takes all my time like 6am-7pm literally because even on my way to the office i am on my laptop or phone getting stuff done…..(“we would love to poach you from your very flexible 2pm-6pm job” “there will be shifts” they said)
    I wake up most mornings (like this one) and i feel like crying. But its been 4months and i have already decided i need start building my own dreams. Came up with a business name already etc etc i cannot keep losing sleep to make someone else and his company look good and then get peanuts for a “net income” cuz lets face it some of these companies get paid millions through deals with multinationals and then pay shit salaries and a stupid ass “bonus” at the end of the year.

    *sigh i digressed with my rant. What i have come to realise is sometimes these things serve as a wake up call. If i was still at my very comfortable job and trust me i was very comfortable ( i literally just strolled to my former office cuz it was right beside my estate) i would have never made that move to set up my own thing and right now i am soooo willing to start small even if its just to start with selling one item, at least i have started.

    1+
  12. Tinuke
    Oh and the way i would cat walk to HR to submit my resignation letter…..even naomi campbell and janice dickinson combined would have nothing on me!
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  13. Tori
    I work a 9 – 10. No, not even traffic, WORK! I do not leave the office until 9 or 10pm most of the time because we always work under so much pressure and everything is always “URGENT!” I work in a law firm and the pay is crap. But they tell you that life as a junior lawyer is all about “doing your time”. And the experience is great and all, but it drives me crazy sometimes (most of the time) because I can’t pay all my bills with this shit. But yeah, I’m “doing my time” and hopefully I will reap the benefits soon.
    1+
  14. Omali
    Will love to quit my job(s). I’m stuck in a rut of having a job that doesn’t pay well so I maintain side hustles to fill in the gaps. Which leaves me no cushion if I leave one. I clocked 75 hrs of work and it’s related events every week. That’s a nearly half of the hours we have a week. I don’t have a life. Something got to give.
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