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Mz. Socially Awkward: The Many Reasons Why I Love My Job

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So, I’m a lawyer and even though I know the trendy thing to do is to bash and moan about your 9am – 5pm gig, I actually and truly am in love with what I currently do for a living.

Here’s what I used to do for a daily wage. In my former life, I was a fully practising barrister and solicitor and I didn’t mind heading down that route to start off of my career, especially after the sheer struggle of surviving the Nigerian Law School (…as in, 13 years later and I’m still thanking God for His Grace in that area…) Such a baptism of fire simply had to count towards something worthwhile so after getting called to the Nigerian Bar, on that fateful 1st day in July, 2003, I moved into a reputable law firm, to learn more about the tricks intricacies of the profession.

Law practise in Nigeria has its own rewards for a young wig and you better believe that those rewards aren’t necessarily the financial kind. When I joined, many Managing Solicitors (i.e. owners of Law Chambers) would offer jobs that didn’t come with any salary and we were meant to be grateful for the invaluable experience … so young lawyers quickly learnt how to be self-sufficient by hunting for new clients and “briefs” and commissions of every sort. I was very lucky to work in a salaried job but it wasn’t a great deal of dosh and to be honest, if I was in it for the money, I would never have stayed. What kept me going, however, was this wonder in discovering exactly how the law can be made to work for you – depending on how one argues a case and marshals previous judgements, evidence, closing arguments, etc to help a client’s cause. I enjoyed carrying out legal research and trawling through tomes of case law to find the exact ruling which suited my client’s particular circumstance.

Legal drafting was like calling me home because I just LOVE words (you can’t imagine how much I love words… or maybe, you can…) and being able to draw up contracts, memorandums or any other kind of agreement from scratch was a task I gleefully embraced. And still continue to embrace. Standing up to address a court or opposing counsel was daunting at first, I cannot lie. However, you quickly come to find your voice in a room full of senior lawyers trying to “oppress” you with their moth-eaten robes and threadbare wigs, as they spout verbosities intended to bamboozle the court and undermine your own arguments. Yimu. Plus you’re always conscious of the keen gaze of your client sitting in the gallery, who hasn’t hidden his scepticism about this “junior counsel” that the firm sent to handle his case and whose glaring inexperience is now likely to prejudice his interest.

You grow the cojones needed to get the job done. Winning interim and final judgements from time to time will certainly raise your confidence and help said cojones to drop lower so that your voice is now able to match the loudness and garrulity of aforesaid senior counsel in legal debates.

And then one day, 3 years after embarking on it, I realized that there wasn’t too much sense in continuing along the path I was on, since I wasn’t aiming to become a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), a member of the bench or even lecture in a University’s law faculty. So back to the drawing board with me – what did I want to be? I knew that of all the tasks I carried out as a solicitor, legal drafting was my niche and there was something in me that perked up every time we had commercial dealings to manage for clients. It only made sense to pursue a career outside core law practise but still offering legal services to enhance business dealings and being a Port Harcourt “geh”, I knew that any kind of business dealings that I was looking to enhance just had to be the oil & gas kind. I did the necessary online research, found a University to obtain the required post graduate degree in, completed an LLM in Oil & Gas Law (I know. I KNOW. Very Nigerian and cliché of me, abi?), job-hunted and then God was good (again!) and I found a way into what I do now.

Today I work for an integrated service provider in the offshore oil & gas industry and my role involves providing legal advice and support to help the company acquire new business and manage its existing projects. I strongly believe that lawyers need to find more inroads into the commercial market because as much as I miss the highs of practise, I see so many ways that my skills and knowledge make a huge difference in how the company takes operational decisions. We were fed this regimented thinking in Law School about offering legal services from one point of view (i.e. the client who seeks representation in court) but the world needs lawyers in just about every other sphere that exists outside core practise.

My days are very varied – tomes of contracts to review one day, sorting out a dispute the next day, researching sanctions that might affect the importation of a vessel into a particular country the following day – but I’ve now come understand how the law works in the world of commerce and gotten so much more exposure to the bigger realities of doing business. And more importantly (for me, anyway) I’ve picked up a lot of technical knowledge about offshore operations which I find completely fascinating! Honestly, do you know how many different kinds of engineers can be found on one rig? And all the different important roles they carry out? Ahhh, Engineers, una dey do well oh… if no be for old age, I for try go study one small course make I join una

I won’t do this forever but for here and now, I love my current job and the challenges it’s brought into my legal world. Too many people go into the profession and exit after a short, disillusioned stint but I wanted to recant my own experience for anyone who truly believes that law is their calling but isn’t so keen on spending the rest of their days in court. Build your foundation properly with some hands-on experience in the general field of practise at the beginning and then proceed to find your preferred footing in niche areas which can include intellectual property, finance, employment relations, building and construction, medical services, energy and the environment, public administration, international relations etc. The world keeps professing it hates lawyers but we’re not running out of opportunities to thrive yet due to how very significantly our job cuts across different segments of society. Although, those engineers, sha… they’re not doing badly at all… 🙂

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Syda Productions

Mz Socially Awkward passionately bickers about contracts with other legal people, to justify her daily wage but when she’s not doing that, she’s belting out Gospel music in a couple of choirs , kick starting her “Soul Food” radio show on the church’s Radio31 station (scary!), hanging out with some other intrepid couch commentators on www.ourthoughtsandyou.com and idly daydreaming about the fashion entrepreneur she might have been if she hadn’t chosen this other life…. :-) If you want to discuss anything related to the above, you can reach out to her with the twitter handle “@1LifeSaved”.

