Your Job Is Leaving You Angry & Frustrated? Stop the Gripe… Do Something!

I’m a classical corporate áshéwó! Don’t blame me, if you don’t hop around, you don’t get to be on top, and nothing beats being on top. Every guy knows that!

When you jump around, like some of us understandably do, you will notice quite a lot – mostly bad things. I’ve observed how people complain about their careers – the lack of traction to get to the top.

So justifiably, I want to rant about this. By the time you finish reading this, you could either give me a good kick at my scrawny backside or canonize me as Saint Adédèjì.

It’s human to complain about everything – Nigeria, corruption, traffic, taxes, Buhari, etc. In fact, the only thing certain, apart from change (or lack of one), is that there will always be someone who complains about something (or the other).

However, when complaining about your career is what you do for pastime, then maybe you should just enlist in the Kvetch Amateur Olympics. If you don’t know the meaning of that, Google still works!

Top dogs don’t complain, they act because they are hot dogs!
One thing I know for sure is that guys with flying careers hardly complain, they act. You feel that something should be done? Just get it done and not raise a storm about how it’s Admin Department that should have done it.

Top dogs hold themselves and others accountable and can be nasty about it. They notice the little details and they demand that others meet their standards. And when the organizations or their bosses can’t meet up, they simply leave; no need hanging around being bitter about how things aren’t going their way.

You are responsible for your career!
I don’t know anyone who is totally satisfied with his career progression – it’s always slow. However, you have 100% control on what to do with it. While your company decides if you should be promoted or not, you are the one to make a decision if you still want to work there. If you strongly believe that you deserve that push or the pay upgrade and you ain’t getting it, then they don’t deserve you. Make them pay for their misbehavior, leave!

But somewhere at the back of our minds, we know that we may not be good as we think we are. So instead of complaining, why don’t you ask yourself how you can be better? For example, the economy is tough now, why don’t you lead the cost optimization effort of your company? Why don’t you follow the sales and marketing guys to that uncle of yours to land a deal?
If you don’t have an uncle, adopt one.

Upgrade yourself
Everyone loves a new shinning toy. Right now, I’m hustling for a new Samsung S7 and already thinking of selling one of my friends into slavery just to get it.
Honestly, apart from throwing in more efforts at work, you also need to upgrade your on-the-job skills. If you are engineer, the world has probably moved on to new ways of engineering, get those skills. If you are a doctor in a general hospital, don’t be content with doing wákà wákà around the wards impressing female nurses or doing dangerous abortions, upgrade your expertise and become a consultant. Save the world!

Efforts alone don’t count; rare skills are important. It’s simple law of economics – demand and supply. When your services can be easily replaced by younger, cheaper and more nimble others, it will happen – unless there is something else going down between you and your boss. It’s a logical conclusion, isn’t it?

Develop your network
You will feel better when you find out that your job is not more miserable than your neighbor’s. Nothing beats schadenfreude. How will you know if you don’t have a social life?

To move your career up a notch, you need to connect with like minds and be very active in your social network. It will allow you to compare notes with others in similar unfortunate job roles. You will most likely be remembered if a good position becomes vacant. If you are engaged enough, someone may even mistake you for an expert and lands you a decent job that blows your mind.
So be active on LinkedIn, go for industry events, and polish your CVs shinier than a soldier’s boot. Many guys have landed jobs just by forwarding great CVs at a moment’s notice.

Be appreciative of that job
Nigeria is hard; having a job that ensures food on the table, month-in-month-out, is a blessing. What you don’t know is you could have a better career growth if you are appreciative, and the appreciation shows in your attitude to work. Employers don’t like a mean-spirited employee who can’t be satisfied and who growls around the corridors like a wounded local dog.

Do you feel your job is horrible and underpays? Lose it first and see how hard it’s to get a replacement. You know the sad part? The dude who replaces you will probably earn less and do a better job.

Remember, life is never perfect
Think about it: our spouses will never be the most beautiful, our kids won’t always be the first in their classes; our parents won’t be the poshest, richest, bla bla bla. So just add your job to one of life’s injustices, live with it!

I’m not asking that you accept mediocrity, nope, far from it. I mean accept the realities of life and make the best out of what you have instead of pining for the unattainable. Stevie Wonder is blind, but he didn’t look for artificial eyes or blame providence for poor workmanship, instead we count his music as one of the best oldies.

In Summary

I’m not disputing that some jobs are made from hell – many bosses are so horrible they make the devil cringe in shame. But then complaining does more damage that just annoying friends – it can also damage your health, and probably your reputation as well.

So, if that job is that bad, just do something about it, maybe just leave. But if you know you aren’t able to get another one, just be a good boy, dig back, make yourself better and trust me a good opportunity is around the corner.

