Parents shipped me off to Nigeria
Life was a mix of bittersweet. Loving some, hating some. A balanced life, I must confess.
Returned to the UK at 21
Settled into a good life, married and all.
Yet the desire to want more burned within me.
The travel bug came biting.
New York became, next stop!
Hubby secured a transfer from London through work. With much excitement, I followed.
Arrived in New York to start a new life.
Pre social media era! No mainstream google.
Pagers instead of cell phones.
Massive brick phones were cellphones.
Carphone warehouse in London reigned supreme. Sounds like the stone age, in’it?
Settled into New York
Didn’t know a soul
No idea of how to get a job
I spoke differently, they spoke differently
I had an accent, they had an accent
I said cellotape, they said scotch tape
I said loo, they said restroom.
I said chemist, they said drugstore. First, I was like drug ke?
There was a time I got lost. Walked up to a cop.
Told him the only landmark I remembered was a bridge. We searched for this thing called ‘bridge’ and ‘flyover’. No luck.
Hours later, he said oh, you mean, Overpass! My eyes rolled.
Made a good friend in my new neighborhood
Told friend I needed an IT job. I had the skills.
Friend thought I was in Lala land’
“As a black woman and speaking differently, you will not get that sort of job”, she said.
I got desperate, contacted local employment agencies, literally walking door to door. Zilch!!!
I was broken
I was frustrated
I wanted to work in IT but had no job
I loved socializing but had no friends
I didn’t like New York
People spoke too fast and were impatient
No ‘pleases’ or ‘thank yous’
What happened to ‘polite society’?
Everyone seemed to be in a rush. No standing still.
I yearned to return to London
Then I decided!
I made a decision to change my situation around. I could either swim or sink.
I chose to swim.
I stepped out….made a BOLD move!
In a month from decision time,
I landed a 6 figure contract with a F500
I landed my best job ever
I made awesome friends
I delivered on my projects
I made my boss look good
He got promoted
I got moved up
I loved NY
(Even though I still say cellotape)
What helped me:
Positive thinking. ´The power of positive thinking’!
Resilence! This is my number 1 trait. The power to bounce back.
We have the ability to change the course of a situation. Don’t allow difficult circumstances to overwhelm you. They are hurdles, not walls. Whether we’re facing education challenges, career issues or business setbacks, we have the God given tools and strength to navigate them.
Take the first step today, learn a new skill, reach out for support or simply shift your perspective. Every new action, however small, moves you forward. Are you READY?