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Archive of ‘Working Women’ category

Why Women Should Take a Cue from Zaha Hadid

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On Thursday, one of the greatest woman in the history of Architecture said goodbye to the world. World over, women; young and old, architects; upcoming and established mourned the woman who became a legend by designing structures that will span centuries.

Dame Zaha Hadid wasn’t just any woman, she was an extraordinary woman who blazed the trail of modern architecture. She created buildings that encapsulated the description ‘queen of the curve.’

Aside from being a great architect, Zaha gave a few pointers about defiling all odds to excel as an extraordinary woman.

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The first thing women in Nigeria should learn from Zaha is her Confidence to excel in a man’s world. Before her, the field of Architecture was often considered a man’s domain, she felt a pressure to stick with Interior Design but she resisted this temptation.

Zaha went on to create great asymmetrical timepieces that future generations will draw inspiration from. From the moment she decided to become an architect, Zaha stood by a belief that nothing could stop her and that same belief is what kept her going.

Women should stop looking at the things and people that say no, women should look at the yes and never break eye contact. Only confidence can give you that assurance that you will succeed.

Zaha was hardworking, she once said ‘Like men, women have to be diligent and work hard.’ Success transcends the word. We have to consistently improve each and every single day in whatever we do because that is the only road to success.

My secondary school anthem read “Mura si ise Ore mi, Ojo ma nlo” (Be hardworking my friend, for the days are not waiting for any one) We sang this song with grace and decades after, the lyrics will still resonate in our heads.

Hard work is the key to true success. There is no shortcut, there is no diversion, the answer is be hardworking or don’t even bother working at all.

“I will never give myself the luxury of thinking, ‘I’ve made it.’” This is probably her most famous quote, she was the first woman and the first Muslim to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize.

She received the Stirling Prize in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, she was created a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire and in 2015 she became the first woman to be awarded the RIBA Gold Medal in her own right.

After all these honors, Zaha could still say I will never tell myself that yes, you’ve achieved the highest goal you can ever achieve, stop working.

You can never stop, you can never say I have made it, you have to keep breaking new ground and keep doing extraordinary things.

These are the lessons women in Nigeria should pay attention to. Confidence, Hard Work and Tenacity.

 

 

 

5 Job Interview Mistakes Every Job Seeker Must Avoid

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Whether you are a first timer or a seasoned professional, job interviews can con you if you don’t know what you are doing.

Interviews are the first chance you get to meet your potential employers, that is why you have to make yourself memorable for the right reasons, but with other talented pool of applicants, this might come as a challenge.

To make your preparation easier, we have carved out a list of common mistakes to avoid during interviews.

Talking too much or not talking enough

Strike a balance between talking too much and not talking enough. Sell yourself but ensure that you don’t ramble. Pick out your most appropriate attributes and present them but don’t go into too much detail. Just provide enough information to satisfy the interviewers.

Failing to do your research

When you fail to do your research about either the company or the role, you will definitely be unprepared for the interview. Ensure that you completely understand the role and the organisation’s structure. Use google, check out the company website, go to public forums for example, Nairaland, almost every organization in Nigeria has been mentioned on Nairaland.

Don’t go in blind, have all this pungent details at your fingertips.

Don’t Criticise Previous Employers or Colleagues

This always gives prospective employers the wrong impression of you and can make them question your attitude to work. Instead of focusing on the mistakes of others, highlight the positive steps you took in order to overcome them. This will show your interviewers that you are a good team player.

Being late

Lateness is strictly prohibited when it comes to job interviews. You have to show your interest and enthusiasm for the role by being on time. Use @Giditraffic or @Trafficbutter and others to get traffic updates. Avoid delay at all costs, even if they don’t start the interview on time, be rest assured that your punctuality will be duly noted.

Dressing Appropriately

Choose your outfit carefully, don’t show up in jeans, even if it is a tech startup, ensure that you look the part and feel confident, so dress in your ‘office best,’ don’t just assume you can underdress because ‘how much are they paying sef.’ Ensure you dress the way you want to be addressed.

 

 

 

New Report Teaches Women How to Achieve the Perfect Work-Life Balance

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A report from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and TD Bank Group entitled “10 Lessons: Women @ Work Managing Career, Family & Legacy” has listed the list to achieving success as a professional woman.

Researchers asked the women to contribute essays and take part in focus groups to come up with 10 ways that women can achieve success in life, work, and their legacy.

