On this day, 10 years ago, I started my first job.
Graduating from the University of Ilorin in 2006, I had my youth service in Cross River State in 2007. Then I sought for a job throughout 2008 but could not get any. Finally, I came to Lagos.
My brother helped submit my CV to his company. After several interviews, I got a job as a Client Service Officer in one of the leading health maintenance organizations in the country.
It was my first job and my first experience of the customer service field, and I loved it. There was much to get used to, of course. The whole environment of meetings, reports, and emails was pretty strange to a newbie like me. But I learnt quickly.
Most satisfying was the compliment I got after helping an enrollee access care at the hospital, or helping to sort out an ID card challenge, or even providing some information about their health plan. The ‘Thank you’ at the end of the encounter was the real prize. And this has shaped my perception about customer service ever since.
I went on to become a supervisor, having daily oversight of our contact centre. And this was a unit that combined professionals from both the client service and medical departments of the company. It was a great experience, as it helped me form connections and relationships which I still treasure.
Following the company’s financial distress and subsequent shutdown, I have gone on to work at 2 other HMOs and a real estate firm. Along the way, I have broadened my skills and competencies across communication, editing, content publishing, social media management, marketing, and training.
As it stands today, I serve across different industries:
- I work in customer service within the healthcare industry,
- I provide content editing for businesses and individuals, and
- I publish online resources for the Christian community.
Yet I remain eager to learn, looking out for the next opportunity God brings my way. And I trust in him that the next 10 years would be greater still.
Over the next 10 years, I have the following career goals:
- I am building a world-class communication brand that is helping African businesses, organizations, and individuals to communicate clearly with their audience.
- I am raising servant leaders who will delight in serving their customers or clients and make their organization(s) stand out for service excellence. I look forward to achieving this within an organization and beyond. While particularly interested in the healthcare sector, I am open to opportunities available elsewhere.
Two lessons have stood out for me thus far:
A.The necessity of service
Service is non-negotiable. However good a product or idea is, it is the way we interact with customers and how we make them feel that counts. This was my experience. And the interesting thing about good service is that it’s a cake you both give out and eat from. For one of the joys of service is that it pays you back in personal satisfaction, return business, as well as great brand value. And we know how priceless that can be!
B. The priority of relationships
My fondest memories have not been of the emails I sent, or the suit I wore, or even the salaries I received, but of the people I worked with. I remember Adaobi, my first line manager, my colleagues in the unit (Tina, Nkechi, Yomi, Kenny, Banke, Nnenna, Chris, Patience, Chima, Tope, Joy). Drs Tomike, Andy, Fred, Wura, Yetunde, Sandra, Temitope. I recall my friends and colleagues across other companies where I worked: Tolu, Izere, Tosin, Ope, Anu, Idara, and so many others too numerous to mention. They have meant so much to me. We have laughed together, worked together and experienced the surprises of life together. Together, they have made my painting colourful and my story rich. And I thank God for them all.