1. Tell us a bit about yourself
I am a changemaker and potential leader who is committed to using my qualifications as an HR professional to reduce the unemployment rate in Nigeria, through the provision of employability skills coaching and mentoring programmes for young graduates. I am the Founder of CareerLife Nigeria (a social initiative aimed at helping young graduates achieve measurable career growth.
I love writing and sharing my experience because I’ve realized the impact it has made in the lives of thousands of people. I officially started CareerLife Nigeria in April 2018 after writing unofficially (on other platforms) since July 2016. I organize monthly mentoring sessions on Twitter and other job boards.
I am also the Convener of ‘The Employability Fitness Program (EFP)’. A program aimed at helping young graduates overcome interview phobia by experiential learning through live mock interview sessions where participants get personalized feedback from HR professionals and subject matter experts.
When I’m not working as an HR lead of a tech startup, I’m coaching young graduates physically or via WhatsApp Group Coaching, writing about an experience to share to the world, or performing mummy duties.
2. What was your first job and how did you get it?
I actually stumbled on HR as a career path while in school. I have a BSc. in Chemical and Polymer Engineering. During my internship, I worked in a consulting firm and I was drafted into the HR department because the engineering department was full. I enjoyed my experience because it exposed me a lot and I liked the fact that it wasn’t monotonous like and I had the opportunity to do other things.
3. How did you decide and get to your career today?
I leveraged on that internship opportunity to get an HR role after school in an HR consulting firm where I performed various HR functions for various clients which exposed me into the world of HR. My passion for helping young graduates become more employable came from my personal struggle during interviews as a fresh graduate. When I had the opportunity to be at the other end of the table (as the interviewer), I decided to bring out one of my hidden and untapped skill in writing and blogging. I started blogging in 2016 and officially rebranded it to CareerLife Nigeria in April 2018. I had a keen interest in social entrepreneurship and I decided to keep learning daily to improve myself.
4. What advice would you have given your younger self? Or what is the best career advice you have ever received?
The advice I would give to my younger self is: Yewande, stop worrying. Keep being you and everything will fall in place. This is because while growing up, all I am currently doing used to keep me up awake a lot. My current life didn’t look anything like this 10 years ago and I had no idea that I would be an HR professional and career coach until a few years ago. I only kept on being me and expressing myself without knowing the full picture. One step at a time, it kept falling in place.
The best career advice I have ever received is: What is worth doing at all is worth doing well and Be consistent!
This has shaped my personal core values and work ethics which has helped me grow personally and in my career. The consistency and depth I gave to my blogging have helped me grow to where I am today. I always give my best no matter how little it is.
5. In 5 years, where do you hope to be professionally and personally?
In 5 years, I would like to have an impact on the lives of over 10,000 young Nigerians. I would like my CareerLife to have a presence and make an impact with every geographical region in Nigeria. Professionally, I would like to be a best selling author who would have grown in my HR career in a global organization.
What gives me joy personally is for me to be a light that shines bright for young graduates to be better. For them to achieve and exceed their career aspirations and for them to also shine as lights to others.
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