Thursday, August 18, 2016

Excelinpages podcastEP 2 - Career Wise: What to do to Stay Afloat in Nigeria's Current Economy

In this podcast Episode, your daring host Jude AKhabue shares ten tips on what you can do to remain afloat during one of Nigeria's most difficult economic times. Listen to ten hacks which when practiced in the area of your career can help you survive the economic hardship facing Nigeria.

Here is the podcast. Listen, download and SHARE!!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Why I had to Redefine These Two Words and Lessons Learnt

When last year one of my blogger friends went on a blogging relapse, I took it upon myself to urge her back. Her cranky, witting and self expressive writing style was something I didn’t want the world to miss. I did well, she got back some months later.

Just like this my blogger friend, I too soon went on a blogging relapse. In fact, I have been technically offline since October last year though this same time has been my most ‘online time’ the most. I appreciate all those that visited while I was on this blogging hiatus.

My absence made me think to the point that I had to redefine two words I discovered were my real problems. Here are my thoughts and conclusions.

    1.    The value of consistency and
    2.    The redefinition of ‘being busy’.

Let me begin with point 2 – the redefinition of ‘being busy’. Before you crucify me, let me ask you this, what do you understand by being busy? I’m guessing you’ll say to be uber engaged in one activity or the other. You are very correct, but sorry, you are wrong. If you are actively engaged doing something that doesn’t add to your bottom line (end outcome) be it in finance, health, spirituality, relationship, career etc you are actually only whiling away time – aka time wasting. You are not busy, just wasting aware. 

So what am I driving? Bottom line. The end of a thing justifies the starting and process. Being busy is to be engaged in an activity that improves the end outcome of whatever was started – even if you are not entirely worked up about it. The reverse of being busy is time wasting (which is closely related to patience the theme of my next post).

The second is the value of Consistency. Show me a man consistent in his ways and I’ll show you a man who will go places – even if he is consistent in the wrong things. One of my Achilles heels is consistency. Yes I confess, I have consistency issues and I’m working hard at changing. These few days, nay months of blogging relapse really taught me how powerfully disastrous inconsistency can get.

Here is how I define consistency. Consistency means staying true to whatever you commit yourself to. Consistency is an outward manifestation of integrity. You may have integrity without consistency but never consistency without integrity.

As I look to the days ahead and my renewed hunger to throw out thought jabs and blows (big ups to Ali), I look forward to overcoming my fears and weaknesses and churning out thoughts that’ll help me and you my readers.

Key Take Homes
Consistency is an outward manifestation of integrity (tweet this)
Show me a man consistent in his ways and I’ll show you a man who will go places - even if it's in the wrong things.
The end of a thing justifies the starting and process of that thing.

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In case, you may find this interesting as well 

Friday, October 23, 2015

What a week away from Mobile Apps and Social Media taught me

The whole world keeps reminding me that I live in a digital age and speak a digitized language. It felt almost choking that I was so heavily dependent on digital things; phones, cars, food delivery, money transaction, keeping up with my friends etc.

Tired of social media, Jude Akhabue
In the midst of that digital hula balu, I decided to take a break from the social norm. I decided to stay clear of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (which I was fast falling in love with). Then I added Whatsapp and BBM as well. In short, I wanted to be off the digital space radar.
Before going on that break, I dropped messages online to inform friends of my week long break, you see I really was a digital freak, I desperately needed the break.

It’s been a couple of months now since I took the break. I am very much back to social media, to make it worse, I now live and breathe social media (thanks to a new job) but I know I’m better positioned thanks to what one week away from social media and mobile apps taught me.

Here are the lessons I learned.

