I ditched my job in the UK and moved to Nigeria for a fresh start.

For many years I felt as if I needed to be in the motherland doing something truly fulfilling. I wanted more than just working a 9-5 job in the UK. Lets put it this way; Nigeria inspires, motivates and elevates me. I'm passionate about my country and care about it deeply so I just wanted to be there.

Thankfully, I was offered a job in Nigeria [through social media] earlier in the year and decided that it was time for me to start a new chapter so now I live and work here in Lagos and I am enjoying it!

Not everyone understood my decision to move. Some even looked at it as going from living comfortably in the UK to living a life of struggle. To some, if you're used to living in a country where you have constant electricity and other little necessities that may be regarded as a luxury for some people in Nigeria, it could be seen as putting yourself under unnecessary stress. This however, was the least of my problems. Despite the difficulties in Nigeria, I still wanted to take that leap of faith because I yearned for a change and a new adventure so below are the reasons why I moved to Nigeria.

Change of Environment 


I honestly needed a change of environment after living all of my life in the UK. Making the move seemed so right, especially because I do not have a family of my own yet to be tied down by. I just couldn't see myself working in the UK anymore and felt like I belonged somewhere else doing something that gave me a sense of fulfillment. I was getting really depressed with the crappy British weather and work life routine and just needed something more upbeat with plenty of sunshine.

New Experiences


I always longed to experience something knew. There was a void that needed to be filled. I knew there was more to life than the standard 9-5 routine in the UK. Plus,  I didn't want to limit myself to only working in the UK. I wanted international work experience too because it's good for character building and personal development. I am a free spirit and a nomad, a lion who dares to discover the jungle. God put us on this big earth to travel and explore so that is exactly what I plan to do.

More Opportunities


Nigeria is the land of opportunities and I don't act oblivious to it. If you're a British-Nigerian or an international graduate with desirable qualities and experience a Nigerian employer wants then you already have a lot of opportunities on the table for you.

I couldn't see myself excelling as quickly or as well as I wanted to here in the UK although I had pretty much bagged a wealth of experience from working with Hackney Council as a reporter and copywriter for a year and could impress a lot of employers with my experience but the competition there was just too much.

Employers in Nigeria were much more willing to hear me out and give me a chance than employers in the UK, which is another reason why I was so eager to move here. Also, I just wanted to use the skills and experience I had acquired in the UK to make my country better because I see the potential in the growth of Nigeria.

I would also be able to move up the career ladder much quicker than I would in the UK with the potential, ambition and plan that I have. Mark my words, within the next 5 years I am going to be in a very high position. I expect to have any one of the titles: Creative Director, Managing Director or Chief Executive on my CV. You may think I'm deluded but I'm not. I just like to think big and believe that all things I put my mind to can happen with hard work and perseverance. Moving to Nigeria wasn't and isn't a mistake for me. It was my calling.

Culture


As a big fan of my Nigerian tradition and having enjoyed my last visit to the country last year in November, I realized that it was where I wanted to spend a major part of my life.

I reckoned with the people, the lifestyle and culture in Nigeria and felt a sense of belonging. I didn't really feel that way in the UK.

I was also very attracted to the sunshine, great food, vibrant places, not forgetting to mention the potential Nigeria has as a country and the things I could do to give back to the community.

FANCY a fresh start in a different country but feel it's near impossible to achieve?

This post may be particularly helpful to you if you are interested in moving abroad for work. I was offered a job in Lagos (pictured above) and got other amazing opportunities through social media and it really wasn't difficult, so you can too.

Due to social media being a powerful tool for connecting people around the globe with each other, getting a job abroad has only gotten easier, especially with platforms like Skype, which allows you to be interviewed by employers all over the world and become a prospective employee of a foreign company. Also, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram give you the opportunity to display your skills, creativity and personality.

Social media automatically gives you worldwide exposure and plenty of potential job opportunities. All you need to do is be smart and strategic in how you go about finding one. Moving abroad for work is easy if you have citizenship (i.e. dual nationality) or no visa restrictions in that country, have family there or good contacts. However, if you don't have any of these advantages then not to worry! You can still take that leap of faith and work abroad. Many people have done that, including me so, so can you!


