If you stumbled on Ufuoma’s Instagram page, you may be likely to think she doesn’t have a day job but rather travels the world carefree and without a hassle in the world. After all she’s just got back from her 25th country! But you wouldn’t be alone in thinking the same. Someone recently left a comment on one of her photos, ‘advising‘ that she use her money for more important things.
But Ufuoma has a day job that she loves – working and grinding like many other people. As a business/communication manager in one of the world’s most recognisable global technology companies, Ufuoma has to juggle many balls and often has her hands full.
I’m particularly inspired by her journey to securing this role as an immigrant in Canada. I know first-hand how difficult and seemingly impossible that can be. But again she’s done it using one of the free tools that everyone has access to, but yet we often overlook!
She shares a day in her work life with us. Her responsibilities, best moments, the myths about her job and what other career she’s genuinely curious about. No surprises on that last one – it’s very much related to travelling!
1. My alarm goes off…
at 7:30am and I snooze it for a couple of minutes before finally getting up. That extra 10, 20 minutes of sleep in the morning is so precious.
When I’m fully awake, I proceed to say a quick word of prayer and check my phone to be sure the world did not end while I was asleep. And then it’s shower time. I love talking to God while I take a shower so this is really how I say my morning prayers. After I am done with that, I pick out my outfit of the day, grab my already packed lunch and head out the door.
2. I get to work via….
a very reliable bus commute. I live in Ottawa, a relatively small city in Canada and the bus schedule is pretty accurate. It is a 30-minute commute to work.
I always look forward to my commute. It is very enjoyable and gives me the opportunity to read a book or catch up on the news and/or my favorite blogs. I also mentally map out my day and write a to-do-list in the short time that I have.
3. I am responsible for…
Quite frankly, a lot.
In theory, I am a Business/Communications Manager but I really do everything that needs to be done to ensure that our goals are met, especially that of the team that I manage. In summary, I am responsible for ensuring that the business strategies that are implemented by senior level management are in alignment with the company’s overall objectives and that they are communicated effectively.
For example, if there is a new tech product the engineering team is working on, it is brought to my team’s notice and we are required to apply critical thinking and give feedback on how viable it is, business-wise. If the product does hit the ground running, we then communicate it internally.
Working in a global company like Nokia means my role is very dynamic and changes very often – no two days are exactly the same.
4. I got the job…
By being a sharp-shooter.
I started out in the banking industry in Nigeria. I had completed an undergraduate degree in Banking and Finance from Covenant University so a career in the bank seemed like a logical path to follow. I actually really loved working in Finance for the two years I was in Nigeria until I moved to Canada to pursue a Master’s Degree in International Business. After the program was done, I had to do an internship as it was a requirement for graduation and so the job search began.
Canada was a totally new environment for me and as an immigrant, I struggled at first to adapt to the new landscape. Even the “little” things like resume structures mattered a lot and as you can imagine, it was totally different from what was accepted in Nigeria. Once I got the hang of it all though, the interviews started coming in. A well written resume can really do wonders in the job market anywhere.
Anyway, one day I decided to sign up for a free trial of LinkedIn premium which lets you contact pretty much anyone on LinkedIn via Inmails. Of course there are etiquettes to using the Inmail and I knew all of those. After applying for the internship on the company site, I sent out a well-written message to the recruiter on LinkedIn (read: slid in the DMs). I found her name just by doing a simple LinkedIn search. It was pretty much hit or miss but at that point, there was really nothing to lose.
I sent a very enthusiastic message without coming across as desperate or creepy and it worked. The next day, she replied my message and booked me for an interview spot. I prepared for it, gave it my best shot and voila, I got the job.
A month after my internship was over, I got hired full time and fast forward to two years later, I was promoted to head the team I was working in. So, cheers to small beginnings, being faithful with the “little” tasks, staying grounded, and working hard. And of course, a big shout out to Linkedin’s premium feature, even though I canceled my free trial because it had already served its purpose.
5. My typical day at work
Meetings. Lunch. Work. Repeat.
A typical day at work involves spending a lot of time on the phone and at meetings, coordinating and interacting with colleagues and sometimes vendors. I sometimes have to make presentations to a large group or the people in my business unit.
Mornings are my busiest periods as the EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa) offices are still open and I work very closely with my colleagues in those regions. On the days when I do not have lunch at my desk while talking on the phone and trying not to choke at the same time, I grab lunch with some of my colleagues who are available.
At about 3pm everything slows down and I’ll spend that time updating spreadsheets, writing memos and press releases. Fun times!
