Tuesday, 2 September 2014


So you are determined to make it as a fabulous female Chief Executive Officer/manager/team lead by any means necessary and you keep hearing the same thing over and over again…stop being such a girl, be a man about things, be tough!! But being who you are is what will make you succeed at work, not becoming someone else, so it is important that there is a balance. However, have you ever been curious why people are so hard on women? Here are some of the things we are accused of:

Women are too emotional...any small thing and they starting crying
Women are petty. I missed one meeting and she wiped my details off the entire project
Oh! You don’t know why that female manager is so aggressive….she’s single and frustrated!
My female colleagues will fight and keep malice till the day they quit or are thrown out!
She’s always taken days off and skipping out working weekends…Haba is she made of salt?!

Yep, folks, from the moment people see a woman, she’ll be misjudged as being emotional, petty, flaky, fragile and if you’re single FRUSTRATED. It isn’t really about what you wear but being judged for who they assume you are. Sadly, a lot of times the assertions listed above are not that far off the mark for some females (and quite a few men too) So if you want to be taking seriously focus on being logical, proactive, and assertive without being aggressive, pragmatic, friendly, diplomatic, and ready to put in the extra hours when necessary. Sometimes that might even mean pushing through some aggressive PMS with an extra strong dose of paid medicine and a huge smile.  . 
Don’t be afraid to chart a course of action and firmly expect your team to toe the line. Expect backlash from some people but this can be dealt by playing some diplomatic office chicken were you face your aggressor in a diplomatic manner. Simply put, someone challenges you in the office, firmly deal with the situation, then brush it off and continue with business as usual. You can still be pretty in pink but try tailored pieces, longer sleeve shirts, and colorful accessories as opposed to crazy color blocking.  If you’re still not sure how this translates to how you can be a bold fabulous female at work, please do not hesitate to drop us a line at info@insitefulsolutionsconsult.com Remember, life is what you make of it and above all, always, always, to thine own self, always remain true


For the greater part of my teenage years and the same goes for a lot of us out there, we were first encouraged to go for certain professions (Lawyer, doctor, engineer, teacher, etc.) then it became get your first degree, go for your masters (and it must be abroad) and then come back to look for a “good” job in a big company. If you broke the “rules” and came back with an employment letter for a company no one had heard of, you may be faced with looks of pity or even a prayer the next day that God please give my child a job.  However with unemployment currently standing at around 24% (roughly ¼ of our estimated 158+ million strong population) and with economic forces shifting the very face of business in Nigeria, small to medium size enterprises now compete with the bigger companies as employers of labor and like the bigger companies, small to medium sized enterprises have their own unique work cultures and structures

Whether it is an IT firm, architectural firm, legal chambers or marketing consultancy, SMEs have unique features which usually include one or more of the following:

§  Much smaller workforces
§  Flatter work structures
§  CEOs and MDs being part of the management team
§  There being more responsibilities and duties than the people working

A lot of people who work in SMEs and who have worked in larger companies have also been surprised to find that their job roles are less defined, there is a lot more interaction between business owners and staff, and financial issues had an immediate impact on the organization. Simply put, SMEs are a very different place to larger co-operations but just like anywhere else, there are things you can do to excel at your job and safe guard your career.


A lot of people complain about not liking the insecurity in SMEs. They believe they can be sacked at any time for the smallest of reasons. This isn’t true. The problem is people do not understand that larger companies usually have a very large workforce that cushion errors, mistakes, and problems. For ex: if I work in a large company and there are 50 people between me and the head of the unit, and I make a mistake, how long will it take management to know what’s wrong? What’s the possibility of management ever even finding out about my mistake? However if I work in an SME where it is just 6 of us and I make an error for a document the CEO wanted, how soon will he/she know? Chances are, in a large firm I can get away with a lot simply because of the size and number of people there. In a smaller firm, I make a mistake and it cost me the same thing as if it was noticed in a larger firm, it’s just guaranteed it will be spotted and the necessary action taken almost immediately.


Irrespective of why you took the job, the important thing is you took the job!!! You now have to be passionate about what you do. Love your job, embrace it. It’s a smaller firm so more than likely there will be more work, longer hours, and bigger responsibilities. You must as an employee be passionate about what you do and show it all the time. Also be passionate about what your boss is passionate about. SMEs are usually run by business owners and managers you interact with face to face. Remember to show you are passionate about what they are passionate about.


When I worked for larger companies, I knew my responsibilities. I came in the morning and had my to do list for each day, finished them, and went home happy in the knowledge id done my bit. But its very different in SMEs. Although I had clearly defined roles, I would find myself doing a hundred unexpected things and I would still have my to do list that had to be completed!! Refocusing my priorities was very important and anyone working in an SME should keep this in mind. Make sure you have your to do lists. Always end each day assessing how it went and making plans to catch up with what you hadn’t accomplished.


A lot of people complain that in smaller firms they get calls, emails, and txt after work. Some people even go as far as to say their office and personal lines are turned off when they leave the office. I’m here to tell you that unless you own the company, make sure you are as available as much as possible out of office hours. If you have a blackberry, don’t turn it off at night and self righteously say, this is now my time! Make sure your phone is connected your office emails and you are accessible after work. Check you emails and be prepared to get and answer phone calls outside of official working hours. It is no longer unexpected for employees in SMEs to have to go the extra mile, so don’t be surprised and make room for work both in the office and at home. Be remembered for going the extra mile which gets you recognized for all the right reasons. Do not be remembered as the employee who is never available and is therefore disposable.