Sandy Cimoroni, chief operating Officer at TD Wealth and chair of the bank’s Women Investor Program said “Women are often given the message that you can’t have it all. You can have it all; just not at the same time. As your life changes, your priorities change, so it’s about reprioritizing and making shifts to your focus.”

Here are the 10 lessons about career, family and legacy success from the report:

Communicate your aspirations.

Define both your family and career aspirations. Reflect and revisit them often. Communicate your aspirations to your organization or network, as well as your family.

Get an education

An education early in life is critical to achieving career advancement, financial security and independence.

Be financially prepared for the unexpected

Plan for an emergency before an emergency happens.

Develop business acumen

Seek opportunities to develop your ability to make sound business judgments.

Understand the trade-offs of a career break

Consider long-term financial and skills implications when making the decision to opt out of the labour market for example during maternity leaves.

Rethink guilt

Focus on the positive, long term benefits and outcome of a career.

Be confident – take career & life risks

Be aware of the self-imposed obstacles that could be holding you back. Take risks, both in career and life, to achieve the life you want.

Find trusted mentors and mentees

Build your network of mentors to help guide and support you. Help others to develop leadership skills.

Network, network, network!

Think carefully, creatively and strategically about how you develop and maintain your networks.

Think about your legacy.

Identify your legacy early and revisit it often. Use your plan as a guide to achieving your goals.

 

 

3 Tested Ways to Negotiate a Higher Salary

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So here is the deal, Company X just called you to offer you a job as Chief Pharmacist. They tell you the offer is open for negotiation if you so choose.

The next day, you walk into their offer and after negotiation, you walked out with double the initial offer. Believe it or now, there are people who get to negotiate their salary in this country.

Job Seekers sometimes forget that they have the opportunity to negotiate a higher salary when accepting a job offer. Businesses who know they have found the ideal candidate are motivated to hire the person even if they have to sweeten the deal at the end of the day.

The key to a good salary negotiation is preparation and knowing exactly what you want. Here are three tested ways to negotiate a higher salary when you get any offer.

Be Prepared for Your Negotiation

By approaching the negotiation table with reasonable information, you will make a better impression on the employer and you will position yourself reasonably from the start. The size of the company, the location and the job description has a huge impact on the salary you are expected to make.

Do a well detailed research, ask your friends holding similar positions, know what you want and hold on to it before you get to the negotiation table.

Honesty is the Best Policy

Honesty is always the best policy, don’t distort any information. Honesty helps you build a strong foundation for your future working relationship. Never lie about your previous salary in your former position, you can never tell, a reference check can reveal a lie and this can result in the offer being withdrawn, so be honest.

Never lowball yourself

Many employers will ask you for a salary range during your interview or when they first contact you for a job offer, whatever your very bottom number is, make sure the lowest number in your salary range is still above what you think you are worth. Remember your skills wasn’t acquired for free. At the same time don’t be afraid to comprise but when doing so, ensure you infuse a whole lot of confidence because this boosts your respect on the job.

 

5 Best Snacks to Eat in the Office

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These Snacks will help you stay productive all day long because they will give you just the right amount of energy to keep you going.

Keep in mind that what you eat not only affects your weight and health, it also affects your productivity too.

Lisa De Fazio, an American healthy lifestyle expert claims that “If you eat high fat, high sugar meals and snacks you will be sleepy and have low energy overall.

“High fat foods take more work to digest. Candy causes sugar to spike in your blood stream then crash, and you also may have an upset stomach. Who can be productive with all of this going on?”

While working, you have to consume snacks that will fire you up to keep the work going all day long or at least till you close.

Here are 5 Snacks that Can Help you Achieve Just that

Cashew Nuts

Cashew Nuts are a great source of protein and healthy fat that is satisfying. Cashews are also rich sources of dietary minerals, including particularly copper, manganese, phosphorus and magnesium and of thiamin, vitamin B6 and vitamin K.

Popcorn

This low-calorie snack will satisfy your craving for something salty and crunchy, and it’s also a good source of fiber

Fresh Fruit

Fruits are packed with vitamins and minerals, and are full of great natural sweetness, they are also a great source of antioxidants needed for a stronger immune system and a better performance at work.

Dried Fruit

Fresh fruit is always a great snack option but if you want to mix things up, try dried apricots, raisins, apples, or bananas. These snacks are sweet, chewy, high in fiber, and high in potassium.

Dry Cereal

The brain draws nearly all its energy from glucose, which is the most important simple sugar in human metabolism. So you can snack on your corn flakes, rice crispies or coco pops. Whichever one you choose will surely improve your productivity.

