balancing my job and entreprenuership
Dec 09, 2023 8:31 am
Having a full-time job while running a business on the side is quite an experience. It’s like a fight to create this rhythmic balance, doing one without losing a grip on the other.
For me, working as a UX designer while nurturing my entrepreneurial dream has been a rollercoaster ride these past months.
I'm one of those individuals who can't seem to shake off the entrepreneurial drive. Even with a demanding full-time job as the only designer on the team and parenting two kids, the excitement of building something of my own, something that reflects my passions and values, remains persistent.
A Little Backstory
In January 2021, on a flight to Abuja, Nigeria, I had a realisation: it was time for a new chapter, somewhere outside Nigeria. Where exactly? I had no idea.
Fast forward to February 2022, and my wife and I had made the big move to the UK.
This decision involved considerable deliberation and overcoming countless challenges, but it was a step we felt we needed to take.
Before leaving, my plan included getting a job. I knew that coming to a country where I knew less than 100 people, it might not be a good idea to live as I’ve always lived.
A few days ago, while drafting this email, I stumbled upon a tweet that made me pause:
"You should only read when you are uncertain of the path forward. If you know the next step to take, reading or consumption of any kind becomes a distraction. You do not need 'more potential steps to take.' You need to take the step. Then reassess."
Since getting to the UK, I've consumed countless books and courses, committed to mastering the skill of running a small business alongside a full-time job.
But now, it's time for action, starting with this email. I'm resuming my newsletter but with a new direction. It will be published once every two weeks.
My journey to and in the UK has been filled with both challenges and valuable lessons. Here are some takeaways:
- From my journey, I've learned it's crucial to be strategic about your job choice and where you live. It's not just about the job itself but also how it fits into your life and goals. Do some research to understand what the living costs are like. Take into account rent, council tax, etc. Just because it's the UK doesn't mean everything, everywhere, or everyone is equal.
- If you’ve been an entrepreneur in Nigeria, that can be a huge advantage for you if you can present it properly on your CV. Your entrepreneurial energy may be exactly what some companies, especially startups, need. But be mindful of giving off an “oversabi” vibe.
- Don’t be deceived by the illusion of inclusion. If you’re job hunting, it's tempting to scatter your CV everywhere like water. After facing over 200 rejections, I realized the importance of targeted applications and researching a company's true commitment to diversity.
In one example, a job I had high hopes for progressed smoothly until the final stage. It was during the video call that they saw me, a black guy, and their enthusiasm seemed to disappear almost instantly. That was the last I heard from them.
There is inclusivity by principle, and there’s inclusivity by practise. Most companies I applied to were only advocating inclusion in principle. I recall a recruiter whose initial eagerness evaporated after our video call. Left without an explanation, I had to forge my own closure, telling myself he was unreachable for reasons beyond my control.
So if I were you, I'd do a bit of research into the company to know if they are genuinely diverse before I apply (do they come from different parts of the world, not just the UK?).
- This one is way more important than many people talk about. Create your social circle. Don't walk alone, even if that’s your default behaviour. Being an immigrant is already tough. Add living in isolation without a social circle to it, and you're in tougher terrain.
Unlike Nigeria, where most of us live communally, here in the UK, a solitary lifestyle and individualism are the norm. You may not see your next-door neighbour for an entire month, even though you live in the same building. When we first arrived here, it was the company of our friends that helped us through the initial adjustment.
Create your circle of friends intentionally. Yes, ‘bad belle dey’ (malice and ill will exists), but not everyone is out to get you. Many are willing to offer support and friendship.
These experiences have shaped my approach, and I will share more in my upcoming emails and videos.
Moving forward, I want to help those with full-time jobs and multiple creative interests build personal brands and side businesses that generate significant income.
Drawing from my extensive experience back in Nigeria, where I was the lead consultant at our media and marketing consulting company, and my current journey in the UK, I have a wealth of insights to share.
Feeling a connection with my story? Let's take this conversation further. I'd love to hear your story and share insights in a one-on-one Google Meet call. Click here to schedule a time that works for you: Schedule My Call.
Also, if you know someone in the UK, US or Canada who's on a similar journey, help them find guidance by sharing this newsletter. They can join our community here: Subscribe to My Newsletter.
I’m also hosting a FREE 2-day New Year Goal-Scoring Session. If you’re interested in designing a 2024 you'll be proud of, or know someone who should, check out this link for more information.
I hope this email is useful to you today and encourages you not to give up on yourself.
As always, live more courageously.
I am Dayo Samuel