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Attention Nigerian professionals! You are replaceable, take care of yourself first.

This is a product of a candid conversation I had with someone very dear to me earlier today. She had been very distant lately, stressed with work and gradually drowning with the extra load she had had to carry since this pandemic. She presently does the job of three persons, IT Support, Document Control and Tendering, and she must attend to all these responsibilities simultaneously, closing late and resuming early, even having to take home extra work. Doing this diligent work with little appreciation or defined reward system does not make things easy.

How about long term of long term? Let’s look at another friend who is presently frustrated with her job in the bank. She has had it and now wants out. A job she once sacrificed everything for, including relationships. After five years now, she is greeted with threats of being fired daily, she is unfulfilled and has zero work satisfaction. I have seen this happen first-hand, people give their all and sacrifice so much for jobs that does not reward them at the end of the day. It is unfair what some jobs do to people, take all from you and leave you with nothing at the end of the day. I have seen people abandon their dreams to chase jobs that give them little fulfilment, at the end of the day, it becomes too late to recover what has been lost to time and chance.

Those who know me know no one preaches diligence as much as me, I am all for going the extra mile and giving your 110% to your job. But I have also realised that your mental health, wellbeing and relationship matter and should equally be taken care of. No job is worth your mental health or wellbeing. Some people may argue relationships are secondary, that is arguable, but your health and wellbeing is primary. So, I encourage you to take care of yourself, while giving your all to your job especially your mental health. You must always remind yourself that you are replaceable and if anything happens to you today, there are five capable people that will be willing to take your place in one snap.

Do your job but take care of yourself at the same time because you matter more than that job. No job is more important than you. You are the real essence;

  • Eat well, especially breakfast and lunch. If you can, take lunch to work or make provision for it. Stop skipping lunch.

  • Drink lots of water and hydrate a lot. This keeps your brain cool.

  • Take breaks in between activities and tasks at work, play a game on your phone or do something to help your brain rest intermittently.

  • Exercise a lot. This is good especially for your mental health. Exercise works the mind as much as it works the body.

  • Make out time to service your relationships. Friends and family need you and you need them. Set reminders to text or call occasionally, keep up with events planned with them as much as you can.

  • Have an exit plan if your job sucks and you know you will quit someday. Have a practical plan covering when and how it will happen. Don’t spend years at a job you hate without an exit plan.

  • Partake in social activities. Go to a party if it is your thing. Hang out. Treat yourself to some of the things you enjoy the most, you deserve it. Buy gifts for yourself. You are the best and only you.


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