116 Comments

  1. chi-e-z

    August 25, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    YEA!!!!! Totally just here for you Mz Socially Awkward 😀

    • Ginika

      August 26, 2015 at 5:43 am

      I concur! Good job.

    • Bleed Blue

      August 26, 2015 at 8:40 am

      I double concur! 🙂

      Mz S.A., you know this our Oil and Gas contracts negotiation that we do ehn….I love it too much oh! You’re saying you won’t do it forever, but for me, I can’t even imagine doing anything else.

      Hubby says I’m addicted to the Olivia Pope complex the job gives me…and I can’t lie… I love to “fix things”…..especially when $100 million decisions depend on my advice… Kai! The thing gives me excitement! You know wharram sayin na… you know…but you know… 😉

      Although Nne, doing it in Aberdeen was so much “cosier” than doing it here in Naija.
      Chei! This country is not smiling with the amount of government (NNPC) involvement in everyday operational decisions.
      In the one year since I moved back home, my eyes have seen faya! Great Grace keeps me sane.

      Still on still, I won’t trade it for anything else. I love Law, but the wig and gown was never for me.

      Keep writing Mz. SA. Love eeeeeeeeeeeet!!!

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      August 26, 2015 at 11:27 pm

      @ Chi-e-z & @Ginika, thank you so much, ladies. ?
      @Bleed Blue, if I ever pack it all in (certificates, et al) I might finally give in to my hidden ambition of owning a mega-buka. ?? Food will always have a special spot in my hierarchy of “things I love”.

      To everyone, thank you so much for reading and for spending your valuable MB on your very kind comments. ??? All of them are truly appreciated. My desire was to highlight the many other possibilities that can materialise from this well beaten track. We spend so much valuable years of our lives in studying and then settling into our day jobs, that we deserve to find pleasure in whatever hustle keeps us chasing Naira/Cedis/USD/Euro/GBP for a living.

      So I salute everyone who’s discovered theirs already and really hope that anyone still in the valley of indecision can take something away from this article to help them start heading northward. Thank you again, amazing BN’ers. xx

  2. TA

    August 25, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    Mz SA, great article. Glad to see you enjoy your job. I completely love my job too and even though what I studied is diff from what I do today. It’s all pure joy to be paid for a job you can do for free. Lol. ?

  3. Ada

    August 25, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Is this the same lady who passes judgemental comments on other BN readers?

    • Duchess Maria

      August 25, 2015 at 9:03 pm

      *Uses torchlight to search for your point*

    • o

      August 26, 2015 at 2:01 am

      I add flood lights join sef….

    • The Buttery Hotness

      August 26, 2015 at 6:19 am

      No, she’s not 🙂

  4. Dr. N

    August 25, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Am I surprised you’re a lawyer? Grew up in PH? Sing in the choir? Na….
    I enjoyed this and I am currently doing d same in my field; encouraging doctors to think outside d box. We cannot keep going on strike at all. There are other ways to use the skills acquired in school other than what your lecturer suggested.
    Here’s to financial freedom!
    Warm hugs

    • Californiabawlar

      August 25, 2015 at 7:06 pm

      Dr. N it’s your turn o!! 😀

    • Dr. N

      August 25, 2015 at 10:18 pm

      Lukatew!

    • The Beauty Doctor

      August 26, 2015 at 2:47 am

      Seconded!

    • Blackbeauty

      August 25, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      Please share ‘those other ways’ for doctors since getting a spot for residency these days is purely by His Grace.
      @ Mz SA: Lovely articles as always.

    • Truth Teller

      August 26, 2015 at 8:32 am

      @Dr N, were you ever in Jeman consulting’s project management class in 2013?

    • Dr. N

      August 26, 2015 at 8:08 pm

      Nope

    • Blazing

      September 2, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      Hi Dr. N…….We expectantly await your post on ways Doctors can think outside the box. I would really love to hear form you. Do you have a website or link I can visit in the meantime?

  5. Dee

    August 25, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Yayyyy! I just love Mz Socially Akward! Long overdue post…

  6. Titilope

    August 25, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    This was really helpful because I am about finishing service and I am still clueless about what to do with my law degree. Just got called to bar, I have no idea how to look for a job. At 23, I just hope I am fine, you can’t always know right?

    • Tiki

      August 26, 2015 at 8:24 am

      Titi, try to get an internship with a consulting firm. Straight out of school with my law degree, I did a stint with a Chambers (that’s what we call law firms where I’m from). After the whole writing briefs and understudying a senior lawyer stint, I realized that practice wasn’t for me. I applied for and got a 3month internship with PwC, and ended up discovering (and loving!!!) tax law. Currently practising in that field, and I love it!

      A law degree is an excellent foundation for most other fields, if you are willing to put in the work (where your second field is technical). If nothing else, it teaches you to be an analytical independent thinker. Either way, don’t be in a hurry to label yourself a ‘lawyer, because your possibilities are waaay more than you could imagine!

