Angelsbeauty's Blog

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Archive for the tag “testimony”

The ‘rife’ working mum hustle 

Good morning Blogsville!

It has been a long minute. I have been busy being a wife, mum and a full time tax professional! It hasn’t been easy but I have enjoyed most of it. It has been a whole new experience having to think of one little person in everything that we do, from holidays to going for weddings and parties and just generally everything. As you can imagine, childcare is not cheap in the UK! Oh lala, one has to be really wise in how they combine a variety of different childcare providers. However, God has been faithful. 

I remember when I went back to work after 9 months, it was all too overwhelming. I was trying to be taken seriously at work as someone who was a professional and was able to keep my professional life separate from my private life. However, my son had other plans. He was one of those whose temperature went as high as 39 degrees Celsius with every tooth that came out of his mouth. This meant that nursery was pretty much on the phone to me at least once a week to pick him up because he was running a temperature. On average, at that time he cut a tooth in three weeks, so I was in and out of work sporadically.

Now to add salt to my wound, some babies have loose stool when they are teething as well. In my son’s nursery, if a child had three loose stools in a day, they will call you to pick your child up. As you can also imagine, my son was one of those as well. In both cases, if you pick your child up, your child cannot go back to nursery for two full days, working day or not.

I spent so much time trying to get them to reason with them that he was teething. They told me they cannot be sure if it is diahorrea or teething poop, but if I can get a letter from the doctor, they will take him back. So on one occasion I went to the doctor and they said they couldn’t give such a letter without taking a poo sample and the results from a poo sample could take days by which time it would have settled and there would be no need for a doctors report. It was just an absolute waste of time. I turned my prayer to, “God, please if he must be ill let it be on a Friday and clear by Monday.” That hustle was rife Mehn!

After three months of this to and fro with nursery (which we were paying an arm and a leg for and he was barely spending any time there), we eventually found an aupair who joined us in February. Talking about an angel in human clothing! This girl was everything I prayed for. She was so happy, content and absolutely loved my son. She made it clear from the start she will only be with us for 9 months and she was very dedicated to us in those 9 months. She is now leaving at the end of this month and I am so going to miss her! She just made my life so much easier. The irony is that my son hasn’t been as ill as he used to be when he was much younger but at least I knew that if he needed to be picked up from nursery, there was someone at home who could pick him up as soon as possible while I made my way back home.

As months passed, I was able to focus on work while I was at work and focus on my child when I am at home. It has taken a very long time to eventually find something close to a balance. I haven’t found a balance yet but I would like to think we are slowly getting there. I try to set short term goals (a year at a time) because anything can happen, especially when you are a mum. 

People often ask me how I do it! The honest truth is that, it is solely the grace of God. In the early days, I cried so many days because I felt incompetent as a mum and I’m my job. However, because working in my job meant a lot to me and I did not want to give it up, I had to find a way and pray for wisdom and guidance to make being a wife and a mum work as well as doing my job in an efficient way. I am especially thankful for testimonies that I haven’t shared yet (but I better start now) that happened along the way which basically put most of the things in place for me to work with.

Most of you know that we moved from Maidenhead shortly before I had my son and at that time I was working in Reading. When we moved, I didn’t have a job to go to in London. The plan was that when I was ready to come back to work after my maternity leave, I would contact my manager in Reading and he would let me know what the vacancies in the London office were to apply for myself. He made it clear I was welcome to come back to the Reading office but there was absolutely no way I was going to commute everyday from London to Reading with a baby at home. Once again it all went to God in prayer.

It so happened that I opted to do my annual training even though I was on maternity leave. The training was to take place in London for two weeks. Thankfully I was able to convince my mum to come and babysit from Nigeria while I attended this training. During the training, I met this girl in the london office. We didn’t particularly talk a lot but a couple of days before the training was over I just felt prompted to say hello to her and so I did. We got talking and I found out she was getting married soon and then we started talking about work and I told her my predicament. She said to me that she knows the senior management in her team were looking to recruit and so she will let them know she knows someone looking for a job. Within a couple of days, I got an email from her senior manager asking for a phone call with me to discuss what they were looking for. Next thing I knew, I was invited for an interview with the head of their department and the senior manager!