6. My most memorable moment on the job so far
Definitely has to be the day I got promoted as I had not seen it coming at all. It was a regular Tuesday morning when it happened and I got a note to go to the HR department. I work closely with HR in my role so I had assumed it was just a regular work day, only to be handed a promotion letter. I was elated.
7. The worst part of my job…
Hmm. I’ll say having to work with different people in different time zones. That means early mornings or late nights. I have somehow been able to navigate it by finding a middle ground but it’s still quite challenging to be honest. On the bright side, it is such a learning experience for me. Learning new cultures, business ethics and so much more from all my virtual colleagues.
8. The perks and best part of my job…
I love the fact that I work in a global company which gives me huge exposure into several markets, cultures and people from all over the world. I specifically like when I talk to my colleagues in Nigeria and I feel closer to home. My job gives me the opportunity to learn so much and working in a tech company and learning about new technologies in the market is pretty awesome.
However, my favorite part has to be the ability to work from home. The company policy says you should be in the office at least three times weekly. So that means you get to work from home two times a week if you want. Pretty cool if you ask me. Particularly on winter days when it is too cold to go outside, I just grab my hot chocolate, wear my cosy PJs, power up my laptop and I am good to go.
9. One misconception people have about my job
I guess a misconception will be that it is an easy job and anyone can do it. This is because it is not as specialized as some other traditional roles. A business role requires critical thinking and this is a skill a lot of people think they have, but it requires so much more. Finance and accounting skills, communication skills and loads of business acumen. When you are not in a more “traditional” role like Engineering or Medicine, some people assume they can do your job too.
10. If someone wanted a career like this, I’ll advice them to…
You may want to consider doing an MBA or Masters degree in Business, especially if you want to work in a global company.
You will also have to be very vast and knowledgeable, as well as involved in other things outside of work. So, volunteering, community service, etc. These things show people skills and cultural adaptation.
Having worked in Nigeria and now working in Canada, I have found that the difference between the work environments is, the latter is more interested in what you have to offer asides the good grades you picked up in school. There is so much emphasis in life outside work. So, a B or C student who has a lot of volunteering experience is probably rated higher than an A student who has no involvement outside school at all. So, join a debate club, volunteer at your local community, anything to make you a much more rounded person outside of the four walls of your school or work place.
11. After work I…
After work, on the days when I have the energy to, I go for yoga classes. They are good for my mind and body. On occasion, I travel somewhere new to immerse myself in a different culture and to break free from my daily routine.
I also enjoy just heading home, cooking dinner, and catching up on my favorite shows. Sometimes, doing absolutely nothing and having a lazy evening is the best way to unwind after a day at work.
12. What I love the most about a 9 – 5
I love that it gives me an avenue to learn so much and become a much more knowledgeable individual. I also love that it provides a structure that helps me plan my time and finances.
Most importantly, a 9-5 gives me the finances I need to cater to my dreams and the other things I am passionate about. I am happy to have a good one, even on the days when I do not exactly feel like it.
13. If I ever quit my job or if I never had to work, I’d go on to…
Travel the world but not just for my own sake. I will love to go on mission trips and volunteer abroad, especially in developing countries. I really want to give back to society and that is definitely one of the projects I am looking to take on sometime in the future. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
14. One career I’m genuinely curious about, and might try in my second life…
I’m really curious about pilots. How do they feel being several feet in the air and moving a ton of people to a certain destination? The pressure must be so much knowing that so many people are depending on them to arrive to their destinations safely. I wonder what goes on in their head and how they are able to stay sane. Pilots intrigue me, so much.
So, if you’re job hunting or seeking a career move and have not signed up to LinkedIn’s free trial, are you really putting in your best? Many times, it’s just about going that extra mile that people overlook. Even if you have to pay for the premium feature for a few more months, I think it could be worth it!
I also love how she emphasises the difference between just having good grades as an A student and being a B student but having lots of other extracurricular activities below your belt. As you’d recall from this feature with Nine First Class Graduates from around the world, those extras matter!
And she’s not the only one super intrigued about Pilots! I’m really hoping I can feature a pilot on here real soon. So feel free to let me know if you’ve got a connect. And if you’d like to share a day in your work life or know anyone who would, feel free to get in touch!
We’ve previously featured Ufuoma re her travels in this post on 9 Female (Solo) Travellers. It was a lovely one, and you should check it out. Also follow Ufuoma’s amazing travel blog at www.theufuoma.com and her Instagram is @theufuoma.