 

 

5 Ways to Cope with Annoying Co-Workers

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Tiwa and Tope are Co-Workers, because Tiwa has a Higher National Diploma and Tope holds a BSc.,  Tiwa hates her guts with a passion.

So at every point in time, Tiwa ensures that she does everything to sabotage Tope. There was a day, Tope almost lost her job because Tiwa reported a minor slip to Mrs Savage, their supervisor.

 Thankfully, Tope was only let off with a warning but at some point, she got extremely frustrated because the fear of Tiwa’s antics was distracting her at work every single day.

 Your Co-Workers will determine your success on the job, whether you like it or not, your co-workers will have a strong effect on your productivity on the job. Working with great co-workers will make you enjoy the work you do.

Annoying Co-Workers range from arrogant and lazy to overly talkative and insatiable. You have to ensure that they don’t draw you back.

Here are 5 Ways to Cope with Annoying Co-Workers

Identify the Behavior that Bothers You

You have to pin point the behavior that bothers you because that is the only way you can find a solution to it. Understand his or her job versus your job and find boundaries that will help one another execute his or her duties.

Find Common Ground

Employees who have a co-worker they continually butt heads with should try to find a common interest with that person. Try to find at least one thing you can talk about even if it is something as trivial as Make- Up. Start with a complement and you will realise how complements can be ice breakers.

Avoid Office Gossip

Although you might want to vent to other colleagues about the situation, don’t give into temptation. Gossip turns you to the annoying co-worker in the eyes of everyone so at all cost, stay away from office gossip.

Confront the Co-Worker Directly

A direct approach is best if you want to solve the issue once and for all. When polite hints don’t work, let the co-worker know how he or she is negatively affecting your productively.

You might need to hone your confidence and assertiveness but ensure you sincerely express yourself to the best of your ability. That is why they say, honesty is the best policy.

Stay Positive

Always maintain a positive attitude, even around the person who seems to hurt you every day. Even Jesus asked us to love our enemies. Truth is whatever they do or don’t do won’t affect your personal life in any way. Keep in mind that once you are good at what you do, nothing and no one can bring you down.

 

 

Understanding the True Meaning of Work-Life Balance

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Work-Life Balance can be compared to dates and meetings at least according to this blog post.

It claims that having more dates will increase your achievement and enjoyment in life, while merging dates and meetings will add more positive balance to your life.

Play makes you happier and working while playing will triple the feeling of satisfaction, at least according to someone.

CEO of Work Life Balance, Jim Bird writes that A “Meeting” is Action time, with major decision topics for one or all of the participants.

 However, a “Date” is Playtime, with NO major decision topics for any of the participants.

 A meeting is action. It’s about doing, discussing or evaluating important decisions in your business or personal life.

 A Date is Play. It’s about rest and relaxation, smiles, laughs, some unwind time…and no major decision topics.

 Always remember that your body, your mind and your spirit NEED this Play time for a healthy, happy whole life.

Bird advises that this is why you should make enjoying some non-decision topic play time a happy requirement for yourself… EVERY DAY.

 

 

How to Find Your Dream Job in Nigeria

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Welcome to the world of job hunting in Nigeria. This is the time when you need very good Make up because if your powder wears off easily, you should get a better brand.

It’s not like any elegantly confident woman likes walking around looking for a job but the stay confident, you have to find your dream job that fits into your career plans.

Trust me, it can be tough but it’s a process we all have to go through, except your family member owns a company that has an automatic position for you.

The first thing you need to know when finding your dream job is where you can find job vacancies. Today, people always think that job vacancies exist only on the internet, No!

Vacancies are advertised in many places. You can use the following resources to find jobs, checking them regularly for updates will take you one step closer to your dream job.

The resources include careers fairs, workshops, internet, newspapers, professional associations, recruitment agencies, sector-specific websites, social media, trade journals and online forums.

Now while searching through these resources, you will find different opportunities like graduate schemes, internships, Contract position, part-time position, etc.

Be proactive – some opportunities may not be advertised. That is why applying speculatively shows prospective employers your initiative.

Don’t neglect networking because many times, job vacancies are hidden, so failing to network leads to missed opportunities. Family, friends and colleagues should be your starting point, but you can build a broad network of useful contacts through careers fairs, open days and workshops.

Contacts can provide job leads, introduce you to employers with a job vacancy, and offer advice and information.