I was so worried because I had been on maternity leave and I was not keeping up to date with tax in anyway. Of course, as things will have it, that year was the year they changed a million rules and so many things were generally happening in the tax world. Add that to the fact that this new role was more technical and more specialised in that I would have to focus on international tax. I prayed again and got my women of prayer group to pray with me as well. I nervously went for the interview. I have to say it was the toughest interview I have ever done in my life! It was like I was interviewing for a job in another organisation as opposed to in another department. He looked at my CV and noticed I got about 7 awards in the space of a year in my last department before I left for maternity leave. He asked me what each of them was for and I told him. Then he said he hopes I don’t expect to receive the same amount of awards in London and that they don’t give them out that often. Anyway, I went home feeling unsure but knowing I had done my best. The next morning I received an email from the head of the department saying he was happy to welcome me to the international tax team! To say the least, I was very happy!

I immediately negotiated new working hours where I could start at 8:30am and leave at 4:30pm so I could pick up my son. Thankfully, it was accepted. What I really wanted was a job to go back to, but a pay rise would have been the cherry on cake that would have been nice to have as we now had an additional mouth to feed. However, as I was moving in the same position to a different department, I wasn’t expecting a pay rise. But as God would have it, when I saw my new package, I got a 22 per cent pay rise with no negotiation!

This was how what is my current love hate relationship with my new job started! I still love it and find it challenging but wha I know and should always go without even saying is that, I can see God written all over it and the overwhelming favour I have experienced. There is more to this story, it shall be continued.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Xoxo

Angel

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Another amazing testimony

Like the title of the post says, this year as been tres amazing so far! I mean, I was already satisfied with God had done this year, but yet he thought it good to do even more before the year runs out.

I know I keep going on and on about my job and how I love it. To be honest there are good and bad days and I have moaned on here about the bad times. The good times are more than the bad though, which is why I love what I do. Anyway, of recent, I have been struggling with certain things at work. It really bothered me. I don’t know how to say what my problem was without coming across as pompous so I will just try to keep it simple.

Anyway, I was struggling with the structure of things and people being inefficient which affected my own work because I was having to wait for them and a few other things. I started asking God where he was taking me to. I felt like the role I was to play where he had currently placed me had been accomplished and I needed to be doing something else.

Each time I asked to go for a secondment, I was told I was good and they didn’t want to loose me in my department so I couldn’t go yet. Flattering, yes, but at the same time I felt like I wasn’t really increasing my technical knowledge outside of corporate tax. The truth is the secondments I asked to go for, I didn’t really want to go for them anyway and only asked to go because I felt like I needed to do something different. After the no’s and deferring my moving, I decided to just stay put and prayed to God to make a way.

At this point in time, I also really wanted to join the mergers and acquisitions team because it would be challenging, it would extremely increase my tax technical knowledge and also accelerate my career, it would also be great on my CV. However, in the past, they only accept assistant managers full time on their team and I couldn’t really see a real opening on their team for me. So I just let the senior manager on the team know that if they needed help and I had capacity I would be happy to help. This was like in April or so.

To cut the long story short, on Wednesday just before lunch, the senior manager asked me if i had finished my exams and I said no I had one more in May. He said ok and went to sit by his desk. So I asked why he asked and he said nothing he is just interested in my exams. We laughed about his joke about being interested in my exams. So he sends me a message saying how they needed resources and he asked me to join his team full time and how he knows I don’t have the experience as   I am still a trainee and how they would usually take an assistant manager but he has heard only good things about my work, I am an intelligent person etc and in my head I was just like OMG, is this really happening?!

He said I could start with 3 months / 6 months and then decide to extend it if i like it. He knows i will get on well with the team and that it is hard work but it will be worth it. He is going to take a personal interest in my development and wants me to report to him once a month or bi monthly, whichever I prefer. He said he was going to sit down with human resource lady for my department and one of the partners after our conversation to discuss this and asked if am I on board and I was like YES!

