Product Specialist and Customer Sucess Manager.
Precious: Hi Bukola. Tell me how you entered the tech industry.
Bukola: My story is the usual story of I finished school and all the Uncles that promised me work, failed.
I started at Alat as a Branch Service Associate for a year and a half, then moved to fintech.
Precious: What made you pivot?
Bukola: I had a colleague who stayed only 6 months before he left.
He was always impressed by my work and he sent me a job opening twice.
I didn’t bother till I saw it on Twitter again.
I applied and got an interview date. Odun actually sent me an employment letter before I got home.
Precious: Mad oh!
Bukola: The bank offered to up my salary from 68k to 150k. I was like, izz too late comrade
Precious: Interesting. Coming from the banking industry, how did you handle settling in at a startup?
Bukola: Banking is very structured compared with startups. I had to adjust to the lack of structure in startups and not always having to report to HR.
It was interesting that I could walk up to Odun and Joshua, present a use case and we could literally start implementing it.
I didn’t have the best onboarding process because there wasn’t a lot of documentation then.
Then, I had to learn on the job. When you’re new, you’ll have that thing where you’ll be trying to make sure you were getting everything right.
Precious: What were the things that helped?
Bukola: I used to be big on courses. At the end of the year, I used to have about 14 courses.
Bukola: 😂 😂 There were just 2 people in customer support. It was just the cofounder and 2 other people.
I was always like why is the owner picking up calls and responding to messages? But that also helped in how I approached work.
I kept learning and trying stuff.
I think having a great working environment greatly helped. The management in Piggyvest is one of the best. You were not allowed to fear failure. Just try and know you’ve given your best,
Precious: How was building your career without a mentor or a community?
Bukola: So, the thing is that it was my zeal that kept me going.
I had nothing to lose even if I failed. I didn’t even know anything about community then.
My grandma would tell me that a startup was most likely to pack up soon and I didn’t care. The most important thing in building your career is building yourself and believing in yourself.
This community craze started last year. The early guys didn’t have that. Once you’re open to learning, put your head down to do the work, and you’ll go far.
I mean, I had to Google a lot of tech terms and lingua but did I let it stop me? Nope.
Precious: How do you think your career would be different if you were in a community when you started?
Bukola: I probably wouldn’t be in Piggyvest now.
In a community, there is the possibility to build something because there are like minds there.
On the other hand, the difference might not be that much because I have always had an accountability partner and I have monthly career goals.
Whenever I feel like I’m not doing enough or have imposter syndrome, my friend lists three things I’ve done in that particular month and that ends it.
Everyone needs validation, to be honest, but you can find that outside a community.
Precious: Does every techie need a community?
Bukola: Communities are great but not everyone needs a community.
They aren’t my kind of thing. I mean, I joined one recently but I don’t even talk there.
I also don’t think people utilize communities well enough. It’s very easy to get lost in a community because at the end of the day people still cluster down.
But there are opportunities you will get in a community and they are great for networking.
Precious: Let me throw you this final one. If there were two techies who have the same skill set and one had a community and one didn’t, who do you think would have the faster career trajectory or growth?
Bukola: This is a bit tricky but I might lean more towards the person that has a community.
It’s easier to do check-ins on someone in a community.
For example, if I make a job tweet asking for recommendations for a role, people in your community will tag you under the post compared to a lone wolf who would be self-nominating. It’s a win for everybody.