# It is very possible to live life off social

            So we are told that we are born into a digital age, true! But that I can’t live a normal life without the techie stuffs like phones, Facebook, Twitter, whatsapp etc really bugs me. So I took a break, and guess what, I didn’t miss one bit of gist. You want to ask how? The answer is simple; people! People told me things, stuffs. I didn’t need to visit any blog, look up Facebook or follow any tweet to know. People around me talked and I listened, so I got the gist. The trick is, my friends do the blog visit and FB stuff and they talked about it, I didn’t have to disturb my head and time – You can live just fine without techie stuffs!. What counts are the people not the devices.

# Life is much fun when you kill that FoMO tendency

            I know you are wandering, what the heck is FoMO? FoMO is an acronym for ‘Fear of Missing Out’. It’s that feeling you get when you sense everyone is talking or giggling about some great stuff that happened or will happen, and you are like so unaware of the gist. You will then be like ‘wetin dey happen sef’. You will hit Twitter, check your friend’s FB profile just to find out what is going on. So staying off digital helped reduced my FoMO tendencies. It reduced my propensity for gbeborun-ness (gossiping). Social media increases the likelihood of gossiping and social eavesdropping!

# Social is not online, it actually happens offline

            The word social really means to relate. Online you do the relating without the help of non verbal cues (Yorubas say ‘oju loro wa’, that is, the real speech lies in the facial expression not necessarily what is said). Online stole the joy of deciphering people’s emotions, and yeah! emoticons didn’t help. Real relationship is offline not online 

# Discipline!

Another thing the break taught me was discipline, self discipline along with serious self will and motivation. After the digital hiatus (lols! Hiatus is a geological word for ‘a pause’ – one more grammar to add to your ‘gra-senal’) I discovered that discipline is a hard commodity to find, so I have learnt to attach premium importance to it 

# Staying off social leads to better self connection 

            With so many things trying to gain my attention (and I mean so many things), imagine the dilemma I was in. The break came in a handy. It helped me clear the back clutter of responsibilities and prepare for the future eventualities. I got time to myself, to think, play and just be me, for family – without digital interruption.

# If social doesn’t feel natural, it won’t fit in the future

            During the hiatus, one question kept probing my mind, the future of digital. I wondered how FB, Twitter, Instagram and co would be in ten years time. I discovered not long after my return to digital, that if tomorrow’s digital experience does not feel natural, if it doesn’t provide that sense of nature (erm! Finding the right word to use), it must make me feel like I’m interacting with a human and not a machine. Tomorrow’s digital must find a way to down play algorithm and increase the human feel. If not, it would become another fad of yesterday (tweet) just like fashion trends.

# I had to redefine friendship

            This was one of the biggest testimonies – Having to redefine friendship. You see on Twitter, I can follow any stranger even ISIS if I want to, on LinkedIn, I can choose to connect to anyone because of a nice resume. On Facebook, well it’s a bit different, because I will only friend someone I know. But in real life, friendship is on another level, one that digital media can’t and won’t understand. It goes beyond the acceptance and follows; it requires a connection, something digital media hasn’t been able to offer. Guys, seriously, the best place to make friends isn’t online (tweet)

# Social media was actually killing my brain cells and health

Okay! Just so you know, I am as healthy as an ox, but these devices, these tools and channels, they are killers. Sitting for so long to tweet or chat, dangerous EM waves, the careless stray onto the road because of chatting, those moment of giggles (and people around looking with suspicion) and all those weren’t good for my health. Another thing was that digital activities was slowly stealing happy thoughts and cherished memories- all because I spent more time online. Thank God for that break. (Don’t worry, nothing to tweet here)

# Lastly, social feeding breedsspiritual starving (tweet please!)

Yap! It does. Whoever you submit to becomes your master, so says the scripture. When I became too digital, I also became less spiritual, why? Because digital was stealing the time and taking central place in my heart, I woke with digital and slept with it. Now I know better, I am back to spiritual ways, which is also good for my physical health.

So I have re-affirmed (not that I didn’t know before), hence the re-affirmation THAT I am in control and must be in control of what I do, who I am and how I choose to do what I do.

Well, I hope you have gained one or two insights. I do recommend you go on this kind of breaks (at least once a year) and I suggest a week duration - nothing longer please.

