Yewande Jinadu is the Founder of CareerLife Nigeria(www.careerlife.com.ng), a Certified HR Professional and an Employability coach. CareerLife Nigeria is a social initiative aimed at reducing unemployment by providing people with the right career-related information and Coaching.
Yewande is passionate about People Development, Recruitment, Employability and Career Coaching. Through personal coaching, published articles and speaking engagements, she has helped hundreds of young professionals become employable and gain employment.
In this instructive interview with Akintunde Oyedokun, Yewande shares insights from her journey so far…
Current role: Founder, CareerLife Nigeria, and Convener, Employability Fitness Program (EFP)
Location: Lagos, Nigeria
What you want to be remembered for:
I want to be remembered as someone who helped to reduce unemployment in Nigeria. Someone who gave hope to young Nigerian graduates and bridged the knowledge gap towards employment and entrepreneurship.
Tell us how you started out and how you got to where you are today?
I started as a young clueless Chemical Engineering Graduate from a public university who struggled to get a job in Nigeria. The experience was really painful for me and I channeled my hurt towards switching to a career in Human Resource so that I can be at the other end of the table and make a difference.
I worked as a Human Resource Professional and I particularly loved the Recruitment aspect because it gave me the opportunity to see more gaps and fix it in my own little way. One day, I decided to switch things a little higher and help people on a larger scale. This birthed my love for writing and I started blogging as a hobby with a mind of helping a larger audience. I did that from 2016-2018 and in April 2018, I upgraded my ‘little’ blog and founded CareerLife Nigeria. I still work as an HR Professional and I am spurred daily to keep using CareerLife Nigeria to make a difference on a large scale within my capacity. The Employability Fitness Program was also founded due to my personal experience with Interview Phobia and it has made a tremendous impact (over 300 young graduates impacted by the program in less than a year)
What time do wake up, and what time do you like to be at your desk?
I wake up between 5.30am and 6.00am and I’m usually on my desk by 8:30am
A brief rundown of your daily routine?
When I wake up, I do usual morning chores and take care of my family before going to work. I have a full time job as an HR Lead and I perform my daily task as required. I usually use traffic period to read a book/article and write also on my ever notes app with my phone. I use my weekends to plan my content and activities for CareerLife Nigeria or speak at various events.
How do you keep track of what you have to do, on a daily?
Due to my ever-increasing tasks with work, family and CareerLife Nigeria, I am only able to manage it with to-do-lists. I have a physical notebook where I write and keep track of my task. I also use my ever notes app to take down my task. I use my alarms wisely especially for house hold chores. Google Calendar helps me a lot especially with booking my dates for speaking engagements and meetings.
Tell us about one of the toughest situations you’ve found yourself in business?
I’ve had lots of highs and lows in my life and career. I just try to take each day as it comes and ensure I learn from each of the experience.
What is the best business or career advice you’ve ever received?
Best Career Advice I have received is ‘What is worth doing at all is worth doing well’. For me, it has ensured I do what I do diligently and consistently. I put in my best regardless of who is looking. This has also shaped my personal core values and has built my career.
What conventional life or business advice do you disagree with?
For me, I don’t believe you should ‘Have all the resources you need to start something’. Lots of successful people we see out there started by just ‘winging’ it before they eventually started putting structure to their lives.
Most successful people are only motivational with their stories. Very few people had clear goals and directions right from the beginning up until the very end. Lots of people just started and began forming the goals along the way
If you had to start all over again, what would you do differently?
I won’t do anything differently. Everything I’ve done rightly or wrongly eventually fell into place.
Tell us about your current role and key traits required to succeed on this role.
I have two major roles I am involved in:
- I am the Founder of CareerLife Nigeria. As the owner of a dream which is gradually coming to a reality, I work closely with various people who help and support CareerLife Nigeria in impacting lives. Apart from frequent content writing and managing various social media pages, I also plan our major bi-annual event (Employability Fitness Program) which isn’t too easy to do considering the fact that I have a full- time job. The major trait required to succeed when you own an NGO is PASSION. Even through the difficulties and temptation to stick to my lane, my passion to help others succeed in their career keeps me going.