    • Kanyinsola

      August 26, 2015 at 8:33 pm

      Hey tiki…could you please give direction on how to apply for internship with a company??is it the same as applying for a job?or i walk into the company and talk to hr directly..

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      August 27, 2015 at 12:12 am

      Hello Titilope, I must admit that the intensive academic experience which law students go through from Uni to law school (in Nigeria, anyway) can get in the way of letting students understand what’s waiting after the book-learning ends. Unlike doctors who get residency training for a couple of years to apply their knowledge or even many of the science/technical courses where they get to do industrial training during their undergraduate study. So, fret not, luv – you’re in good company with many other lawyers who stood in your shoes at one point or the other (unless they were lucky enough to have a parent or family member/friend who already worked as a lawyer and could understudy during holidays). 🙂

      You’ll need to find a place to start trying your hand out at doing the job of a lawyer to help you understand what your future options are with the degree. Do you know any lawyers in your own personal circle of family, church, etc. at all that you can offer to intern for? If not get your CV out there and not just the prestigious firms as the smaller ones have a way of really building you up since they’re usually very busy. Don’t hesitate to work for free if you need to but if you do that, make sure it’s with a firm that’s worth the sacrifice in terms of your ability to learn from people who know what they’re doing. And have an exit plan as well for how long you’ll be doing that for – i.e. build your knowledge base to the point of being able to apply for a proper job there or somewhere else.

      Certainly start now to find out whether this route is for you or if you’re meant to be doing something else. 23 is a great age to start building a career (in any field) so you should start trying exploring your available options. Here’s praying that you make the very best decision for you, in the end.

  7. Californiabawlar

    August 25, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Yay!! I never get time to read, I’ll be back….I just say make I hail!! Area! lol.

  8. Queen Kong

    August 25, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    If the time frame is well pinned, and can be managed, as well as other things that concerns your home and the inside, then of course… Oh! And look who wrote the article.. Our geh! Swallow kisses…

  9. Rejoice

    August 25, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    @titilope, I know how you feel. I am also almost done with service and also within your age range. I can only advice you to ask God to lead you to the right people who can help you with strategic job searching. You would be amazed at how meeting the right people can make a difference in navigating your career path. I wish you the best in life.

  10. Tosin

    August 25, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    very hot!
    i’m having a fab time with these online law courses right now. wow, God Bless Coursera.
    for Titilope, sometimes (most of the time) these things take time. Just be true, every day.

    • Tru

      August 27, 2015 at 12:13 pm

      Seconded at Love Coursera!

  11. Manny

    August 25, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    Kudos to you Mz Awkward

  12. mrs chidukane

    August 25, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    This article came at a time I’m considering burning my wig but I think i’ll give this our profession one more try. Nice write up, you wear so many hats and I love them all.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      August 27, 2015 at 12:19 am

      Fellow wig, please don’t burn it yet. 🙂 Mine is well wrapped up in camphor but can be quickly retrieved from retirement if I need to make a reappearance in court in a hurry…

  13. Babygiwa

    August 25, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Yaay Mz SA, glad to know you love your job. I studied sociology, currently learning one or two things about Human Resources because that is what I want to do. And I can’t wait. I LOVE HR.
    Titilope, it is okay not to know. Just calm down and think about what you can do without being paid. Good luck.

    • Debee!

      August 25, 2015 at 11:45 pm

      Wow!! Awesome we r in the same boat, in enjoy HR and I’m taking a course on it and I studied sociology also.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      August 27, 2015 at 12:31 am

      @Babygiwa, that’s fantastic for you and I actually worked in employment relations for a short time after finishing my LLM before settling into a commercial legal role. So I have the utmost respect for anyone in that field as the practice of HR is such an delicate art in balancing strict statutory compliance with managing human beings in the workplace. And not to mention the other aspects of recruitment, training, administering staff benefits, logging new staff and closing out the files of departing ones, monitoring holidays/leave… My short stint in that previous company has made me very sympathetic to the overworked HR officers in my present workplace. So well done, una dey try. 🙂

  14. Titilope

    August 25, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Thank you guys. Appreciate it so much. Will just take it one step at a time. Time to stop beating up myself that I am just floating….. I had better enjoy law. My law school money odikwa much. Cheers

  15. oyindee

    August 25, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    Look who’s here!,its our geh Mz socially awkward,,,Go girl,nice article and am not surprised you’re a lawyer,you know so much about literature and have read so much books than I will ever read in my lifetime,lol,and yes Dr N you up next @titilope,e-hugs,no one actually knows what to do,just try to keep one foot in front of another,keep the faith and pray,you will be totally fine……

  16. desperate and bored

    August 25, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    Me, I hate my job. It’s the boringest – if there ever was such a word- job ever. Getting up in the morning to go to work is such a drag, but I can’t quit. My parents won’t hear of it and I’m afraid I might not get another. Plus, i’m in my late twenties, not early o. So what will I do?

    • Dr. N

      August 25, 2015 at 10:22 pm

      Start doing what u love on weekends. Hone your skill. Then think of a way to make people pay for it. When it becomes welf-sustsaining, quit your boring job.
      Do u know people are paid to watch movies and review it? Yet I watch for free. Lol. Anything can yeild an income

    • ThatShyChic

      August 25, 2015 at 11:31 pm

      Hey, desperate and bored. Your age shouldn’t limit you. The twenties are the right time to take career risks, if you ask me. Don’t get stuck in a job you dislike so much.