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The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Challenge

I’ve been on the AI train for quite a while. Sounds like the next thing humans will do but you never know it may end up like the disappointment genetics ended up being despite the promises of 1990s.

Google AI recently spanked someone at the game of Go, considering that “someone” is one of the best humans at Go, that’s something.

Suddenly everyone is sitting up with many bandying around the belief that there would be Armageddon when machines take over the world. It won’t probably end that way but then who knows?

What I know is that AI has been quietly creeping into our daily lives without anyone even noticing. Your smartphones are chuck full of blistering AI technologies. When Siri is bantering about all sorts of rubbish, you think it’s your cousin?

For me the greatest challenge AI can face is being able to analyze video – recorded or live stream.

Before I go into more explanations, AI today can check a picture and identify items in it. Facebook can see a picture and identify all your friends in there. Scary enough? No, hear this: Facebook can identify you from pictures even when your face isn’t visible.

All I want is to have AI watch a video and tell me the plot of the story or watch a live camera feed and tell if something untold is happening. This is beyond facial or material identification, this is AI understanding plot!

At least I can spare myself the horrors of watching Batman V Superman and let the damn AI just tell me it ain’t worth visiting the cinema.

Core Banking Software in Nigeria as of 2016

This is probably the third time I’m writing about core banking software in Nigeria. I did that in 2011 and it’s interesting to see how banking software has evolved in Nigeria since then. The choice of core banking software is not trivial and a wrong move can spell disaster. Banks are usually very conservative about who and what to choose; hardly do you see mavericks in this line of business.

And boy oh boy, this software can be so expensive but frankly, I don’t know why they are. My experience with three of them have left me grossly unimpressed – buggy, poor user experience, lags years behind modern technology, lacks all the good features a proper human being desires, etc.

Meanwhile, kindly pardon my unusual curiosity about things like this.

Access Bankwww.accessbankplc.comFLEXCUBE
Diamond Bankwww.diamondbank.comFLEXCUBE
Fidelity Bankwww.fidelitybank.ngFinacle 7
First Bank of Nigeriawww.firstbanknigeria.comFinacle 10
First City Monument Bankwww.firstcitygroup.comFinacle 10
Guaranty Trust Bankwww.gtbank.comBasis
Heritage 10
Skye Bankwww.skyebankng.comFLEXCUBE
Stanbic IBTC Bankwww.stanbicibtcbank.comFinacle 10
Standard Chartered
Sterling Bankwww.sterlingbankng.comBanks
Union Bankwww.unionbankng.comFLEXCUBE
United Bank for Africawww.ubagroup.comFinacle 10
Unity Bankwww.unitybankng.comBanks
Wema Bankwww.wemabank.comFinacle 10
Zenith Bankwww.zenithbank.comPhoenix

The software Lineup

In 2011Now 2016
  • Finacle – 7 (29%)
  • FLEXCUBE – 7 (29%)
  • Globus/T24 – 4 (17%)
  • Basis/Banks – 3 (13%)
  • eBBS – 1(4%)
  • Equinox – 1 (4%)
  • Phoenix – 1 (4%)
  • Finacle – 7 (37%)
  • FLEXCUBE – 6 (32%)
  • Basis/Banks – 3 (16%)
  • T24 – 1 (5%)
  • eBBS 1 (5%)
  • Phoenix – 1 (5%)

Notes *

  • Skye Bank dropped Finacle when it acquired Mainstreet Bank (which was Afribank in 2011)
  • Finacle lost a site when Heritage Bank, which wasn’t even in existence in 2011, bought Enterprise Bank. Enterprise Bank was Spring Bank in 2011
  • FLEXCUBE lost a site when Access Bank took over InterContinental Bank

More About The Core Banking Software
Finacle is a complete suite of banking applications from Infosys, one of the largest technology companies in India.

FLEXCUBE is from Oracle Financial Services. FLEXCUBE was initially i-Flex software but the company was bought by Oracle in 2005 during one of its famous spending sprees. A bit of history: FLEXCUBE was originally developed by Citibank and was spurned off as Citicorp Information Technologies Industries Limited, an independent company. FLEXCUBE is highly regarded globally with about 700 installations in 125 countries and has won Core Banking Solution of the Year and Application of the Year from The Banker.

Basis and Banks are from ICS Financial Services, a midsize Jordanian/UK software company with about 45 installations worldwide.

Despite the fact that the Nigerian market is dominated by 2 major software from India, the core banking software business is rich and varied worldwide. To read more about other banking systems, head over to

Things to know before you quit your job


“Thinking about leaving your job to start your own business? Consider this: it’s not just about ambition, it’s about having the skills, connections, and courage to navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship. Here’s what you need to know before taking the leap.”

I’ve had a decent career and everyone expects me to jump ship to run my own business but I haven’t. This is for different reasons, but those closest to me know that I’m a closet chicken. Run my own business, are you kidding me?