LinkedIn


Never underestimate the power of LinkedIn. I started using it properly in September 2015 and I wished I had joined it sooner! Get in touch with people in your field in the countries you'd like to live in through LinkedIn. I specifically target chief executives, directors, managers and HR people for job opportunities abroad.

A lot of them are really easy to talk to and happy to entertain a conversation with you. Also, make sure that your LinkedIn profile is updated with relevant information that would make you fit for whatever industry it is you want to work in. If you do get a chance to become acquainted with any of these people, then you could tell them a bit more about yourself and let them know you are looking for a job abroad. I have had success with this tactic. The whole point of LinkedIn is to build genuine working relationships, friendships and widen your network to grow your business or find new job opportunities.

Also, set your location to the country you wish to work in so you can view job opportunities that are being advertised, that could be of interest to you. I regularly add people within my career field and try to get acquainted with them.

Put Yourself Out There


Be active on social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and even Pinterest. Display your work or skills in an innovative way on these platforms too. You could also do it through a blog, which is how I personally got discovered for a job opportunity abroad.

Let people on your social networking sites know that you are interested in travelling abroad for work. There's nothing wrong putting something like 'available to travel for work purposes' in your bio or setting your location as 'global' or 'world wide'. When people who are interested in what you do enquire about you after they've seen this, you will be able to explain further about how you can travel abroad for work.

Interact with people from the country you want to live in and ones that work in your field especially. Network with them the same way you'd do on LinkedIn also. Plenty of people have found jobs abroad through networking on social media websites like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

Be One Step Ahead


Make sure you have the necessary visa requirements to live and work in your desired country or make the arrangements necessary to ensure that living and working there will be hassle-free. This is so important and can make the process of you getting a job abroad much quicker.

Stay Updated


Look out for updates and job postings from companies on their social media sites. Announcing vacancies through these mediums, is quickly becoming a preferred way of letting people know about jobs, so follow your favorite foreign company, organisation or even just influential career people.

Apply for Jobs Abroad


Apply for roles on job sites of countries you want to work in. I did this once and it led to me being interviewed by a manager of a media outlet in South Africa for a job role abroad. The fact that I lived in London didn't phase them. It actually made me stand out and showed my determination.

--- Getting a job abroad is not as difficult as people think but it is definitely a big step to take so make sure you are ready for it. Also, be aware of scams and make sure you sign contracts, research the company and people you are going to be working with.

I successfully moved to Nigeria for work and social media really helped me do that. If you need any advice on relocating to a different country, then I will be more than happy to assist you, Email annearts@purplerust.com for more info.


MOVING to Nigeria is not as difficult as you think.

People made it seem like moving to Nigeria was the most difficult thing in the world, when in actuality, it wasn't and despite all the words of discouragement and criticisms I received, I wasn't phased by it.

It is true that there are certain factors that make moving to Nigeria seem difficult at first but there is a solution to nearly every problem. You just have to be willing to find a way around it if you really want it.

Nigeria is a beautiful country with lively people and plenty of opportunities so if you're considering the big move but feeling unsure about it due to the negative things you've heard then below are common things you will hear when you tell people that you plan to move to Nigeria and ways you can over look them.

You need a lot of money


You really do not need a lot of money to move to Nigeria, unless you are planning on starting a business or something of the sort. If you are staying with friends or family and have a job secured then all you will need is money for food and travel to last you until pay day.

Staying with friends or family is also a good way to save up money. I didn't just want to move to Lagos without having a good job secured first. I went to Nigeria penniless because I hadn't saved a dime for anything. My parents bought my flight ticket for me and my aunt and grandpa gave me a few hundred dollars to put in my savings account and use as emergency funds, so I was fortunate.

If you have family or a support system then it's worth making your needs known to them because they may be able to help. However do not become a burden to them. It's worth finding a job that pays well so that you can become financially stable.

You need a car to get around Lagos


A car is convenient - yes but you won't die if you don't have one. There are other forms of transport such as the okada (a motorbike) and buses. If you don't have a car of your own, you can always take an Uber (if you can afford it), get friends to give you a lift or organize a pick up and drop off service with a reputable taxi company. I can't drive although it's something I will start doing this year, but for now - I am fortunate enough to have a driver, as I don't really like taking public transport.

How will you cope if the lights go out?