      Lemme share my personal experience: I quit a well-paying job I disliked so much at 29. I had no idea what lay ahead, everyone thought I was crazy, but I told myself 30 won’t meet me on that job. I knew I’d be fine. A week after my resignation I met a friend who owned a firm and asked if I could volunteer there. I was there for months with no pay and lots of broke days. Lol. I just kept learning and improving on myself. 6 months later I got a job offer. I totally love my new job!! The pay is half of what I was earning before, but I couldn’t be happier!!

      Your story may even have a better ending than mine. Get rid of the mindset that you won’t get another job…

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      August 27, 2015 at 12:51 am

      I agree with the two ladies above. Find out what you actually like doing and start it as a hobby; look into what the professionals in that area are doing to learn from (at the very least, you can resort to YouTube, where a video must surely exist for any conceivable skill) and once you prove yourself as adept, you’ll not lack paying customers to keep a little business growing on the side. Plus and if you’re a Christian, keep praying for direction and conviction which is soooo important since you sound uncertain about making a new start at this age. And I know there are more risks now than in your early 20s but there’ll be even more risks if you choose to finally make the jump in your early, mid or late 30s. Start actively preparing and (again, if you’re a Christian) ask God to help align the things you can’t control. Don’t give up when your possibilities remain unexplored.

  17. Duchess Maria

    August 25, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Mz. SA I love you and I love this article.
    I wish I loved my job. It currently bores me to death but it pays me well and I’m comfortable. Every Monday I go to work armed with the resolution to adjust my attitude and make the most of it but by mid day, I’m back to boredom, being over it and counting down till Friday.
    If I switch jobs, it will be the same thing. My line of work is just dry jare.
    If I had unlimited funds, I would quit and pull an “Eat, Pray, Love” but as a single babe who dash me na? I have to pay bills and survive, so I cant afford to make such rash decisions.

    • Chide

      August 26, 2015 at 12:22 am

      Naija radio station pays you well as an intern? Which bills do you pay Chide? No dey lie.

    • Tosin

      August 26, 2015 at 6:41 am

      i hate excuses.

  18. babygiwa

    August 25, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    You are in your late twenties, my sister, you are a grown woman. You cannot afford not to be living the life you want at that age. Pray to God for grace, strength and clarity. Who told you that you can’t get another job? The lord is your shepherd, you shall not be in want of a good job. Take control of your life. Good luck.
    BNers, please check out my sister’s Christian blog; diaryofmsgenesis.com

  19. Angel Deco

    August 25, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    Whom do we have in da building???? Its Mhiz SA! Yaaaaayyyyyyyyy *shaking bom bom like never before* So, she writes too? I gotta read dis piece……. #Almost couldnt believe ma eyes when i saw the caption and the writer. Ahh ahh….. some pple make u love BN unconditionally

    <<<<>>>

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      August 27, 2015 at 12:53 am

      Wait, make I bring my wrapper come… me sef, wan shake bum-bum with you… 🙂

  20. iyke

    August 25, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    @Mz SA – My perfect coral….the beauty spot of the jungle…the one who tames me.I am s proud of you.Now you see,I didn’t fall for you…You tripped me!That part of you that you refused to give up,I want to be part of it.
    I celebrate you ezigbo enyi m oma!??

    • fairy godmother

      August 26, 2015 at 12:16 am

      @ iyke: biko, do the needful and perform “kụọ aka n’ ụzọ” and wine carrying to her folks in PH…all this “taming of the shrew” / “jungle fever”ain’t cutting it bro…”me ngwa nwa”

    • L.

      August 26, 2015 at 8:56 am

      Abeg you people should just not answer Iyke oh.

      Did you see the post from Michelle Dede? The first commenter called anonymous poured out her heart about her love for the good life and her vulnerability etc. Next thing Oga Iyke asked her to please throw her vulnerability his way. I thought “awwwwwwww how sweet of Iyke”.
      Now he’s here again being equally sweet to potentially another chic. Gerrarahere men!
      #OnlinePlayerTings

    • iyke

      August 26, 2015 at 12:19 pm

      I dey gather the tubers of yam,kolanut,palmwine for my inlaws, and schnapps for the elders..??

    • TA

      August 26, 2015 at 12:27 am

      @iyke,bia Nwokem, how many years now you been doing the ta-geh (ask a Yoruba person what that means lol) with MzSA, biko name and stake your claim or forever hold your peace ?

    • whocares

      August 26, 2015 at 9:28 am

      @TA LMAOOOOOOOOOOOO. Help me ask o. Where is the palm wine, kolanut, where is Bentley? The milo and bournvita nko?

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      August 27, 2015 at 1:02 am

      Ladies, I can’t even stay mad at Iyke’s online cassanova ways because the brother has a big heart and just isn’t sure yet who he should give it to – whether na Isio or me or the commenter in the other post mentioned above… ?

      Nwoke m, I fully appreciate my share of your online love. ?

  21. Benbella

    August 25, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    And to think that you were called to bar, just a year within me. My fellow learned colleague, I salute you.