Have you done something like this before? Kindly Share what you learnt or gained.
If not, do you intend to? Drop your thoughts in the comments section.


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Beyond Grass To Grace Stories: When Life Becomes About Making Impact

Monday, October 05, 2015

Here's How I chose To Celebrate My Teachers On World Teacher's Day

Today is World Teacher’s Day. So, as a way to celebrate those who have helped to make me what I am today (my teachers), I decided to sit down and look back at time and draw up a list of all the teachers who taught and impacted me (positively and otherwise).

Celebrating World Teachers Day
Nursery School – Aunty Pat, through her I learnt the two times table.

Primary School -Ajegunle Nursery and Primary School (P.s Not the popular Ajegunle)
Pry 1 – Mrs Akande
Pry 2 – Mrs Omojugbagbe
Pry 3 – Mr. Alli fondly called baba Ade, he was also a photographer and had an okada (a motor cycle)
Pry No – nope, I got double promoted from 3 to 5.
Pry 5 Mrs. Akinremi
PRY 6 – Mrs Ndukwe. She gave her lunch to me whenever I had no money for food. A very wonderful woman she was.
Head Teacher – Mrs V.O Ogunremi.

Other important teacher I had in primary school included Mrs. Dada. It was her who began calling me Dr. Jude. Funny, back then I only knew doctors to be those who treated sick people, and i never really liked the idea of treating people. Today i realise that academicians can also become doctors – by that I mean Thought Leaders, something I’m working towards.
Then there was Mrs Jayeola, the very social and talkative teacher whose presence always carried life. There was Mrs. Ihebinike and Master. I also had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Ihenmadu at the Local Government Education Authority. Under her watchful eye, I was able to win laurel for myself and school and state.

Junior Scondary School – Ogba Junior Grammar the School.

After primary school, we got split into different groups. All the girls were shipped to one school while the boys went to another. I was pissed off back then but looking back, I think it did more good than bad. So here is the list.
Maths – Mrs Oloruntowoju. Her gentle and slim frame was always reassuring. Although I never had real issues with math, her lessons were very encouraging. She is the only teacher who also gave, a book. Something I still cherish till date.
Business Studies – Mr Ajayi. This left handed man gave cane lashes sent you to trouble shooting mode. Funny enough, I never liked his class.
Some Corpers : Here’s the only thing I remember about them. They came in batches. The first set had one funny girl like that. She said she was bleeding and I was like bleeding keh? I checked her all over oh! Including the other bleeding that couldn’t be seen by face value. Only when she corrected herself by saying I’m PLEADING’ did I understand what she was trying to communicate.

JSS 2 –
Math – Mr. Adekunle. I remember his well pressed trouser with gator clearing showing. The trousers used to shine. I envied him so much io had to begin to put razor sharp gators on my own shorts.
Yoruba – Mrs Bolarin. Okay! When you say you have a beautiful teacher, Mrs Bolarin epitomised it. This dark skinned tall, sleek and pretty Yoruba diva happened to teach me Yoruba. Just staring at her face was enough for this Edo indigene youngster to turn from a Yoruba dullard to become best in class. Mrs Bolarin also had a nice black Kia Rio back then. I won’t as forget the day she asked me to help her clean her office. As she watched me clean, she gently said to a colleague close to her ‘omo yi gbe ko’ Yoruba for this child is well trained or culture. Aka he has home training. Just hearing that was something so special for me.
Business Studies – Mrs Nkemjika; this funny Delta Ibo woman was awesome. She was beautiful and had this dimple on her cheeks that made her smile exciting. Again, although i was never good in business studies, just seeing her face was a consolation. Dhe also taught the same subject in JSS 3.
Other JSS2 teachers were the Igbo Language teacher whose near Deeper Life/Lords Chosen nature – calm, and focused was nice. She won me over by her smile, soprano voice and gentle nature. I also actually developed a fondness for those to the east of the Niger at that point.
My JSS 2 Social Studies teacher and class teacher. We called him master. That’s all I can remember of him.
Then my JSS 2 Home Economics teacher. I remember scoring 100 in the second term and I really felt nice. There was Mrs, Opurum who drove a Kia Optima too. The Home Econs lab was a place I never enjoyed going to. I also did make a table mat during my JKSS 2 class.
It’s funny that I can’t remember any of my JSS 3 teachers. Not my fault sha!

