9 Rules to follow when you are underpaid and overworked!

by | Jul 30, 2018 | Africa, Editor's Muse, Freelance, Inspire, Personality, Self Development | 2 comments

Most people pay for sex what they will never pay for real hard work. It’s not news that a lot of young people are underpaid and overworked. I don’t know if this applies outside Nigeria but you would see a lot of business owners hiring a stripper before paying for worker overtime.

They say “if I can get it free, why pay more?” It sounds woke. Not until one of your broke staff sells your big jeep for #50,000 and is collecting the reaming nine fifty thousand in installments of one thousand naira.

Not until one of your staff uses cutlass on you in your own house, slaughters your side-chick, packs her in a nylon and waits for you, then slaughters you too.

These are real life scenarios I have seen online in the past few months. They happen in a country like Nigeria.

Now murder is murder but do you know what it feels like to become a criminal? It takes a whole lot of process.

First I will say, if you are not capable of paying your staff, don’t hire people. There’s nothing wrong in washing your own towel, pant, boxers, bras, dishes. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with filing your own cabinet and mopping your own floor. As long as you cannot hire human beings that have some sense of self worth, do your dirty laundry yourself.

You spend a million per night to be with side-chick. (S)he gives you a back-rub and few hours of ejaculation. But the person who saves your time, gives you the chance to live like a boss, calls you boss, cleans up after you, you pay them money not fit for cleaning shit from public latrine.

I have been there and these rules helped me move forward. I want to share these with graduates and workers struggling through terrible jobs. A few things I learned from working as an underpaid graduate are these 9 rules:

1. Graduates, learn to bargain right. Don’t expect manna level salaries, but don’t sellout your birthright.

2. Whatever you agree to accept, be content with it.

3. Do the equivalent work and maybe more for what you agreed to be paid but don’t slave.

4. If you think you deserve more over time or you feel you can take on more responsibilities, negotiate for a raise or actively seek out competitors that will hire you.

5. Don’t complain, don’t compare yourself with other staff. You had your chance to negotiate so you can’t blame someone who got a better deal.

6. When the kitchen gets too hot, leave. Don’t consider the repercussions. Even if they owe you, leave. Your peace is better than ending up tempted by circumstances. We all pray against temptation, some jobs are the transgression that will end your career, leave!

7. Think of how to augment your income. If your work doesn’t provide you tips, then it should not take all the time in your day such that you can’t even do any online or part time hustle.

8. If you are underpaid and you can’t even have time to rest or think of your progress or write professional exams, that’s not the place to be, build an exit plan. That job will only frustrate you.

9. Don’t ever be tempted to do what will end your youthful life in jail. There’s a million opportunities in the world. They may not take the form of a paid job but they would give you a chance to live your life and be happy, seek them out.

Now I wrote these things on the list because I have been there. I see a lot of frustrated graduates who come online daily to find some escape. Yesterday someone on my social feed mentioned how he receives such a low pay that he feels hard work doesn’t pay. I know how you feel but hard work pays. Many of those you see smiling online are going through the same thing. Map out a plan for yourself and follow through.

For the bosses who would rather build business profit on the backs of slaves than dignifying the sweat of their workers, you can do better.

You make a Million in profit, 30% is ploughed back into your business, 50% caters for you, your family and your side chick, 10% is for tithe and 10% is for your workers and you think all is well.

All those promises of promotion and luxury, sweet words and lies that keep desperate people labouring for you because they have no alternative. One day, they will be tempted by crime that promises to pay them even just a little above what you are offering, they will take the offer. If you cannot pay good money for people who will be loyal to you, don’t employ yet. It’s not by force to be called oga. There’s something about a person that will accept just about anything to get by, they can’t be trusted. Don’t endanger the life of your family or your children. Don’t hire helpers that will end up murdering your babies and recording them for social media. Do the right thing.


  1. Dara Falade

    I agree with your perspective but why the emphasis on sex work? People who do this kind of work wouldn’t agree it’s not hard work.

    • jonathanoladeji

      Thanks for your comment Dara. The comparison of hard work here is not really between sex work and other employees. It’s the importance of each to the employer’s business in question that’s compared. Definitely the sex worker is doing their own kind of work and one cannot attempt to belittle that. The question here is how this work relates to the employer’s business. In this context the harder work is the person really working to keep his business running and not the one warming his bed. I hope this clarifies that part.


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