So that is the story my people, my career is taking the turn for AWESOMENESS and I am so grateful to the big guy up there, God, for making this possible because, I so did not see this coming at all, I didn’t expect for this to be accelerated in such a way. I mean, I am still a trainee and I have only worked in the company 2 years, but with God, nothing is impossible! I pray he gives me the strength to continually do him proud!

So he wants me to start ASAP but my current team want me to stay till January. I think January is reasonable because of December deadlines and making sure I have passed on all my current client to someone else. This is just too exciting!

I love you God, I will not stop sharing about your awesomeness in my life and how you prove yourself in all that concerns me. You have granted me favour in every aspect of life and this I am grateful for. I praise you and thank you father!

So long folks! xoxo

Retracing my footsteps .. pt 4 (finale)

Today!!!!!!!! wow.. today has been amazing.. okay to be precise 5pm – 7pm today was fabulous.. i might get to blog about it some other time.. but for now I shall not jinx it.. (that’s if i haven’t already).

Back to the topic… please read on and enjoy.

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After the rat had run around the room a couple of times, it dawned on me that there was no way I was going to get some sleep in that room with it so I endeavoured to leave my room and try to see if someone could help. I then bumped into a guy on the stairwell, Mr Dami A.. (he became a good friend for the next 2 years). He then offered to come and check it out as he was also one of the hall seniors. On our way to my room, we bumped into Zahra, Amaka and CJ (CJ is like a teddy bear.. i remember after that day we became good friends and he is one of those people you see and you just want to run and jump on his back when he is not watching which i did a couple of times.. lol. Zahra and Amaka went on to be my very good friends in uni and I am stil quite close with Zahra.).

In a very weird way, the rat in my room opened an avenue for me to make friends even though I did not go for the freshers party. We didn’t find the rat and we ended up just staying up and chatting. First year in uni was good. Academically I did okay. It was now a bit weird not being the best in the class again because Imperial was filled with smart people and I was back as an average student. I decided quite early on that seeing as for me to get a 1st class in that uni i would pretty much have no life.. I was happy to settle with a 2:1. As usual, my dad other ideas and each year I got a 2:1 apart from my 2nd year, he let me know he was expecting a 1st class overall.

On a social level, I had a lot of friends and they were mostly lovely. I remember my first birthday in uni. One of my friends took it upon herself to throw me a party. She got my other friends to put money together and they cooked the food, bought me cakes, another friend was the DJ etc. It was a great night, I had fun. I was also part of the Afro Caribbean Society. I was an active member from my first year in uni. They have this annual event called Afrogala, it is like a cultural showcase and members of the society are encouraged to take part by doing dances or singing or acting or fashion shows etc. In my first year, I sang with the choir, I acted 3 plays, I sang a whitney houston song (and earned myself the nick name whitney jay… hmmm well i am not  great singer.. i don’t know where I summoned the balls from!) and I was in the fashion show. I remember I had to speak to the then events coordinator to move the acts around a little bit so that I could have enough time to change into the right outfit/costume. At the end of the 1st year, it was time to vote for the new committee members and I was encouraged to run for the position of the events coordinator which I did and won. It was fabulous! I was very passionate about the society and the position!

In my 3rd year, I was also encouraged to run for president. This time, no one ran against me. So I won.. lol and it was great as well. With the help of the other committee members, we were able to write a proposal and gain sponsorship for the society of about £6,000 or maybe more, I don’t remember. Like joke like joke, our proposal kept getting accepted, we had goldman sachs, bank of america, , kpmg, citi group, hsbc, accenture etc. The highlight of my 3rd year was Afrogala for the first time ever sold out tickets! The great hall sits a maximum of 600 people! The hall was jammed packed. I was so proud of myself and the team and people enjoyed the show. To see the pictures of the event, click here.