Before you finally consider me a loser, listen to the best of my arguments.

You need skills to run a business
Unless you want to sell pepper and goat meat, you need a decent level of skills to run your own business. The more technical your dream business is, the more the skills you need to have before you jump right in. You want to sell foreign exchange? Better be sure you understand how it works. You want to become a real estate magnate? Make sure you know the difference between sharp sand and plastering sand.

Quite a lot of world-renown founders didn’t have long experiences but they created a whole new set of industries to play in. If you think you know as much as the Google boys or Zack, you can start right away! I wish you luck.

You need connections to land customers
Even if you are going to open a shop to sell gúgúrú and èpà, you need to know people to succeed. And you need gazillion of them: someone to buy key raw materials or products from; someone to facilitate licenses with the government; someone to link you with large corporates who will give contracts, etc.

You even need connections to recruit. If you depend on CVs and LinkedIn profiles to hire workers, you have entered one chance! The quality of your network is what determines how many believers are ready to leave their jobs to join your quest for glory.

It takes time and effort to build your business connections. It’s easier for those in front office roles such as marketing and sales to know a lot of people, than those of us who sit pretty in back offices making lives of others miserable.
And while at it, please work on your attitude. The fact that you are a senior executive with contractors and customers kowtowing to you means nothing. You don’t know the value of that network until you are out of a job.

So while still doing this cushy job, cultivate relationships. Be nice to everyone. Be fair to all and sundry. Help others as much as you can and don’t trample on lowly entrepreneurs.

Not everyone is an entrepreneur
We ain’t all born to be same. Think about it: growing up, some of us wanted to be doctors, politicians, lawyers, strippers, pilots, pimps, bankers, etc. The diversity is what makes the world go round. Imagine a world where everyone is a lawyer? I shudder at such thoughts.

So extending same arguments mean we can’t all be business owners and that doesn’t mean we won’t succeed. I would rather be a Tim Cook than a failed business owner.

A note of warning: The fact that you want to do your own thing doesn’t make you superior to others. Remember that you will recruit people to run your business. If you think working class are idiots, then you are going to treat your staff like idiots and they will, in revenge, do you over.

You need money to run your own business
Forget about your friends and that retired army uncle who promised funding for your silly business ideas, you need cold cash to start a business and preferably yours. When you depend on other people’s cash to get things going, you will end up with bosses worse than where you worked before.

You probably have to work for some time, save everything, forgo vacations and Louis Vuitton bags to save just enough to start.

The thing with money is… it is never enough!

You need balls to start a business
Some call it liver, heart or spine. I call it balls, smooth steel clanging balls. You need big balls to start a business. It’s not child’s play at all. This is where many of us are deficit. We are just scared.

Fear is not a bad thing unless we allow it to overwhelm us. At least that’s what I tell myself when I have a bad day at work.

Presentation matters with business
You don’t need spend a million dollars to look like a millionaire; however the way you look, or present yourself is very important. While dressing like a village headmaster mayn’t affect your salary at month end, it affects the pricing that you can get out of that product you want to sell.

Packaging is everything!

When you run a business, especially at the first stages, the first product you sell is yourself. Be poorly presented and you are likely toast.

Dress nicely. Shine your shoes and work on your poise. Let your PowerPoint be spiffy. These are the things the chickens like us look at when you come around to present your products and services for sale.

You need discipline to run your own show
If you think that when you start your own thing, you can wake up at any time you want and sleep when you feel like, sorry dude, you are in for a rude shock. Those who run their own businesses run long hours and ain’t appreciated. Customers don’t care.

If you can afford a vacation, (a big IF), take it and let’s see if you have any business or customers left by the time you get back.

The best place to learn discipline is right on the job you have now. If you can’t make it to meetings on time, you will be severely punished for it when you have your own thing. If you don’t know how to talk to your customers with respect, they will punish you by taking their businesses to those who appreciate them.

Discipline is extremely important!

Back to planet reality
There are a zillion other reasons to start or not to start a business. If you can hear your balls clanging and the wherewithal to start, go for it, but put the things I have talked above in perspective.

Don’t call your colleagues, who are chicken like me, chickens. We won’t forgive you when things gets rough with you. In fact some of us will dance on the grave of your business. Karma is a b*tch.

Save like your life depends on it. You will need that cash and much more.
If you decide not to start a business and be a career suit like me, hey, better be good at your job – else you find your butt on the curb. Appreciate whatever you have and be grateful for it. If you feel you ain’t appreciated, or paid enough, or respected enough, or celebrated enough, or get enough days off, remember, starting your own business is always an option. But if you don’t hear the clanging balls giving you assurance of success, respect yourself and do your job like a good boy.

Meanwhile…If I haven’t started my own business, where do I get these nuggets of wisdom from? Well, one last rule, don’t believe everything you read on the internet!

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