Again after the JSS section, the entire set got split into four different secondary schools. Mine was BFMSS.

Senior School – Babs Fafunwa Millennium Senior Secondary School.
S S 1
Maths  - Can’t remember
Biology – Mrs Kehinde
English – Mrs Kehinde
Geography – Mrs John
Chemistry – Mrs Bamidele
Further Maths – Mr Obi
Physics – Mrs Opeolu
My Economics teacher was war. Okay, you see, she was heavily endowed in the front. So all I saw whenever she was around was the endowment. And she didn’t package it well.. Don’t get me wrong, she dressed well but her bust just always gather our attention. Then she had issue with English, An example was saying SCARED instead of SQUARED.
SS 2
Maths – Mrs Daramola
English – Mrs Kehinde
Biology – Mrs Olorunfunmi
Chemistry – God knows I will never remember her name sef!
Geography – Mr Adeosun
Physics – Mr Adeyemi aka Agama
Further Maths – Mrs Obi

Economics – one old woman whose name I know I won’t be remembering at all. She was the opposite of my SS 1 Economics teacher, I vividly remember her coming to class and just because the class wasn’t that clean she asked everyone to pace their heads ob the desk only for her two dish two painful twaks of the cane on our back. Well, trust me after that experience, I dropped the subject. Till I left school, I never got above 65 in the course. I replaced it with Further maths while I dropped Agric for Technical Drawing (Mr Udoh).

Oh yeah! The chemistry teacher, like seriously, some teachers just make you hate a subject f rife. That’s exactly what this teacher did to me. She was so fast – wanted to finish the curriculum. She had a hard face and was nearly inaccessible (though I was also not the question asking type of student) but I dropped so much in her class. I had text books but it didn’t make sense. THAT was when Organic Chemistry knew it would shoe its face. Organic Chemistry was the end of Chemistry for me. Funny, though, while I dropped in Chemistry, I ROSE IN Physics. All in a way due to the kind of teacher I had. You see Mr Adeyemi was the teacher to fear. It wasn’t that he was a flogger, it’s just that reputation he had. Everyone feared him and ran whenever he was on the corridor. The first day he taught my class physics, seeing his playfulness, and unbelievable ability to simplify the hard stuffs in physics. The whole physics just dissolved into my head. However, he died before the second term began so Mrs. Opeolu had to help out even in SS 3.

SS 3 – Best class.
Maths – Mrs Daramola – she was a regular teacher. She usually carried her hair short hair but her teaching was always wonderful. She would pay attention to her students and give corrections to assignments. Her classes were awesome. It was through her I learnt how to use a broom to draw the curve when drawing a graph.

English – Mrs Odigwe – This woman goes down in my Teacher Hall of fame. The way she taught phonetics was different. The day we had to read the story of one eyed Sunday in Intensive English in class, my eyes got open. Others were her class on Summary writing and Intonation. All these so much impacted on me that I just developed a love for reading and the arts. Till date, her influence is much appreciated.
Biology – Mrs Olorunfunmi
Physics – Mrs Opeolu
Che,istry – Mrs Bamidele.
Geography – I remember she drove a Toyota Prado jeep. She was fair to behold and probably had a rich husband. But she was fine sha! - which helped to make the class nice.
Technical Drawing – Mr Udoh
Further Maths – Mr Obi
Others were Mr. Alo who became my school Daddy just because he had the same body built as me.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

A Year after: Interview with the CV Man, Alfred Ajani

Alfred Ajani
About this time last year, Alfred Ajani made headlines when he stood at Waterloo train station to catch the fancy and hand out his CV to possible recruiters – ( more about it). Today, all that is history, in fact earlier this year, Fred stood at the same station that brought him fame, this time not to hand out CVs but to give back back to his community.
I caught up with him and had this awesome interview with him. Listen to Fred as he retells his story, why he went and what he sees in the future.