You can deal with it...just like everyone else in Nigeria does. To be honest. It depends where you are and what you have that can make you not lose out on much when the lights go out.

In my mums house in Lagos, she uses a solar panel and a generator so we're kind of okay. However - in one of my grandfathers properties in Benin - there's nothing like that. Once they take the light - it's gone for a while. If this happens to you, you could always invest in powerful torch lights and find other ways to use and reserve energy for when it is needed.

You need to do an NYSC


Some employers say that you do and some don't care. I wasn't born or bred in Nigeria but I could have done my NYSC, especially because I have Nigerian parents.

I got a lot of mixed responses regarding this. Some people were absolutely sure that you could not get a job without doing it whilst some said that you could. I am proof that you can get a job without doing an NYSC. I didn't want to waste a year completing a youth service programme when I could have been earning money instead.

You don't have to do an NYSC if your case is exceptional. For example; if you have unique skills and experience that would make you an asset to a company then you not having completed an NYSC wouldn't matter. This was the case in my situation, also coupled with the fact that I am basically British.

It's not a safe place


You may be at extra risk as a foreigner but if you do your best to blend in with the people and stay vigilant then you are already doing yourself a big favor. Never go anywhere alone or stay in deserted, isolated areas, let your family and close friends know where you are going at all times, write about what you may be doing or where you may be going on social media, without revealing intricate details and try to learn the local lingo or any of the main Nigerian languages.

Anywhere in the world could be potentially unsafe, so why make Nigeria seem like the worst place for safety, when millions of people live their every day lives there and are still safe?

--- If you need help or advice on moving to Nigeria then drop me an email (annearts@purplerust.com) and I would be more than happy to give you some tips.





IT was inspiring to see the lives of four fictional '21st century Lekki women' in the film Fifty, produced by Ebony Life TV founder, Mo Abudu.

If you haven't seen it then it is available for you to watch on Netflix. The movie features top qaulity Nigerian actors such as Dakore Egbuson-Akande, Ireti Doyle, Omoni Oboli and Nse Ikpe Etim.

I really connected with all four of the main individuals because the message in the story showed that you must live your life unapologetic-ally and do what you want to. After watching this movie, I can honestly say that it has inspired me to become a better woman. Here is what I learned from the movie, Fifty.

- Put yourself first and do what it takes to make you happy. Never be a shadow of yourself or be discouraged from doing what you want otherwise you may live to regret it later.

- Be in charge and be a boss in every way possible. Dictate how you want your life to be and go out to do it fearlessly.

- Youth is a mindset and about how you feel on the inside and not necessarily about what you look like on the outside. Who says you have to stop clubbing just because you're over the age of 25 and have a child and husband at home? Who says life stops at 50? Who says you can't get a tummy tuck to achieve a slimmer waist line? Youth is about never feeling old and living as if every day were your last.

- Don't let society limit or restrict you from following your heart and also, never let it make you feel inadequate or inferior for choosing to live your life in a certain way.

These are just some of the things I learned from the movie. What has inspired you to become a better woman or a better version of yourself? I would love to know!

AFRICAN BLACK soap (Dudu Osun) is a natural soap made from ingredients such as: honey, camwood, aloe vera, shea butter and lime.

A lot of people are used to using it on their skin but me being a Dora the explorer and curious researcher also found out that it's good to use on hair. Like when used on my skin, it leaves my hair squeaky clean and shiny and makes a good clarifying shampoo bar. However, it's also very dry so I always do a deep condition afterwards. Some people suggest you do an apple cider vinegar rinse afterwards (to neutralize your hair's ph level) because black soap is high in alkaline but I have never done this and to be honest, its really up to you whether you want to or not.

Black soap is easy to apply on your hair: just spritz your hair with water and rub the soap gently onto your scalp and hair then work up a nice lather. You don't need to rub a lot of soap on your hair as a little of the product goes a long way and it creates so much lather. I like to really massage it into my roots and scalp, give it a good scrub then rinse it off immediately.


After rinsing your hair with water, it will be very glossy but not greasy, as the black soap would have boosted your hairs natural shine due to all the wonderful natural ingredients it's made with. Also, for me, it makes my natural curls more pronounced and springy, in other words - coily.

