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The year was 2018.
I decided to step out of my role as the CEO/chief strategist at Extrafemi and do something different…get hired elsewhere i.e get a job…
The year was 2018.
I decided to step out of my role as the CEO/chief strategist at Extrafemi and do something different…get hired elsewhere i.e get a job. Why did I do this? There are a lot of reasons, some of which cannot be disclosed for now. However, it is safe to say I wanted access.
As a creative digital agency, sometimes size plays a role. There are certain projects you do not have access to not because you dont qualify and/or have the required skills to deliver on them but you dont have access either because you are not known within certain networks or your current resource capacity cannot suffice for excellent execution. You need funds from the project to expand your team but you cannot expand your team without funds from more projects- A classic chicken and egg situation. Asides this, I wanted a different experience outside my own company and learn new team cultures. So I downplayed my history, my role, experience et al, pretended to be a newbie and some months, emails and phone calls later in September 2018, I was appointed a senior digital strategist at a creative agency in Lagos.
“Stay hungry, stay foolish” is a quote by Steve Jobs to highlight how founders need to stay hungry in order to stay in business. I wasn’t just hungry, I was starving. This was initially a 90-day “experiment” but then “I blinked” and it turned out to be a 10-month ride. Time flies when you are driven, enjoy your role and hungry. This article is a summary of some of the problems I was able to solve alongside some takeaways:
1. My role came with its own challenges: one of which was drafting, designing and submitting reports every week. What started out as a no-report role moved to a one-four-page-report per month and eventually spiraled into a sometimes 200-pages and total of 13-reports per month. This number spiked to 15 or 20 reports per month sometimes depending on events/ circumstances. All that data helped our clients make better informed decisions across social and digital as a result.
2. One of my favorite things to do is to draft a social media strategy. My role allowed me to do this across more industries and sectors and for projects quite larger in scale, budgets and size beyond what I had already done at Extrafemi. This was also in line with one of my objectives for the role in the first place. Two major projects I was a part of out of the several we delivered while on this role were the 2019 reports and strategy for our biggest client and one that allowed a client to acquire a million customers in a few months.
3. What is a role without learnings? Because my role was senior, it allowed me to interface with a lot of other roles from copy-writing, design, emailers and so on. Not that I didnt know how to create these things already but there is always something new to learn. Creating newsletters using dream weaver was something I had seen done during my days at a student on scholarship at NIIT but hadn’t really learned how it worked until this role. I was also able to polish my design skills even further. Add a truckload of curiosity to my role and you have a situation where I was nearly always busy. Learning/adjusting/volunteering for something/ some project every now and then while improving on existing process.
4. You never really know how you stack up in a different team especially when you are coming in with a lot of drive et al until you are actually in that position. Acquiring a new team culture was also part of my objectives to be fulfilled when taking on the role and I didnt skimp on that as well.
5. Then I took over the company social media pages, not only scheduling posts for our clients but cranking out content for the agency’s pages everyday. This pushed my copy and content skills to another level. I must admit that this was initially tough but I powered through.
6. Events…..the sometimes fun part but mostly embarrassing aspect of my role. Embarrassing because sometimes the client team well sometimes weren’t always nice. Notwithstanding, it was a great experience at all the events I moderated and covered.
All in all, this was initially a 90-day “experiment” but then “I blinked” and it turned out to be a 10-month ride. By the 10th month, I packed up and said my goodbyes to the team.
It was time to move on.