Six Figure is a biweekly PiggyVest series that focuses on how real Nigerians achieved dramatic income growth.
For this week’s episode of Six Figure, we spoke to a tax consultant who earns around ₦700k monthly. She talks about making the switch from media marketing to tax, and shares advice for aspiring tax consultants.
What was your first actual job?
I was a media marketing officer for a lottery firm.
Did you study anything communications-related?
Nah, I studied Economics in school.
Oh. What year was this job?
What did it entail?
It was a new firm then, so I was in charge of everything marketing and promotions. I created content for our website, stuff like vision statement, mission statement, “about us”, and “about our games”.
I would go to radio stations to talk about our games and why people should play. I also anchored the lottery show and MC-ed the rallies. Just overall brand management.
How long were you with them?
Sounds like a rigorous role. How much did you earn?
Sheesh. For all that work.
[Laughs] Crazier things have happened in this world.
You’re right. So what do you do currently?
I work as a tax consultant for a Big Four company.
What’s the job description?
To ensure that my clients do not pay penalties. I do this by reviewing their financial statements to make sure they are compliant with the income tax regulations in Nigeria.
How much do you earn monthly?
My take home right now is around ₦700k. But that wasn’t the case when I joined the company in 2018. My starting salary was ₦160k, so you can imagine that there’s been quite some income progression since then.
From media marketing officer to tax consulting. What skills did you have to hone to get to this point?
Man! I studied Economics in school, not Accounting. This meant I had to develop a lot of accounting skills. The job requires a great deal of report writing, so I focused on improving my writing as well.
I also honed my negotiation, communication and tax skills. This is the only way you get your client, and your bosses, to do what you need. It’s the only way to pacify them as you attempt to get your work done.
That’s some hard work. Were your new skills appreciated?
Ah, yes! The best feedback I get is on my negotiation and people skills. It has always stood out and my managers are able to haggle a high consultancy fee based on this particular expertise of mine.
My clients, on the other hand, always come out feeling happy because I find a way to bond with them and put them at ease. This also makes it easier for them to come to me for help, as against going to the manager.
Do you have a career inspiration?
To be honest, my career path wasn’t planned. It was supposed to be an internship but after I heard one of the partners speak elegantly, confidently, and knowledgeably, I knew I wanted to be just like her. After my internship, I applied for a full-time job and got in. That’s how I got started as a tax consultant.
How good are you with your money?
I was good in the beginning but then I got carried away. I think I have found my way back to where I need to be, in the sense that I save between 50-60% of my salary. This helps me plan towards capital projects like buying a car and travelling, which I love.
So yes, I’ll say I’m good with money because I’m good at making financial plans and reaching them. I like to think I’m quite disciplined in that regard.
What did you learn along the way and what’s your advice for others who want to get to where you are now?
First of all, if you’re religious, I’ll say, ask for God’s grace and direction. Make up your mind on where you want to go, and do your research to be absolutely certain that you want to go there. If not you’ll get there and be like, “Whoops.” You can’t get that time back.
Second, find out what skills, knowledge or certifications you will require in order to be relevant in that career. I had to get all my certifications on the job and that killed a part of my social life. But it needed to be done. Finally, find a mentor to help you stay motivated and aligned with your dreams.
But above all, be determined and push yourself no matter how many times you fail.