    Like Ms Awkward said, there are a gazillion things a lawyer can do. You can go into law firm practice, legal discovery and litigation support, consulting, corporate practice, business advisory, debt recovery, legal administration, regulatory compliance, even charge “n” bail, if waiting for customers under the Lagos sun in the High Courts is your thing.

    However I would advise any new wig (I hate that term, but you get the gist), to do at least 1-2 years of (3 is even much better) solid law firm practice after he/she is fresh out of law school. Forget about earning six figure salary like your mates who reading accounting/economics and what not. Try and use those first 2 years to pay your dues – earn your stripes, learn as much as you can about legal research, putting cases together, drafting contracts and legal documents, dealing with clients and how the legal system works. Go to courts with senior lawyers if you can. Watch the movements of the SANS. Breathe in the smell of funky moth infested Call to Bar robes in a dingy lit Magistrate courtroom. Sample amala at Falomo as your celebrate a court ruling in your favour, just across the road from the embassies

    I would advise young lawyers not to rush from law school to go and do Masters. You will end up being undercooked – book smart but lacking practical experience. Law practice is all about experience, as are all professional callings.

    I love what I do now. I handle the subcontracts portfolio for an offshore oil service firm. It involves drafting and negotiating Master Service Agreements, Mutual Indemnity Agreements, Confidentiality Agreements and managing our risk and Insurance portfolio. It is daunting work, but the career satisfaction of working in my profession gives me thrills every day. Training to be a lawyer is one thing; working as one is another.

    I paid my dues somewhat as a young lawyer by working a law firm some years ago for a cumulative period of just under one year. I learnt quite a bit, but I feel I would have been better served if I had done at least 3-4 years back then. Law firm work is crazy especially in Lagos. It was not uncommon to work 12 hour days. It would start work at 9 and finish at around 10pm. Once I was in the office till past midnight. I earned a pittance, and had orders barked at me by Partners and brutish Senior Associates with a point to prove. But by George, I was working as a lawyer. I and my fellow associates would run into bankers at a buka where all the offices in the area went to eat, and we would stroll into the buka with airs on and the swagger of an esquire. My buka owner would heap “jara’ on my plate, as she praised me “Bo lawyer! Kpanpala!”

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      August 27, 2015 at 1:13 am

      As usual, Benbella, you make great points especially about sweating it out for a while before pursuing a Post-Grad degree. Difficult advice to give in these times of high unemployment for fresh graduates which makes it seem like an LLM should be the logical next step… but it’ll save valuable school fees that might be more usefully spent on another specialization.

  22. shakirat

    August 25, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    Loveeeeeeeeeeeeee ur writeup and luuuvvvvvvvvvvvvv u mz socially awkward! U give hope to us lawyers!

  23. Koffie

    August 25, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    In my head, you be doctor. I don’t even think I can remember what made me think you were a doctor. Hian

  24. Koffie

    August 25, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    That was for Ms chidukane

  25. Koffie

    August 25, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    If I hadn’t gotten lured in Accounting, I’d be doing something very similar to what you do MSA. I love law, literature and words generally and I always thought I loathed numbers till I did Accounting. I still nursed the idea of combining Law with Accounting= Forensic Accounting but I discovered I love helping management make sense of data. May God help me figure things out properly. I want to also be able to look back with fulfillment. I love what I currently do by the way, I just wish it paid well ?.

  26. mabel

    August 25, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    It’s always satisfying when you get to work in a familiar territory and by that I mean the same field as the training you got in school. Working in an unfamiliar territory is just a nightmare. I can testify to that. No matter how much I tried, I just felt lost. Leaving was the best thing and doing something on my own in collaboration with someone in my field was just all I needed. It’s a gradual process and all we need is to work towards the mark. I give kudos to people who can adapt so quickly in any field and get satisfied too.

  27. Wendy Wellesley

    August 25, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    Just to say I love Mz SA! God bless you for sharing. Always an inspiration!

  28. Ocean Beauty

    August 25, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    Mz SA….I always look forward to your comments. I wanted to be a lawyer but the university decided that change my destiny. No matter how many universities I tried to gain admission, nothing worked out. But now I have found my calling. (Stomach infrastructure).
    I am rooting for a BN marriage between you and Iyke. But that’s after Iyke has taken on the challenge I threw at him.
    BN, can i talk about my job in pidgin English? That’s about the only language I can speak and write fluently. In fact I am not a good writer but I can talk and gist for Africa.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      August 27, 2015 at 1:19 am

      Nne, biko nack ya tori as you wan talk am abeg. We’re fully versed in many tongues on this forum… ?

  29. Chibugo

    August 25, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    Mz. Socially Awkward, you are one of the people who have made bellanaija an online home for me with your very erudite comments and input. I’m at a stage in my life where my middle name is “uncertain”, being terribly unsure about the career path I chose. I’m 23, just completed nysc, and unemployed. I’m really hoping I can tell a story this good in 10 years time too. Keep doing you, Mz. SA. You have a fan here.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      August 27, 2015 at 1:36 am

      And you will, Chibugo. My own gist is still very much in progress as I also suffered my own delays but once I knew what I wanted to do, focus became clearer.

