‘‘Be More Deliberate About Reaching Out For Opportunities. Do More To Claim That Seat at the Table and No Longer Cower In Fear’’ – Ivie Martins Ogbonmwan, #CareerConversations with LLA.
Today on #CareerConversations with LLA, we chat with Ivie Martins Ogbonmwan, Human Resources Manager responsible for strategies to attract, develop, and retain talent for Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie Law firm etc. With a plethora of experience across oil and energy, automobile, consulting, media and communications. She dishes out career tips for those starting out their careers, and more ways women can lean-in at work.
Can you briefly describe yourself and what you do?
I am the Human Resources Manager, responsible for strategies to attract, develop, and retain talent for Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie Law firm. I also run my private practice, Elite Hunters where I help to prepare Nigeria’s talents for the labour market through effective career advisory initiatives and also provide consulting in Human Resources Management for SME’s.
Great! How did you start out in your career, and how long have you been in the ‘corporate world?’
I have been in corporate world for eight years now and started my career as a marketing executive. While on that job, I stumbled into recruitment and eventually moved into core human resource management.
What are some of the things you love the most about being a career woman?
First, I love that it gives me the platform to have a voice and be influential in people’s journeys. Secondly, it gave me the opportunity to build something for myself by myself. My career was not handed to me, I worked hard to build it and carved a niche for myself in the industry.
Of course, we’re going to talk about mentorship – what’s your view on it? Important or nah?
I am 100% in support of mentoring as it literally changed my entire life. I started getting mentored just after University, and my mentors were able to steer me in the right direction and help me make the right choices and decisions.
Two things – what have been your best and worst career decision – and what did you learn from each respectively?
Best career decision was taking a pay cut to go work in consulting so that I could learn. At that time, it was not the most convenient decision but ended up being a huge boost to my HR Career. The worst decision I ever made in my career was to take a job because of the perks without carrying out any proper research on the organization first.
Do you have a “side-hustle” and what’s your view on having other interests outside of work?
Yes, I do run a side business and I personally believe that everyone should explore doing something other than their paid job. I believe every individual has the innate ability to do more and sometimes the 9 to 5 job can be very limiting. A side hustle gives you the opportunity to explore your other skills, talents and interests and can also serve as an alternative source of income.
In what specific ways would you advise women to “lean in” more at work?
I would advise women to be more deliberate about reaching out for opportunities. We need to do more to claim that seat at the table and no longer cower in fear. It starts with empowering ourselves with the right tools such that when we do demand for such great opportunities, it will not be contestable.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself as a stakeholder solving unemployment issues in Nigeria.
What in your opinion are key success principles for upcoming career women, or those just starting out their careers?
Be clear and focused on what you want.
Do not waste too much time circling uncertainties.
Take charge of your career and build it on your own terms.
Do not settle for less.
The Leading Ladies Africa #CareerConversations Series is a weekly interview series which focuses on Leading women of African descent in the corporate world. It showcases their experiences across all socio-economic sectors, highlights their personal and professional achievements and offers useful advice on how to make life more satisfying for women.
It is an off-shoot of Leading Ladies Africa, a non-profit that promotes women empowerment and gender inclusion for women of African descent.
Do you know any woman of African descent doing phenomenal things? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we just might feature her.