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Check out the other amazing features below:
A Day in the Work Life of: Osemhen Akhibi – Automation / Process Engineer
A Day in theWork Life of: Adaku Ufere – International Oil & Gas Lawyer
A Day in the Work Life of: Tega Ogbuigwe – University Lecturer & Ph.D Student
AfomaOctober 18, 2017 at 12:05
Ahhh LOVED EVERY WORD! SO coool to read about her life besides traveling! Her job sounds very interesting. Her experience also shows why it’s good to give things 100% because you never know which door will work. Enjoyed this immensely.afomaumesi.com
TemiladeOctober 18, 2017 at 13:11
Wow this is inspiring. Its great to see a woman who can kill it in both areas- work and leisure. Very multifaceted, I am inspired. She also seems very down to earth and intelligent. I also have dreams of going on mission trips in the future so maybe I will bump into her someday. Thanks for sharing Kachee.
FalashaOctober 18, 2017 at 13:43
Loved reading this, it is so empowering to see young women killing it in the corporate world. I want to yell out “you go girl!” hahahaxoxo FalashaBite My Fashion Instagram| Bloglovin’| Facebook
ADAORA NWAJIAKUOctober 18, 2017 at 13:52
WHERE ARE THESE WOMEN FROM?!I love that every line made me “check” my own life. It’s okay to think you’re making some progress and chant “everyone’s journey is not the same”; sometimes though, better shine your eyes and up your game. Thanks Kachi, for fishing these fine women out!
AbbyOctober 19, 2017 at 11:02
Girl! You just wrote out my thoughts! I think there’s a very thin line between enjoying the journey and knowing when to up your game.Love these series Kachee! Well done. Xx
'DaraOctober 18, 2017 at 14:18
I totally love this post; so many lessons to learn. I love how she balances her travelling with her regular job. I also had no idea she had a regular 9-5.
ZinnyOctober 18, 2017 at 14:45
Awesome interview. Ufuoma is really inspiring and her travel blog is equally amazing! I really enjoyed reading this interview. Great job!!www.zinnyfactor.com
SunshineOctober 18, 2017 at 15:03
Yayyy…another of my favorite…so much to learn. i really love how she manages her 9-5 with her travelling #goalshey Ufuoma, about to stalk you….*winks*Keep it coming Kachi, you have no idea of how much these features inspires me, hopefully i get featured here once i am done putting all i am learning here in to action….eheheh.Thank you, thank you.
LamideOctober 18, 2017 at 15:57
I love her! I remember the first time I came across a photo of her on the explore page on Instagram. I think she was in Cuba then. I messaged her to ask a question on visas to Cuba and she was so helpful, even found me some helpful links to use. She even followed up a couple of weeks later to ask if everything was going fine. I love how you have shown this side of her. Like you said, you wouldn’t know she has a 9-5 job from her instagram. I had thought she was a full time blogger because she does that so well too. Am I weird for admiring that she has kept this side private in a way that is humbling (i.e she doesn’t scream it in your face but quietly breaking limits behind the scened) or maybe I am just intrigued about how much more there is to her. This is so inspiring and I thank you for sharing. I have checked out the other interviews and I must say, you do have an eye for finding these women and you are a great woman yourself. Lawyer and lifestyle blogger. Business manager and travel blogger. Wow. We women can wear so many hats if we want to. I have left this place inspired!!!
Dee OlateruOctober 18, 2017 at 17:24
Kachee, I find this series so fascinating, especially so for people that I follow on IG such as Ufuoma. Its great to see another side to them so thank you for bringing these stories forward. But let me do an epic eye-roll for the commenter telling her to use her money for other things. Seriously people, c’mon!! Like Lamide below, I admire her consistency with blogging as I think she does this really well!!! I just really love that you’re showcasing women doing different things and doing them well in the Corporate space. There’s so much room for us to excel, and so much resourcefulness (like free linked in premium ha!) thanks for using your platform to inspire us. I totally agree with companies looking for well rounded individuals and not just straight A students…but you already know how I feel about this Kachi!Thanks for sharing your story Ufuoma and satisfying the curiosity I didn’t even know I had :)www.wellwornheels.com
Courtney HardyOctober 18, 2017 at 18:04
I loved this post. It was a good insight on what you do!http://sugarcoatedbears.blo…
DamilolaOctober 18, 2017 at 20:08
Hi kachi, great post. I particularly like the fact she talked about people thinking if you are not in the more traditional role like medicine or engineering then business management is easy pesy. I think people don’t realize that as a business manager the ability to forecast and be analytical is also very importan. P.s: Have been on LinkedIn for while now but didn’t take it serious, would try to go the extra mile now.