- I also work as an HR Professional where I support the business to achieve it’s objective through Human Resource Management. Key Traits required to succeed as an HR Leader includes: Being Emotionally Intelligent, Self-Motivation, Ever hungry for personal learning and growth, Critical and Analytical thinking and the ability to manage all type of people.
Tell us about a task do you dislike but still do and a problem you’re still trying to solve?
A task I dislike is Fundraising or better put ‘Asking/Begging People to support the projects/initiatives’. Having to run some programs requires funds so when it gets to asking people for support, I feel really shy about it because I get different responses which can be discouraging sometimes.
A problem I’m still trying to solve is to modify the way Recruitment is generally done in Nigeria. It may take some time but gradually I’m taking steps in the right direction towards it.
Who has had the greatest impact on your career, and why?
My Parents, My Husband and Opeyemi Famakin (My brother).
My parents have always been supportive of my dreams right from when I was young. Till Date, they are my biggest cheerleaders and motivation. They have always been good role models to me even in their own respective careers and I am always inspired by them.
My husband has also had a great impact. Apart from him being ever supportive, he’s also the brain behind a lot of initiatives and activities in my career. He’s the ‘strategic’ brain to CareerLife Nigeria and my career as a whole.
Opeyemi Famakin was the first person I sent my article to as a ‘joke’ and he literally convinced that ‘shy’ girl to publish my article on top blogs like BellaNaija. Apart from that, he’s been my ‘unpaid’ social media consultant and editor ever since I began writing.
What business achievement are you most proud of?
Being able to launch the Employability Fitness Program. For years, I have always nursed the idea and dream to organize something that directly addresses interview phobia but I always felt I never had the capacity.
Most people that organized events that were successful were always ‘big’ people in the industry so monthly, I looked at my financial capacity and my influence and always believed that It’s when I’m able to have worked for over 10years before I can actually make an impact
But one day, I decided to go against the obvious reality of my ‘supposed’ capacity and I started planning the program despite having no personal funds or support. As the days went by, it looked less likely to succeed but everything just worked out well at the last minute because I remained persistent of what I wanted to achieve.
I’m really proud of myself when I think about what I was going through personally and the impact the program was made, I’m grateful I never gave up on my dream.
Tell us about your greatest weakness as an individual.
Sometimes I can be ‘impulsive’. I tend to act sometimes on how I feel at the moment without actually thinking through it all.
Sometimes it can be good as well as bad. Daily, I ensure I work on it by taking more time to think through but it’s a gradual process and I’m still a work in progress.
Name two untapped lucrative business opportunities in the world, right now.
Biogas Energy Production and Blogging.
Aside God, what do you consider your greatest success secret?
What is worth doing at all is worth doing well.
I always ensure that I put my all into every ‘little’ thing or passion I find myself doing. A mans gift makes way for him and I always see myself as a light that is meant to shine to the world so whatever I find myself doing, I must never be mediocre about it.
What are you currently reading, watching, or listening to?
I’m currently reading: The One Minute Manager by Spencer Johnson, My HR Story by Lara Yeku and The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell
What tools, gadgets, or apps can’t you do without?
My Phone and all that it contains especially WhatsApp.
What’s your favorite social media platform, handle, and why?
LinkedIn and Twitter. My Handle: @yewandejinadu and @careerlifeng
LinkedIn is my number 1 favorite because I’m able to learn and network with other professionals. I like Twitter not only because of the comedic nature of people there but also because I’m able to learn from people while enjoying the ‘gbas gbos’ that flies around.
How do you unwind?
I spend time with my son and husband. I watch movies at home or sometimes go out to the cinemas, I also enjoy traveling (but I don’t have the time and energy to really do it as much as I would love to). I also like dancing through the ‘Just Dance’ Game on our xBox at home, (I’m still learning FIFA). I’m an introvert so I usually unwind at home.
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