Simple conversations can lead to work experience and job opportunities, so don’t be afraid to approach people directly. Proactively contact prospective employers for openings before they reach job websites, pre-emptively tailoring your CV and cover letter. Keep in contact, perhaps even asking whether they can recommend you to anyone else if full-time work isn’t available. Referral increases your chances of being interviewed and getting a job.

Use Social Media: Students and graduates are increasingly being contacted by recruiters thanks to their social media presence, so use LinkedIn and Twitter to your advantage.

Use a consistent username and image. Join relevant LinkedIn groups to get involved in discussions, and keep adding contacts to grow your network. Employers can stumble on your anywhere.

Package your social media in such a way that prospective employers will definitely be wowed.

 

6 Different Types of Interviews You Must Know About

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Long before you joined the job search sphere, interviews probably didn’t mean anything to you. It was just a word you hear people say.

Just like the way you didn’t understand the importance of JAMB when you were in primary school, Job interviews were obscure.

Now Interviews mean the world to you and once you get an email with Interview as subject, you heart beats faster and you almost count minutes to the D-day.

As a job seeker, here are 6 different types of interviews you must know about.

Telephone Interviews

Initial employer call that eliminates candidates based on essential criteria. Successful applicants are usually invited to the one-to-one stage.

Not all organisations conduct telephone interview, but usually it is the first step because your mannerisms on the phone will sum up the first impression your interviewer will have when you finally meet them.

Video Interview

Oh yes, Skype interviews exist, if your potential boss isn’t in the country and the position needs to be urgently filled, you might get a Skype interview.

For some organisations, Skype interviews are usually held during the initial screening process. This type of interview is popular for roles in sales, media and marketing.

One-to-one Interviews

Face-to-face encounter with one interviewer, after the organisation decides that you’ve got what it’s looking for. They’re usually formal, but can also take place over lunch.

You can be interviewed by different people. The good thing about one to one interviews is that it takes away the ‘multiple’ efforts that come with the panel interview and you just have to convince your interviewer that you have got what it takes.

Panel Interview

Similar to one-to-one interviews, except two or more people – often from different parts of the organisation – will be assessing you at the same time.

In a panel interview, you might also have a consultant who sits to make his or her own independent assessment for the company.

Group Interviews

Here, multiple candidates are interviewed together. They’re asked questions in turn, or discuss certain topics.

Although this type of interviews is not so common, they work best sometimes because employers want to be able to compare people vividly.

Assessment Centers

These involve tasks including presentations, written tests, and group and role-play exercises. They’re used to assess a candidate’s performance in a range of situations, and last between one and three days. You’ll appear alongside several other candidates.

Sometimes, recruitment agencies use this process to select the best candidate for their clients.

5 Reasons Why You Should Consider Applying for an Internship

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Rose graduated in 2014 with a degree in Chemistry, immediately after her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), she started applying for all the graduate jobs she found online.

After six months of going for interviews without being selected, Rose decided to apply for an internship at a Hair Cream Company close to her house.

The position will be unpaid but she took the initiative to apply anyway. After six months at the company, she found another company looking for a candidate with her credentials.

During the interview, her interviewers were impressed because she described the production process from beginning to the end, she got the job and her six months of ‘training’ helped her to land her dream job.

Everyone that made fun of her congratulated her when they heard she shared the good news. Every job seeker should be like Rose.

You have to take initiative even when all seems impossible. Employers claim that Nigerian graduates are ill quipped because of the failing state of the education sector. That is why some job requirements usually come with two years’ experience.

How do you acquire this experience?

This is why paid or unpaid internships are increasingly becoming a common way for students and graduates to gain work experience in a particular role. They can last anywhere between one week and one year, and sometimes lead to permanent jobs.

As a graduate, internships are worth considering if you’re looking to:

  1. Boost your CV: Your work experience doesn’t have to stop at your place of primary assignment. You can apply for internships that fit into your career line, they will sure help you boost your CV.
  2. Network with industry professionals: Time spent with your bosses during your internship will expose you to so many things and people. Your net worth is similar to your network. When you network with professionals, you learn something new each and every single day.
  3. Have an edge when job hunting: In the midst of five prospective candidates, you might be the only one worthwhile because at the end of the day, all what organisations want is a candidate that knows her onions.
  4. Confirm that a certain career is right for you: Time spent at work during your internship will help you confirm whether that career is right for you or not. The practical will expose you the in and outs of that profession and early on, you can decide whether to keep following that career path or find another one that suits your personality.
  5. Gain valuable skills and work experience in your chosen field: Internships will also help you gain valuable skills in your job experience and this is gold when finding your dream job.

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