Jude: Hello Alfred, thank you for granting us this interview, may the readers meet you

Alfred: Thanks, Jude. I am  Fred, from UK and I’m a Marketing PR and Project manager.

Jude: You made quite a headline pulling a stunt last year, what drove you or motivated you to pull off such a stunt.

Fred: Simply put, I motivated myself.

Jude: Your approach to job hunting got you massive publicity (something necessary when job hunting), how have you managed it all.

Fred: yeah, it did!  However, what I have done is to remain level headed and true to self. I also give advice to those who seek it as much as possible.

Jude: I am sure you got lots of offering after such a feat yet you chose your current job. In the report, it said you were looking for your ‘dream job’. To you, what is a dream job and what should job seekers look out for in a ‘dream job?’

Fred:  A dream job to me is that which allows you to work on your own projects, build your own team and create your own buzz.

Jude: So I guess that means, a dream job should allow for flexibility, team work and an opportunity to excel in what one loves while still meeting the employer’s expectations.
Earlier this year, you were back to the same station, what was the motive behind that?

Fred: In going back to the station, I wanted to give back to those who supported me and made my story so big. I know the difficulty for graduates and wanted to show them in my own way where they can come if they too are struggling to find a role after graduation.

Jude: wow! That’s awesome, a little giving back, we tend to forget the community that has made us. Nice one Fred.

Fred: Thanks!

Jude: I just want to know, as a graduate who has seen it all and has gotten what many other graduates out there would love to get, what do you think are some of the challenges facing job seekers?

Fred:  There is a lack of trust from employers to hire fresh graduates, it seems they do not believe they can do or learn the job quick enough or bring fresh ideas to the table. Graduates do need to make sure they are doing the most to stand out from the crowd.

Jude: As a person that works for a recruitment organization, what do you look out for in a potential candidate?

Fred: When looking through candidates I need to see more than the generic guidelines to writing a CV. In the personal profile, thousands of graduates claim to be creative, passionate, ambitious, and driven, I want to know what drives you, where your ambition and passion for the industry comes from and what creative ideas you have.

Jude: I agree with you on that. So what’s next for Alfred Ajani?

Fred: Personally I am working on several projects at the Asoria Group. Women in Business is my yearly project where I interview women from across the property, digital and renewables sector to share their stories, experiences and advice to inspire a younger generation of women to pursue a career in either sector. I am also working on an awards ceremony for Young Leaders in the Digital sector, to reward the top creative minds under 30 in the digital sector. In the future I will be pursuing a career in the advertising sector.

Jude: that’s great, wish you success on that.

Fred: thanks, I’ll need that.

Jude: What advice would you give job seekers out there?

Fred: My advice to graduates is that they should struggle to proceed, safe is risky, don’t be scared to promote yourself today for a better tomorrow.

Jude: That’s all for today dear readers, I know you have gotten one or two hints from Alfred. 

If you are still searching for a job, remember to do all you can to stand out and if you currently have a job, then don’t just stay there, do something to contribute to the larger society plus start something of your own, do something you’ve always wanted to do. Go ahead and make a name for yourself.

If would like to connect with Alfred, you can find him on LinkedIn.

Jude: Thank you so much Fred for granting this interview.

Once again, thank you and see you next time when I will be sharing the story of another success.

Till then, remember,
There’s always hope, so long you are alive.
The grass is actually greener where you water it. 

Dear readers, I hope you have gained something from Fred’s story.

Feel free to share in the comments section.