      One thing I’ll say is to not overlook the power of networking. Networks can take you places cvs won’t and the easiest way to start is honestly letting people around you know about your job search. A lot of people on this page have given other useful comments that you should also consider and once you’re focused on where you want to be, I pray that things will start to click into place. And that in 5years time, you’ll be inspiring another “uncertain” graduate. ?

  30. tamy

    August 25, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    Nice article n nys comments. Am in dsame profession,wouldv loved to remain in d litigation aspect tho cos I lyk it n maybe specialise in d corporate sector too,unfortunately haven’t had much experience,was called last year n served in a law firm n attach myslf in anoda small one to ‘whyl away tym’ whyl lookn fr smthn better,my major problem is my location, litigation where I am isn’t challenging n d ‘seniors’ find it difficult to even allow u move a motion,so annoying,lets nt even go to d salary aspct. Hopn to go fr my mastrs dis year or nxt n mayb say gudbye to d courtroom (*tears*alrdy missing it) n find smwhere else to stay….sry fr d long talk,jst felt lyk makin small noise here n wntd to say hi to miss SA…mk I dey go

  31. bruno

    August 25, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    so you’re even a lawyer. its such a shame and a disgrace that u are a lawyer and u dont know what human rights are. shameful just so shameful.

    bellanaija if u like don’t post my comment. u ate the first abi? continue

    • Bleed Blue

      August 26, 2015 at 8:21 am

      LOL Bruno please give up your one-man army naaaaaauuuu. Look around, nobody else is on this war path but you!

      Haba! We love you and we love Mz SA, why can’t you just love her too? She’s actually pretty easy to love. 🙂

    • Abbi

      August 26, 2015 at 9:14 am

      Bruno, when are you sending in your own story?
      This is a lady who has inspired others positively with her life, what are YOU doing with your own life (besides making bitter hateful comments all over). Please sit down, reflect and have a think biko

  32. Iceicebaby

    August 25, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    Mz SA, my secret woman crush. Hehehe. E hugs for a nicely written article and giving me a peek into your interesting life

  33. kriss

    August 25, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    I was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2013. I have been trying the whole law practice thing and I didn’t like it one bit. I studied law because my dad said there were a gazilion things a person could do with a law degree. Here I am still looking for just one other thing I can do with my law degree without getting anywhere near a court room. Can anyone give any useful tips

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      August 27, 2015 at 1:47 am

      Have you looked into working with the government (other than at the ministry of justice… a friend of mine enjoyed working in the drafting office of the State House of Assembly)? Or maybe focusing on company and corporate affairs? Do you think you might want to consider getting the chartered secretary certification (ICSA) & head down that path?

  34. tutu

    August 25, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    you go gurl!!! i love my job too! My boss is awesome. P,S I work for myself. lol #stolen

  35. ThatShyChic

    August 25, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    Our geh Mz SA in the building!

    Are you sure we aren’t twins who were separated at birth!? Too many similarities.

    Firstly, my love for words ehn… Words cannot explain! Lol. I can totally relate…

    My career story has taken a similar pattern as yours even though I studied architecture. My first few years were spent in Architecture firms and I stayed probably to justify all the money and sleepless nights I spent in school. I love being an architect, but few years down the line I’ve come to realize core architecture just isn’t my thing. Too bad we leave school thinking the course you studied has to be practiced in a certain way, especially here in Nigeria. I currently work with a home-improvement brand where I mostly provide technical advice. I totally love my job! I’m happy getting up each morning to go to work.

    It hurts when I see people around me depressed because they have to stick with a job they dislike so much. Our economic situation doesn’t help much. I wish more people would be in careers they actually love….

    • zayn

      August 26, 2015 at 11:08 am

      @ThatShyChic, Mz SA and every other person that loves words , please i need you guys to assist in reviewing and probably editing my statement of purpose for graduate study in Canada. will appreciate the help and for anybody familiar with Economics/ Agricultural Economics, i need your help to look through my research/ scholarly interests. My e-mail address is [email protected] Thanks

  36. Ha! Called to Bar 2003???

    August 26, 2015 at 12:19 am

    Hi Mz. Socially Awkward, that’s a beautiful article. I’m just a little heartbroken right now. I’ve exchanged comments with you a few times and each time I read your comments on here, I’d imagine us (myself and my image of you) in a cosy environment, chatting over drinks. I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to ask you out especially as I somehow had the impression you were London based. However, your “revelations” just brought an abrupt end to my fantasies. So you understand, my elder sister was called to Bar in July 2003, when I had just completed my WAEC examinations. In other words, you be “Sist” where I dey (I’m a Warri boy)…lol. I’ll have to cast my net elsewhere now *sobs*

    • red

      August 26, 2015 at 11:29 am

      pele tie. sorry for ya own.lol *tongue out*

    • Duchess Maria

      August 26, 2015 at 1:51 pm

      LMAO. eeeeyah, pele o.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      August 27, 2015 at 1:56 am

      You’re making me feel like a cougar. ? It sounds like I’m not going to get a chance to be invited for that drink but I’ve got a saucy minx of a younger sis I could introduce to you… Or… wait… *doing quick calculation of her age viz-a-viz you finishing your WAEC exams in 2003*

      Ermmm… I’ve got some lovely younger cousins I could introduce instead? ??