Desire UbaOctober 18, 2017 at 20:20
I love Ufuoma so much! She’s such an inspiration. I knew she had a 9-5 but its really nice to see what it’s really about.I really like the fact that she encourages us to live a well-rounded life because we really do get caught up in life, and forget to be intentional. How she (and Adaku and Osemhen and Kachee and the other great women of diverse interests) thrive so much baffles me and gives me so much hope that there is greatness out there, all we need do is move the extra mile and take it.Thank you so much for sharing all you do Kachee, God bless you abundantly!!www.desireuba.wordpress.com
IzeOctober 20, 2017 at 03:51
Oshe Vinite! Desire we also admire your work…. Keep it up -As men of honour…..
Desire UbaJanuary 4, 2018 at 22:40
I am so sorry. Just seeing this, and I am sooo happy about it!! Thanks so much. You literally made my day!
TRAVEL WITH A PENOctober 18, 2017 at 21:33
Always enlightening reading this interview series..Ufuoma is really inspiring. You can’t know her and not love her. Joining Dee to give that commenter an epic eye roll, haha. We should probably point them here to read this interview…
Oluwatoceen!October 18, 2017 at 21:35
Hahahaha!! I just updated my linked in profile and decided to come visit the blog and look what I found. Now seeking for the best time to get the trial.Thank you Kacheetee, an amazing post as always. People are living the dream life sha and your blog does a good job of reminding us that our dreams can come true.
UfuomaOctober 20, 2017 at 00:12
I really enjoyed sharing this, Kachee. As you already know, I’m a HUGE fan of your platform and all the amazing things you do here. Thanks for letting me be a part of it. And, you have such a lovely community of smart and engaging readers. I absolutely love it.PS: I think we already found our pilot. Haha!THANK YOU.theufuoma.comtravel lifestyle passion
TheImmigrantsJourneyOctober 20, 2017 at 20:07
I totally enjoyed reading this! And mainly because it reinforces the fact that anything can happen! I always tell people at any opportunity I find, to keep an open mind, do your part, shine your eyes, and dont go sulking that only connections can get you in the door! Even as an immigrant, you have a whole lot to offer! See as “sliding in DMs got Ufuoma this role! Now, manager of her team! The only limitations are the ones we place on ourselves, GBAM! And it is so not about degrees alone! At all!Go, Ufuoma! Thanks for sharing, Kachee! :*theimmigrantsjourney.wordpr…
DemiladeOctober 21, 2017 at 10:45
I love Ufoma so much! Her Instagram and blog are amazing and she’s a genuinely friendly person. It was great reading this interview, you did a great job as always Kachee. One thing I’ve learned from Ufuoma’s answers and also Adaku’s (from her interview) is to just go for things sometimes, give it a shot. You never know what the outcome will be! xxCoco Bella Blog
JamilaOctober 23, 2017 at 20:31
Wow, I actually know Ufuoma’s sister! This is a great post and it’s such a small world. Both women are lovely and I’m glad to be reading this. – http://www.jamilakyari.com
Vivian AFOctober 24, 2017 at 06:45
This is the very best “A Day In The Work Life of…”!The inspiration I got from this post? Really amazing!www.thealaroro.com
IbilolaOctober 25, 2017 at 07:40
I totally agree with Desire on women living a well-balanced life. Mehn! This is INSPIRING! I love the way the likes of Kachee, Ufuoma and the rest have been about to manage their day jobs and passion for other things. Thanks for this post Kachee.
LoriKemiNovember 6, 2017 at 21:41
This was such an eye-opening and interesting read! I’ve been seeing Ufuoma’s pictures on Instragram and recently followed her, but I had NO clue that she’s not a full time blogger! Thanks for sharing her experience and thanks to her for being such an inspiration to those of us who love traveling AND are passionate about our work!
TamieNovember 23, 2017 at 21:28
I recently found her blog and loved it. I was unsure if she was a full time blogger. Reading this just opened up a lovely view of her to me, and I’m really loving this corporate side as much as the travel blogger side. thanks for sharing Kachee
Chineme EZJanuary 21, 2019 at 22:00
Loved reading this interview – well done and very engaging! Also, I love Ufuoma’s IG feed, and it’s great to see how well-rounded she is. Keep up the great work, Kachi💕
Eromonsele EmmanuelApril 10, 2019 at 15:05
This is the second article I’m reading on this blog about how helpful LinkedIn can be.Thanks for this informative interview, I’ll take LinkedIn more serious from now.