Six Figure is a biweekly PiggyVest series that focuses on how real Nigerians achieved dramatic income growth, making them millionaires.
For this week’s episode of Six Figure, we spoke to a software engineer who earns around ₦800k monthly. He shares his career inspiration and gives some advice for aspiring software engineers who want to earn six figures.
What was your first job?
My first job was as a technical consultant and software developer at a company during my NYSC in 2019. I was retained, so in 2020, I started working there officially.
Did your educational background have anything to do with your chosen career?
Of course. I studied Electronics & Computer Technology in school, and I had been coding for a while before graduating. Maybe not professionally, but I had the background for it.
What did this job entail?
Mostly building softwares, improving existing softwares and services, and other things in between.
What was your take home?
It was ₦120K. At least that was the starting salary. It was to be reviewed after confirmation.
And was it reviewed?
Yes, actually. After an 8-month probation period, my salary was increased to ₦220k. This was in 2021.
What’s your current job?
I’m still with the same company, but my role has since advanced a lot.
How did this happen?
I gained a very interesting promotion. Let’s rewind to August 2022. My company has a yearly salary review policy and so my ₦220k salary was adjusted to ₦350k. It was unreal. Coming from my humble beginnings, I started to realise that I could actually be paid for my skills; for my work. But if I thought that my cup was overflowing, God was about to surprise me with another full cup.
I was moved to a new role the next month. My company was launching a sister company to create a payment solution, and I was moved there with my direct boss to practically build it from scratch. This promotion earned me a new job role, title and salary.
Wow, that’s sick.
[Laughs] So I only ended up earning ₦350k for a month. The next month, my salary was a whopping ₦800k. I didn’t know how to behave. I’m used to it now though, but at that time I could barely contain myself.
Congratulations! That’s how stars do.
You know it.
So what does your new role look like?
Now, I’m a software engineer. My job entails system architecture design, along with frontend and backend development. I also have some junior developers who have since joined the team, so I have to carry out some supervisory activities.
You must have had exceptional skills that got you noticed. What are they?
There’s a couple. I’ve always been someone who takes their work and personal development seriously. So, over the years, I’ve honed my problem-solving skills and cognitive learning skills.
I’m a software developer with knowledge of three different programming languages, which is an asset to my team. Then, not to brag, my work ethic is unmatched and I really try to deliver my tasks on time.
These are good traits to have. Who inspires you?
It’s more of a “What” than a “Who” . I love being able to solve problems. That’s my major driving force. Building solutions and automating processes make me happy; as long as I get to do this every day, I’ll keep showing up.
Now that’s discipline. Hope you’re just as disciplined with your money.
[Laughs] I try. But I won’t say I’m bad with money. I try to invest and have fun at the same time. I’m just disciplined enough.
Awesome! Would you like to share any tips for people who want to earn six figures like you?
I’ve come to learn that if you set your mind to do something and are genuinely determined to succeed, you will excel beyond your imagination.
Growth comes through daily practice and a hunger to advance beyond your current skill level. One must not be in haste to get to the expert level. You first need to be well-grounded in the rudimentary knowledge of software development before you can advance any further. Those are the skills that people will pay good money for.
- Show up: If you really want to excel at a career, you can’t afford not to show up. And not just at the office. You must do the back-breaking work, even if it means long nights to work on yourself outside of work.
- People will pay for skill: It’s really not rocket science. Once you prove yourself valuable to a business, it’s just a matter of time before the pay is commensurate with this value. And if your company refuses to see your value, remember, someone else will.
- Stay the path: Often, the most significant salary jump happens when you move from one organisation to another. But, sometimes, you just have to give your company time to appreciate what you bring to the table. Either way, just make smart choices.