#CareerConversationsWithLLA: “Position yourself properly on social media,” Adedoyin Jaiyesimi, Chief Communications Consultant at The Comms Avenue.

Image credit: Adedoyin Jaiyesimi

Adedoyin Jaiyesimi is the Chief Communications Consultant at The Comms Avenue, a capacity building platform for leading and innovative communications professionals across the world. The Comms Avenue offers high-level knowledge sharing meetings and training programs for communications professionals and corporate organizations. 

She has vast experience consulting for international organizations and top corporate executives and specializing in providing strategic communications consulting for development, philanthropic and corporate organizations, helping them to develop and implement a robust communications strategy.

Adedoyin has successfully executed projects for the W Community, Women in Business, Management and Public Service (WIMBIZ), Leading Ladies Africa, African Philanthropy Forum amongst others. She has been profiled on She Leads Africa, Leadership Newspaper and Lionesses of Africa. She was also featured as one of The Spark by BusinessDay’s Visionary Women in 2019.

In this interview with Leading Ladies Africa, Adedoyin shares her sojourn into the corporate world, how she harnessed her writing gift to become a reputed Communications Consultant, the best and worst career decisions she’s made and what she has learnt from them; plus a mini-course on how to break into the communications industry. Lean in!

Can you briefly describe yourself and what you do?

I’m a lover of God, food and writing. I believe in excellence and I always go the extra mile to deliver the very best in everything I do. This applies to every area of my life. My day to day job involves me trying to figure out the best way to communicate a message to the intended target audience. My job requires creativity. It requires me to think outside the box. A lot of times, it also involves me stepping out of my comfort zone. I’m usually quite comfortable working behind the scene where nobody knows who is creating the magic. These days, I find myself more and more in the spotlight because of the work I do. 

How did you start out your career and how long have you been in the corporate world?

I’ve been in the corporate world (on and off) for eight years. I started out as an intern in a media company in 2012. I took that job because I was eager to see what more I could do with my writing gift. I didn’t take my gift seriously before this point because it came so easily and naturally to me.

The internship, however, showed me a new world. I was doing work that I loved using that innate gift God had given to me. From that job, I moved on to freelance writing as a way to make ends meet as a Youth Corps member. I wrote any and everything; as long as it was written content that would bring in money, I did it. What that also means was that I accepted ridiculously low amounts of money just to get by. After months of trying to figure out a sustainable way of earning a good income, I found Communications and that for me was a key turning point in my career trajectory. 

Image credit: Adedoyin Jaiyesimi

Tips for diversity and inclusion in the workplace (esp. for women)?

Organizations need to have policies in place that allow women to thrive. This may involve incorporating flexible working hours and creating a work culture that will not stifle the growth of women. Men and women should be rewarded equally for the work that they do and there had to be a ‘no tolerance’ approach to sexual assault. I must say here that the management truly has to be committed to doing this. If it is done just for the optics, the desired effect will not be achieved. They can’t just pay lip service to diversity and inclusion. 

If you could have a lunch date with one woman you admire – who would that be and what would you ask her?

It will definitely be Dr Jumoke Oduwole. I’m currently transitioning in my career and she is one woman I have identified that has walked and is still walking in the path that I recently embarked on. I want to know how it all happened and what strategies she used to obtain the exceptional results that she has achieved with PEBEC. I would like to hear about the challenges but I would also want her to tell me about the opportunities and the gaps that still need to be filled in terms of public service.  

Image credit: Adedoyin Jaiyesimi

What’s your take on cliques or “you can’t sit with us groups” at work? How does one navigate such?

I don’t believe in it. The person you’re saying can’t sit with you today can become the Managing Director tomorrow. If you find that there are cliques at work, don’t force yourself into it. Keep your eyes on why you are in that organizations and mingle with like-minded people. 

A mini 101 course on how to become a Communications Executive?

  • Master the art of writing. It is a crucial skill to have if you want to succeed in this career.
  • Be creative.
  • Understand the importance of research. You need to know how to dig out information.
  • Position yourself properly on social media.
  • Understand that things change quickly in Comms. and the unexpected often happens so you need to know how to keep your head above the waters. 

When you’re creatively stuck, you…?

I listen to worship music. I unlock a new depth and receive a fresh wave of ideas when I do that. Other times, I just sleep because being stuck could mean that I am mentally tired and stressed. More generally, I go on a research adventure on Google to get inspiration from what others are done or what they are currently doing. 

What’s your take on mentorship? Important or Nah?

Definitely important. I am where I am today because of the support of great mentors. We all need a mentor; especially ones that see that capacity we don’t yet know we have. 

Image credit: Adedoyin Jaiyesimi

What’s your worst and best career decisions? What have you learned from them? How have they shaped you to become the WOMAN you are today?

My worst career decision was when I joined a team without doing thorough research. My best career decision was when I decided to plunge fully into Comms. From both, I have learnt that all that glitters is not gold and I don’t rush at work opportunities without doing due diligence. Plunging into Comms has helped me to harness the fullness of my writing gift. It also gave me the opportunity to learn about many sectors and gain knowledge from different fields because communications cut across several industries. 

Three strategies you’ve used that other career women should implement?

  • Collaborating with other professionals in my field. Working collaboratively with other professionals in my field has allowed me to have exceptional results. 
  • Sharing my knowledge on as many platforms that open up for me. This has allowed me to become a thought leader in the field. 
  • Reaching out and asking for help whenever I need. You can’t know it all. Reaching out to colleagues and friends has helped me to execute difficult briefs. 

 

The Leading Ladies Africa weekly Career Conversation series focuses on women of African descent, 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.

Do you know any woman of African descent doing phenomenal things? Send an email to lead@leadingladiesafrica.org and we just might feature her.

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