#MyHRDiary: Lessons Learned in 2021

#MyHRDiary: Lessons Learned in 2021

Welcome to my HR Diary, a dairy series in the life of an HR Professional. This is my personal space where I share my life experience as an HR Professional. Read and Enjoy!

So I just spent three days binge watching 2 seasons of Emily in Paris. If you know me well, you would know how strange it is. I have stopped watching seasonal movies for over three years now. It is just this year I picked it up and made an exception.

Anyway, that brave ‘act’ alone made me reflect on my year. I believe this article would not only be a catch up for my community but you should be able to pick one or two lessons from this. I am also not the conventional writer and probably that’s why you love reading my content.

This year ehn! All I can say is that I am grateful. I am somewhat scared of 2022 because I am not sure if I would be able to pull off such strength as I was able to do so this year.

My year started with pregnancy, sickness and no goals! My only goal was to stay alive, lowkey and raise my little one while doing my stuff underG. Unlike 2019 and 2020, I didn’t have any goals (Well EFP was somewhere in my head but it wasn’t going to take over the priority of childcare)

I am sure God was looking at me smiling. Firstly, during my maternity leave, something led to another and I found myself registering an HR Consulting Company to do some side hustle. Not just sole proprietorship but a real business with shares. Anyway, that went well but I am not ready for full time entrepreneurship and I would still like to build depth in knowledge by working for someone.

Then there was a lot of Gbas Gbos in my place of employment. Things were looking bleak and I personally carried the business on my head so it affected me a lot mentally. There is this thing I learned from the first place I worked which has formed my personal core value and work ethics which is this ‘Ownership’ mentality. I work like I own the business even if I don’t have shares there but Nigerian businesses always have a way of breaking my heart. Anyway, the business shut down and everyone had to go.

Very painful? Yes! But I knew I was going to be alright. This happened around June and by then, I had already completed my book and was planning launch in October with EFP set for August. All these were money consuming, to now lose the job that was funding my unpaid side project was a LOT. I ate up 70% of my savings during that period to fund my book and EFP. In between, I had some interesting gigs which brought in some cash but it wasn’t regular but I had a lot of free time to write though.

Then I joined a popular tech logistics firm in August which was another roller coaster on its own because it consumed 101% of my time and energy. Planning a book launch or doing anything outside work was almost impossible. Anyway, I am happy I didn’t drown but was able to rise above so many challenges. Believe me, when I tell you that I need a vacation to Maldives, Dubai and Paris altogether, I really do (I just wish I could afford it)

Back to the lessons, here are key things I picked:

  1. Be open to disruption

I would be doing you a disservice if this isn’t my first point. It is good to plan but when you see opportunities, be open to grabbing it. Look at me registering a company I had no idea about. Why! I saw an opportunity and I just went for it right away (I didn’t know I would lose my job and need it for side gigs). My book that I never thought I would complete neither did I think I could afford to publish a book because I know how expensive it is but I managed to squeeze out money because I was open to doing something unplanned. Things may happen to you this new year, it is not about the event but how you respond to it. You can choose to wallow in sadness or pick yourself up and get going.

  1. Build your own identity

I say this because I have my core values that shape my actions and inactions and that has helped me stand out in my career. I won’t like to give off all the juice I wrote about career identity in my book. One thing that really helped me in the new firm I joined is my work ethics. Whether or not anyone decides to give me credit, maintaining a consistent work culture is something I noticed about myself and would love to keep up. Someone in my current place reached out to my former CEO and his comments made me happy.

Hearing the comments from my new CEO in my recent appraisal was exactly the same. So for me, this year was a year I was able to continue and confirm something that outlives me and outlives any organization I would work with. Yewande is ‘Yewande’ and anyone who has worked with Yewande would be able to have that consistent narrative about ‘Yewande’

  1. Know your value

Let’s leave all the mushy stuff. I actually made a mistake this year. I am here teaching people about value in the workplace but unintentionally shot myself in the foot. The knowledge of that decision hunted me for a long time but I am past that and I saw that as a learning curve. I am able to coach my mentees better because I have made the same mistake twice.

Basing your value on where you are coming from not where you are going to is one which I made and I sincerely wish I could turn back the hands of time. I have learned my lesson and I hope to correct it in the coming future.

  1. It is possible!

Yes! If this year has taught me anything, it is that Yes! It is possible! I still raised my baby, published that book that I thought I was never going to finish or afford to publish and launch, still coordinated activities of CareerLife Nigeria and organized The Employability Fitness Progream (which is definitely a difficult one because its non-profit), still picked up a job and juggled chaos while staying sane. With my full time job, still attended speaking engagements, marketed my book and made myself available for CareerLife. I can tell you for FREE that I felt this year was packed with too many things and some days, my brain is overheating but I survived.

I am allowing myself binge watch a seasonal movie because I deserve all form of rest. This year has been more than Gbas Gbos! So regardless of whatever is staring you in the face telling you it is impossible, let me tell you something: You have got it!

It definitely won’t be easy but if you are led to do something, just do it, you would grow through it. I really look forward to 2022 but not sure about my plans yet. I just know that I would be alright lazz lazz. And yeah! I would never stop planning EFP at least once a year.


If you enjoyed this article, then my book titled “The all Inclusive Career Handbook” is something that would add more value to your career. From before the jobsearch to during the jobsearch to salary negotiation to after the job search, this is a manual for your career. Order yours via Rovingheights or Laterna.

Yewande Jinadu

Yewande Jinadu is the Founder of CareerLife Nigeria(careerlife.com.ng) and also a Strategic HR Business Partner of a leading tech firm. She's a certified HR Professional with a mix of Generalist and Specialist Experience who supports the business to achieve it's goals through the people. Her strengths are in Talent Acquisition, Performance Management, Employee Engagement, Organization Development and Employer Branding. Her social initiative, CareerLife Foundation solving UN SDG Goal 8 is aimed at reducing unemployment by helping graduates and professionals become Employable and accelerate their career growth. With various awards won both locally and globally, her vision is to help millions of youths achieve measurable success in their career. Yewande holds the Senior Professional of Human Resources International (SPHRi) Certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI), USA. She is an associate of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (ACIPM) and has a Practitioners License to practice HR in Nigeria. She's the Convener of the Employability Fitness Program, an initiative aimed at helping young graduates overcome interview Phobia and the barriers in Recruitment process through mentoring. She is a public speaker and has been featured on various media platforms including: BellaNaija, SheLeadsAfrica, GuardianWoman, Women of Rubies etc Some of her recognitions include: Top 50 Career Influencers in Africa by The Workbooth Magazine and also a the top 10 Platinum members of Career Influencers. Top 150 Global HR Influencer by Social Micole. Top 100 Career Women in Nigeria by 9to5Chick Top 30 Leading Women in HR by Worden HCD You can reach out to her by sending a mail to: info@careerlife.com.ng and follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @careerlifeng

One thought on “#MyHRDiary: Lessons Learned in 2021

  1. Thank you for been real. You pass the message as it is and it reaches the soul.
    Keep it up, as you have people whom you inspire.

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