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Five Work Ethic Lessons I Learned From My Ex-colleague

I have often wondered the secret of success in the corporate environment. With a lot of challenges, I have navigated corporate Nigeria, However, in all my journeys, I had not met someone like the lady that I would be writing about today.

You see, Miz Ify resigned in January 2020 from the company I work with, and we organized a small send forth party where we bade her farewell in her new role amidst tears from most people present, including me.

Yes, I cried because I was going to miss a colleague. I began to ponder on what made her so special as I listened to the farewell speech from each member of her team, and even from colleagues from other teams, and I had to admit that indeed she deserved all the accolades.

This prompted me to take the time to make a list of the lessons learnt in my working experience with her:


She was always punctual; her punctuality was second to none. Matter of fact, it was always jokingly considered an achievement if you got to work before her. I remember vividly one occasion where she came to work late. our Group head was worried because he was sure she couldn’t have been late for a flimsy reason.

First impression is not the only impression

I had joined the joined the team in 2018, and my initial impression of her was far from what I would call welcoming or friendly. Her being a senior colleague meant I had to report to her on various occasions. My perception of her was so far in the negative that she was a frequent occurrence in my prayer list. I find it quite laughable now. Little did I know she was going to be one of my greatest blessing working with the team.

Employee know thy job and then some

I learnt in many ways that minding your business in the workplace is not always a virtue.

There are times where it is important to be involved with other peoples’ business as you could be called upon at anytime to stand in the stead of an absent team member. It is assumed that as a member of the team, you should be abreast with what other members of the team are doing without also loosing focus in your work.

Its not just enough to know your job. It is important to also know your industry and the current challenges and opportunities. When you speak let people want to listen.

Be a problem solver

Not only was she excellent at her job, she was the go-to person in times of challenges, not only for our team members but also for other team members. This spanned beyond assisting with official duties to assistance rendered on personal basis. I have often wondered how she did it. I have been a beneficiary of her priceless benevolent acts. And I miss this side of her a whole lot.

Relationship with internal and external customers

Working in sales is a different kind of working experience. Dealing with people, the expectations of customers, and of the organization can take a toll on any human being. Being able to relate with a diverse customer base is therefore an essential skill.

In my working with experience, I have come to understand the need for diversity, and Miz Ify modeled this excellently. Her ability to handle human relationships both within and outside the company amazed me. Some may call it experience, but I have seen most experienced sales people flop in this area. The birthdays, calls, etc. Well, all I could do was learn.

While I was sure that these were just a few of the traits that made her stand out, I understand that it is not enough to admire her. It is essential to also look at myself in the areas that I fall short and make the necessary adjustment.

What lesson have you learned and will start to apply from Miz Ify’s life?

Written by Folukemi

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