    • Ha! Called to Bar 2003???

      August 28, 2015 at 12:17 am

      Hi again, Mz. Socially Awkward. How nice of you to reply. It certainly wasn’t my intention to make you feel “cougar-ish”….lol. Actually, we can still arrange to have that drink if you don’t mind. I’m accessible at [email protected]

  37. The real Mz SA

    August 26, 2015 at 1:36 am

    Sho all me I see na Iyke’s love confession… yes I read the article but all I can focus on is the confession oooh… yea I was one of those Engineers until recently too, pay is good but hours are killing, not family friendly at all.

    • The real D

      August 26, 2015 at 8:32 am

      Ok my tablet just messed up everything I wrote abi na BN mess up my message, First, the name is The real D not the real Mz SA but why??? then my statement is sooo incomplete ” I typed i was once one of those Engineers until very recently, pay is good but hours suck but see wetin the thing put there.

  38. Nikky

    August 26, 2015 at 1:37 am

    My job has taught me that life is not all about money. I work in the healthcare field and the pay is bloody fantastic but I just HATE IT. I envy people who love their jobs cus it’s just absolutely miserable not loving what you do for a living.

    • Easy n Gentle

      August 26, 2015 at 11:54 am

      sisteh, please point towards the direction where that bloody fantastic pay is biko

  39. o

    August 26, 2015 at 2:02 am

    go Mz S.A……nice!

  40. semesee

    August 26, 2015 at 2:43 am

    Yipee! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this! Well done Mz SA!

  41. Ginika

    August 26, 2015 at 5:51 am

    Great reading this. I just hope BN doesn’t publish any article from our beloved and disturbed adolescent or teenage commenter, you know, the one with a very hateful and negative mindset. I don’t want to call out names because it is uncalled for and not sayong the person is a horrible human being, they’re just going through a phase in their live. One day, that person will come to love and appreciate himself/herself… I am clearly looking for some early morning beef to chow, let me just politely stop here ?

    • Ginika

      August 26, 2015 at 5:52 am

      *life

    • nwanyi na aga aga

      August 26, 2015 at 10:06 am

      Lol! I hope BN publishes Bruno’s profile..But then I know they wont because there would be nothing to publish. Anyways MzSA our own very Bella sister. I love your job already from the way you described it. Go girl. Something tells me, its your pix that is on the illustrative image.. never mind the lady is wearing something like a lad coat…I remember you saying you are “oyibo fair”..Lol! Dont mind me. Kudos to you dear

    • whocares

      August 26, 2015 at 11:04 am

      @Nwanyi. LMAOOOO. You have no chill. LMAOOOOOOOOOOOO

    • Bhuahaha

      August 26, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      “…..because there would be nothing to publish”

      hahahahaha, Bruno see your life! 🙂

  42. jesh_esq

    August 26, 2015 at 6:57 am

    Insightful!..

  43. Friday's other child

    August 26, 2015 at 7:54 am

    Very nice, now any time I run into female lawyers with your JD at conferences and the likes, I’m going to wonder whether it’s you 🙂

  44. Fabulous B

    August 26, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Good work mz SA :-). Thanks a lot. Sure learnt something. All the best, ma

  45. whocares

    August 26, 2015 at 9:26 am

    AHH WE have “cash” you today. Oya everybody go to that twitter page ASAP! lol.. I love this post. So far, I am still enjoying being a mini solicitor as you cant be both in the UK, (well you can, but I don’t want to for now) I have always wondered about diversifying especially as I love everything related to international law, both public and private, and as jobs are becoming increasingly difficult to find in magic circle firms where my chances of practising in both is higher, diversifying is the way forward.. You have given me ideas, and I thank you for that.

  46. Noms

    August 26, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Nice write up, MSA. You are my sister in my head.
    I work in the healthcare sector but its a bit different from the norm. The times I can say I enjoy my job as when I see clients happy when served since all our cases are health related. It can be very emotional draining too because I have to cry with some of them at times.
    Now,I think I want to do something in HR and have seen some online courses.
    Please, can someone in HR enlighten me on the actual courses and specialized courses I need.
    I nor wan waste my time do wetin nor count…there are so many things online.
    BTW,I’m 30+, first degree is in biological sciences and resident in Lagos.
    Thanks

  47. Ifunanya

    August 26, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Welldone Mz Socially Awkward.

    Quick one though….any story behind the name MSA? I always wonder…..

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      August 27, 2015 at 2:01 am

      It’s a personal joke with some cringe-inducing background to its beginnings …. ?,

  48. Manb4real

    August 26, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Oh boy am I jealous of u girl. Being a lawyer in public service- which doesnt pay much by the way- can be something else. Being in the service already, I’m really thinking of developing myself in the Public Administration aspect as you suggested,because I love, loooove that part of the job, advising Government on what to do about a particular petition and giving legal advises on matters is pretty exciting. Your write up is indeed inspiring, by the way are you at the NBA CONFERENCE going on right now? If yes, what are u wearing today, I’ ll really like to meet you.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      August 27, 2015 at 2:06 am

      Sadly, I’m not any where near the NBA conference, even though it seems to be going really well this year. ? Glad to hear your eagerness about the path you’ve already decided to hone your skills in. And it’s still relatively unsaturated so here’s praying you soar! ??