It is important in an SME that you take active ownership of your job and time in the office. You have to do the job you are paid for and spend time really studying your boss so you can stay one step or more ahead of their needs and wants. You also have to be aware of what is acceptable and more importantly, what is not acceptable because remember, the lesser the people the bigger the spotlight when you do something right and especially when you do something wrong. When there is a problem and you find out it is a lot bigger than you think (for ex: you committing an offence that could get you fired) remember disciplinary procedures are much shorter and can even happen in the space of hours.

Above all, In smaller establishments you are responsible for yourself at your job and this goes for the good, the bad, and the ugly that happens. Jobs are no longer lifetime guaranteed careers and every day has to be viewed as a new opportunity. Do not ever be complacent. Respect your bosses and colleagues. Take advantage of all opportunities to learn new skills so that you are always remain relevant. Go the extra mile at work and be noticed for all the right reasons.

Share your views/questions with me in the comment section and be sure to get it answered.

Do have a great day. Description: :)



With over 35 million Nigerian youths currently unemployed, it may interest you to know a large portion of these applicants are unemployable because: 

·         They lack the relevant skills
·         They have been unable to package themselves properly in terms of their cv and cover letter
·         They are unable to respond to each job vacancy as a separate entity
·         They are unable to sell themselves if and when they get a job interview 

Do these sound like insurmountable problems? Definitely not! Based twelve years of experience within the recruitment sector, Insiteful Solutions is able to offer detailed cv rewriting and career counseling services to give you the much needed edge in your job search and increase your success rate by at least 70% 

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The objective of your CV is to achieve an interview. Your aim should be to maximize your chances of selection and to minimize the risk of rejection. Employers and Recruitment Agencies critically check the quality of your presentation and first impressions count. The quality of your CV will reflect you as a quality candidate. Our CV rewriting service includes the following:

·         Initial consultation to assess you against what is required in today’s job market

·         2 versions of your cv

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CAREER COUNSELING -                  12,000.00
In today's volatile employment market many challenges are facing employees, whether a seasoned worker or a younger entrant. It is therefore vital that sound and informed decisions are made at all times. As your career consultant, I will work with you to ensure the following

·         A two hour conversation to get to know you better and assess your desired career choice versus the reality on ground
·         skills assessment
·         CV rewriting and career/training road map
·         Addition to our work database
·         Automatic mapping to any jobs your cv match 

Please note that for any of the above services to be successful, you must strictly adhere to what is agreed during the consultation. 

If you are interested in any of the following services please indicate by sending an email and we will generate & send to you a payment invoice and arrange your next meeting. Please note that for applicants in Abuja, we will have face to face meetings. For applicants outside of Abuja, we will arrange a skype or telephone interview.

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Have a wonderful day beloved readers

Best Regards,
Nkoyo V Efretei                                                  
Chief Executive Officer – Insiteful Solutions


Good day Readers,

I was thinking yesterday about a vacancy I recently posted online. I still cannot believe some of the responses I got. CVs written so badly I couldn’t get past the first sentence, rude email addresses; hostile language through out the CV, and long rambling personal statements. So many people were disqualified before I even had the opportunity to know whether I could consider them for the job because their CVs were so horrible.

You may be at home right now wandering why you are not getting called back for interviews and it could be a simple reason of your CV not making it past the secretary's desk, much less passing HR's scrutiny and here are 22 reasons why:

  • A recruiter,  manager or HR manager can’t get the gist of you and your story in less than 10 seconds
  • You can’t stand to look at your own résumé because you dislike it so much.
  • It is loaded with buzz words and meaningless words you copied from the Internet.
  • Your CV looks like a template.
  • Your CV is longer than two pages and you have only worked in 2-3 places.
  • It doesn’t sound authentic – like you’re a real person who solves real problems.
  • Your CV contains lies of any variety – big or little.
  • Your CV contains exaggerated job titles.
  • Your CV doesn’t showcase your key successes, achievements and accomplishments.
  • Your CV doesn’t integrate a present-future focus along with your past employment record.
  • Your CV looks like 2500 other résumés in the pile.
  • Your CV doesn’t sound like you.
  • Your CV lacks a flow and good organization.
  • Your CV reads like a job description.
  • Your CV is unattractive and in some cases, downright difficult to read.
  • Your CV has a boring account of your work history.
  • Your CV doesn’t provide direct evidence (proof) as to why your qualifications warrant an interview.
  • Your CV contains errors (One of the worst offences).
  • Your CV doesn’t represent you with excellence in your absence.
  • Your CV gives the reader reasons not speak with you.
  • Your CV doesn’t exemplify the very best of you and your amazing brand.
  • Your CV doesn’t generate any action for you.

Culled from http://www.careerhubblog.com/main/2012/05/does-your-r%C3%A9sum%C3%A9-suck-22-things-to-consider.html

So darling readers, going thru the above points, did any of them jump out at you that you may be committing one or more of these offences on YOUR CV? If your answer is yes, it's time to redraft your CV and do let me know if you need professional advice, I'm always happy to help!