If there is anything Nigerians understand, it is the sometimes weird, other times horrifying experiences that come with working in Nigeria. From delayed payments to extreme workloads. Lack of boundaries, poor remuneration, toxic and overly competitive workplace culture amongst other problems. These are the stories we often hear. But, surely, there have to be good jobs in the country. Or at least, Nigerians with good, if not the best work experiences at some of the jobs they have done or are currently doing.
So to answer that question, I asked six Nigerians to share their best work experiences and you can read their stories below.
One of the best work experiences I’ve ever had was during my NYSC posting. I was posted to a school to teach Mathematics. It was cool. I had control over my time and I loved teaching the subject. The overall renumeration was meagre but I could fund my baby-boy lifestyle from the pay I got from the government and private tutorials.
Now, I have had two other jobs after that and the only thing I’ve enjoyed has been the pay. Which of course, they made up for by draining the life out of me with terrible workloads. I’m actually hoping for a new job with a great work-life balance.
Where I work now, the environment is really healthy. We’re a small team, but we’re so powerful. Everyone is kind, they provide feedback in the most useful ways. There’s room for immense growth and I get to challenge my thinking every day. It has made me think of words (which is what I mostly work with) in a more visual, tangible way and I can definitely say I’ve grown. Plus the pay is good; there’s feeding allowance, HMO, and other benefits. It’s the coolest job I’ve ever had to be honest. They challenge and push me to be better and I can’t wait to see how much better I get in the space of six months or a year.
I work for a startup in the US as a User Experience Designer. Prior to this, I have had pretty tough bosses so this is really different from what I am used to. In my previous jobs, I was always anxious and tried to be online on slack all the time so I don’t get queried. I particularly love this job because I feel heard and appreciated. I’m the youngest at work and my teammates are always ready to guide and teach me. It’s very easy to interact without anyone being rude or mean. Overall, it’s just a very healthy work environment.
Also, we have nice hangouts – remotely of course – and get to know each other and bond outside of work. I have flexible work hours, I can take off days without feeling guilty. Everyone is treated equally, and then there is the really great pay. Now I know extreme micromanaging limits me and makes me super anxious and I now know that working long hours does not necessarily mean you’re being hardworking, it’s just suffering. As long as you get the result out at the required time. You are good.
I am having one of my best work experiences. I work as a customer relations officer and the experience has been amazing so far. This is because of the freedom I have to do what I want so long as I get the job right. No one is looking for your mistake to pounce on or looking to give you a hard time. My supervisor always listens to my opinions, even when some of my coworkers would not agree. I mean, I was having a hard time at the office the other day and my supervisor asked if I wanted some loud to make my day better.
I worked in two big companies in Nigeria prior to moving to Abidjan where I live and work now. The first one was a bit okay even though the salary was not that great. The second one, however, was hell!
The day I got an offer for my current job in Abidjan, my manager told me to speedily print my offer letter and sign it. The culture here is way better than in Nigeria. You can wear your Ankara from Monday to Friday and nobody will look at you anyhow. You can also wear any hairstyle. The day I saw pink hair, the Nigerian in me screamed.
Also, they are quite flexible and understanding with the staff, especially those who are parents. I can wake up in the morning and call my manager that my child is ill and they wish me well and tell me to come back when the child feels better. My child had surgery and I got two weeks’ leave to nurse her back to health. My department also has a good teaching culture where you are not criticized for not knowing something. You’re instead, encouraged to learn it and teach others. We also have a good working and personal relationship with our fellow staff especially amongst us Nigerians who work there.
I’ve had two great job experiences. In the first one, I was earning a salary of N40K monthly but I was always travelling and on the road. I earn my full month salary in 2 days when on the road. During my trips, I would be given inconvenience pay, hotel, and feeding plus airtime.
At my second job, the company apartment was furnished to taste (a bed, mattress, fully fitted kitchen, e.t.c) and it was just behind my office. I could leave home at 7:58 and enter the office before 8 am. Cook a proper meal in the kitchen and even catch a short nap during breaks. I didn’t even have to pay for light bills, waste, or even gas. Now, na suffer I dey suffer!