  49. red

    August 26, 2015 at 11:30 am

    great article Mz SA. i always love your comments and your writings. are u sure we are not friends in a former life or so? lol. keep it up.

  50. Brown

    August 26, 2015 at 11:30 am

    errrrm i need help..i never tell people my future plans..in yoruba, mo dinu..it kinds means im all closed up…but hey im anonymous but if this story fits one girl in ur life, ITS NOT ME/HER!!! so i was studying law in one private nig uni and it was scrapped, due to financial constraints, i couldnt do like many people and go study law afresh so i changed depts and finished with a degree i know not jack about or exactly like (international relations)t. finished with 2:1. first job was in engineering..weird shey.it’s nigeria.s(hitty job,shitty employer who doesnt pay salary.i got owed 2 months money after i quit. had to threaten with fraud) i digress. second job was in a bank. third job is in ecommerce. now im studying for Msc in International Law. I dont know what i am doing. i swear. literarily. i have my personal business by d side just in case.nothing major. I hope to work in an international org but it seems a far away fantasy. i cant even learn french successfully or any other foreign language! just burnt money in alliance francaise. No i cannot go back and study law for another 4/5 years.. i love it but i dont think im passionate abt it. ill find another way to help/defend people in life. I dont know what i want to do but this ecommerce crap is not for me as a line of career. Any advice?

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      August 27, 2015 at 2:23 am

      You ruined the anonymity by admitting in the first few lines that you’re a girl. Should have left people guessing. ?

      Regarding your question, I had people in my LLM batch who weren’t lawyers but wanted to gain an understanding of the law at that level and for certain career reasons. They mainly graduated with degrees in International law or commercial law (a couple went on to get jobs with international organisations) so if you purposefully chose this MsC in international law to advance your desire to help disenfranchised people around the world, you’re on the right track.

      If you didn’t and it’s too late to pull out, I’ll still say that you’re good to apply it to a career in the business world. The world is becoming more global and understanding the basis of treaties and conventions which affect national affairs is no bad thing to have in your repertoire. You can even decide to consult for the govt after some years of putting your knowledge into practise. See it out to the end (after all, you don already start am) and make sure your dissertation is on a highly relevant/current topic as that can really influence your job hunt afterwards. All the best!

  51. oj

    August 26, 2015 at 11:43 am

    My Fav BN commenter!!!! So happy to see your article. I knew it would happen.

    Waiting for Jane Public AKA Mama Saffron to write o

    going to read now

  52. peyton

    August 26, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    This article was made for me. New wig getting tired of the Court thingy. But I love it. I have considered leaving this and walking away. But I keep telling myself to work harder and learn the ropes. I dont know you personally but you just spoke like you are my sister.

  53. Agro

    August 26, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    I hated my my job. I’m a chartered Accountant and was in tax consulting in one of the big four. I resigned in February to do…..Wait for it……Farming!!!!! I’m. A farmer now.lol. I run a business that caters to Farming, trading and marketing of Agric produce.
    I love what I do now…?

    • Omonaija

      August 27, 2015 at 1:56 am

      Are u for real! That is Awesome! 🙂 I want to be a farmer too but don’t know how to go about it. Are u based in the US. Pls help me a sister on information on how to start. My passion for agriculture started when I was a kid planting and harvesting. As I grew older when I told people I wanted to study agriculture they looked at me funny and said I will be poor and its not a females profession so I ditched the idea. I still have passion for it.

    • Theo

      August 27, 2015 at 4:56 pm

      @agro please I would like to ask you a few questions about Agro business as I am really interested.

  54. Anon

    August 26, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    The twitter handle @1LifeSaved doesn’t bring any results.

    Nwanyi oma! Correct article and correct girl.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      August 27, 2015 at 2:26 am

      Ewooo ? It’s actually @1life_saved…. I don fail social media exam be that. ??

      Onye oma, imela. 🙂

  55. Peaches77

    August 26, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    M.S.A ?? Naaaaaaaaa
    Or you might need to redefine ‘judgemental’.

  56. Timo

    August 26, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Good piece MZ SA! I wish I could say same about my job. * sad face*. I am really passionate about HR and even have an Msc in HR. The thing is I have not been able to get a job role in that field . Worked briefly in an hr department before doing my masters… Thinking my degree will fetch me an hr job but for where? Those who are opportuned to help will either ask that you meet them up at one hotel or some other crazy suggestions. I am still hoping and believing for that wonderful hr job while gaining experience as a marketing rep.

    • Career in HR

      August 27, 2015 at 2:41 pm

      Hi Timo,plz I need advice on where & which school u obtained ur Msc HR frm? Or any other gud options. I want to obtain same tnz. U can reply here. Tnz.

  57. Peaches77

    August 26, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    MSA = Solid and Grounded

    Where is Idak?

    • TA

      August 26, 2015 at 4:56 pm

      @ Peaches 77, follow me ask o. Where is Idak?

  58. Angel

    August 26, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Nice piece, so it’s same Mz SA that comments on here, hmmm interesting! All the the best dear

  59. Kanyinsola

    August 26, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    Hey tiki…could you please give direction on how to apply for internship with a company??is it the same as applying for a job?or i walk into the company and talk to hr directly..

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