Your hair will smell heavily of black soap, which has a very indigenous fragrance to it. I personally love the smell it has because it is botanical and reminds me so much of Nigeria, but if you don't like it, be sure to drench your hair with your favorite smelling conditioner and that will get rid of the black soap smell easily.

I genuinely do love this soap and all that it does. It's so cheap and cost-effective too - costing only £1 from most African-Caribbean hair shops. I hardly buy shampoo because I think they are filled with more junk than needed so my black soap is what I use as a substitute instead. Below are some other pros and cons of using this soap.



Pros:
  • It is natural and handmade, so there are no sulfates in it
  • It is filled with great ingredients that have great beauty benefits
  • It makes hair shiny and your curls pop
  • Good for an itchy scalp
  • Foams and lathers very well
  • Great for greasy hair
Cons:
  • Drys out hair
  • Strong smell
  • High alkaline content, so you have to do an apple cider vinegar rinse afterwards

--- What are your views on black soap?


FOLLOWING your fave magazine editor or writer these days on social media can leave you feeling begrudged.

They seem to be doing the most interesting things with their day in the office. That's if they're not on a press trip in Dubai or interviewing Kim Kardashian or backstage at New York Fashion week posting cool behind the scene photos on Instagram.

If you know about the opportunities I have had in the media and how young I got to experience them, you may be envious. I have met and mingled with the movers and the shakers of the media industry and even worked with them. I have had first hand experience working in print and broadcasting and have a solid network of industry contacts. Without blowing my own trumpet or being a shameless show off, I have had an amazing start in media and a lot of industry experience. It's been great plus I am proud of all my achievements especially because I accomplished them at a young age, starting from the age of 15.

A lot of people think getting into the media industry is difficult and often look at people who are already in it, with envy. They also, most likely want to work for major media organisations but have little or no experience. I often look at the media industry as an elite gentleman's club where everyone knows each other and once you're in its so easy to elevate and progress. When everything seems so brilliant on the inside, it's understandable why you'd feel a little bit envious being on the outside so here are ways to get into the industry:

Get Experience


How do you expect anyone to take you seriously or even give you the time of the day if you don't have any experience? And don't say anything like 'how can I get experience if I don't have a job to give me some' because you can do work experience placements, internships and even shadowing or assisting. I started off contributing to a youth publication, writing features, interviewing underground grime artists and reviewing mixtapes. I then went on to attend a summer school for young journalists and contribute to my colleges website. I kept building up on my experience by writing for different online and print publications and that has led me to where I am today. Experience is vital. It gives you confidence and invaluable knowledge.

Start Small

A lot of people in the media industry started off interning and getting people cups of coffee and then gradually built up on experience and got to where they are now. Don't just look at the big media corporations like the BBC, The Guardian, Vogue etc. Look at the small start ups, the niche publications and the smaller media businesses too. There's less competition to get jobs in that field and more space for career growth. Plus, most of the people who work in smaller organisations are very well connected (you'd be surprised) and one of your colleagues could be the link in you getting to that next stage you've always dreamed of.

Do your own thing


One thing that will always stay with me is the story I heard Dazed co-founder, Rankin tell about how he founded the magazine. Him and Jefferson Hack decided to start their own publication and collaborate with each other after realizing that they would probably never get into the i.D magazine offices. It started off as an idea then turned into a reality and 20 years down the line they are i.D magazines most biggest competitor and guess what? They are one of the most powerful publications in media. Start your own thing and do your own thing. We live in a age where everyone can have a voice through a blog or social media so use that to your advantage. It will get the attraction of the people you have always wanted to work with, if you reach out to them and do things strategically.

Use your contacts



Your network is your net worth. My network is the prime reason why I'm where I am today. Networks can be friends and family, people from work and people you meet through others. Make an effort to network with new people and build genuine relationships with them. You can find new people to network with just by interacting with them on social media or heading out to events which offer up the opportunity to meet new people.

Display your work



Display your work, skills and ability through every possible way you can. Using social media is a great way to share your work and ideas with people. I met a creative director for a huge international brand who said he regularly commissions artists through tumblr and Instagram. You never know who could be watching or who's attention you might grab, so keep creating, blogging and sharing!

I honestly hope this post has left you feeling inspired today. If you are an undergrad, recent graduate or someone looking for a career change then hopefully some of these tips can help you get one step closer into the media industry.
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