After all of the Afrogala craze, I had to start worrying about my future. I had one more year in University and I had to start worrying about my future and getting a job etc. So I applied to a lot of companies because I was not sure what i wanted to do and there was this investment banking craze in my uni. I studied Chemical Engineering and I wasn’t sure I wanted to work full time as an engineer. If anything,  sales position with any company seemed ideal to me at that point in time.  Another thing that worried me was the fact that I hadn’t had an internship or proper work experience and I assumed that would work against me.

What I did do was this, I prayed! Oh yes.. that is the best trick in the bag, prayer! What my prayer was is very simple. “God please close all doors you do not want me to enter and open only that door you want me to enter”. Boy did God close doors! He closed many! I even at some point started rethinking that prayer. I got to the final stage of the recruitment stages of most companies and I was either on a waiting list or the good old.. “its not you, its me” line. Obviously they don’t reject you with those words, they say you are very good but due to the exceptional quality of applications they have received they regret to inform you that… which kind dirty regret… like they even have a heart.. lol jokes.

SO I started giving up, but let us rewind for  little bit. Before I started applying for internships, I visited this recruitment agency and they asked me a couple of questions. Based on the responses I gave, they stipulated what company would be best suited to me. They asked me questions like how important  pay was to me, do I want to work somewhere where people would shout at me, do I want to work in a team, etc. The results said I would work best in either of KPMG, John Lewis or Pearson. Those 3 companies were not on my list at all. Pearson I had never heard of, I think they are more into media. John Lewis, I thought, my mum and dad will not even hear! Obviously, they did not mean I will be working as a shop assistant, they meant more like mybe back office and behind the scene kind of job. Then KPMG,  it is a good firm but I just never considered or researched them. I just said thank you to the man and left the office. First thing I did was called my friend Vese and I just laughed it off.

Now, back to the present. After all these companies had rejected me, I went back to that recruitment agency. I called the guy up and asked him if he knew of any companies still recruiting for internships. Lo and behold, KPMG was still recruiting. So he told me more about the company and I did my research and eventually applied. 2 weeks later, I got the internship!

I started in July and it lasted 8 weeks. They were very lovely people. Always willing to help, the working environment was just what I needed I couldn’t believe I hit jackpot. It was also very challenging. My last week in the office, I had to have a partner interview to see if they would offer me a full time job to start the next year. My colleagues helped me with the presentation and practised with me. The presentation went well and before I started my final year at university, I had a full time job with one of the big 4 accountacy firm. It was like a dream! The recruitment company went on to interview me and put me on their website alongside with other people too, click here.

I graduated October 2010 with a Masters in Chemical Engineering (2:1). I had a graduation party with family members in America and Nigeria flying in to celebrate with me and my nuclear family! Did I say I love my family and extended family. They are great!

What inspired these memoirs really is this last week, everyone has been giving me really good feedback at work, telling me to keep up the hard work and so many other comments I appreciate. It got me thinking about how it all started and how I have been able to pick up the tax skills well enough to be given good feedback. It makes me feel weird because I don’t think I am doing anything special, I just enjoy what I do and I do it, simple as. The only downside to this job is that I have to write professional exams, 14 in total and I hate exams. I have written 7, 6 of which I have passed and I waiting for the 7th result. I have my 8th in February and my 9th in May!

God has been so faithful to me. I believe the reason I love my job so much is because he knows me better than I know myself and one avenue I was not going to pursue was the one he took me down to show me how great he is. He is just putting every piece in place for me. I got an email at work last week saying I won an award for outstanding performance in a couple of projects I helped out with. I so did not see that coming, it really made my day. I just really really thank God for his mercies and love. I will forever be grateful. I look forward to seeing where he is taking me.

My motto is he who started a good work in me will be faithful to complete it!

That’s all folks.. there is a lot more.. but I am unable to use words to explain to you. Thank you for reading. I hope I have inspired you in some way and helped you to realise that God is true to his words. I pray even better things for you all and be sure to share your testimony to bless others too.

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