Six Figure is a biweekly PiggyVest series that focuses on how real Nigerians achieved dramatic income growth that made them millionaires.
For this week’s episode of Six Figure, we spoke to a public policy manager earning $12k (₦8.5 million) monthly. She shares how she went from earning ₦10k to ₦8.5 million over seven years.
What was your first job?
I was an intern at a Lagos-based law firm.
You did this for how long?
And what was the pay?
I earned ₦10k monthly.
Yes. I was still a student at the time, and this was as far back as 2014. So the pay was a bit fair for the time.
What’s your current job title?
I’m a Public Policy Manager at a big tech company.
A big tech company? You must be earning well.
What’s your monthly salary?
$12,000 (₦8.5 million).
Whoa! Massive jump!
I know, right.
Please break down your income progression over the years.
After 2014, I did three more internships, where I got paid between ₦10k to ₦20k/month, before graduating in 2016. Thereafter, I landed an associate position at a law firm, earning ₦80k/month. I did this for two years before leaving Nigeria for my masters in the US.
While there, I worked in a small-tier law firm, which paid me $3000 monthly. I did this job until 2019, when I stumbled upon tech policy and developed an interest in it. After months of taking online courses and speaking to policy managers, I got a policy associate role at a small tech startup. Initially, I was paid $5000/month (₦3.5 million), then it became $7000 (₦4.9 million) after I got promoted. Around this time, I became active on LinkedIn, constantly promoting my work. My branding efforts led to a recruiter inviting me to interview for a Policy Manager position at a big tech company. I got a $12k (₦8.5 million) job offer after 7 rounds of interviews.
Interesting! What would you say is your most valuable skill?
My proactivity. I’m always ready to go above and beyond on anything I’m working on.
How has this helped your career?
Proactivity is why I got promoted quickly in my last job. It is also a major reason why I secured my present job. I was constantly taking steps other candidates wouldn’t. For example, during my first interview, I provided recommendations on how to improve the Communications and Policy department. The recruiters were impressed.
Amazing! Have you ever had a career coach or mentor?
Yes. I always have mentors for the different stages of my career.
What financial principle do you swear by?
Don’t be quick to spend when your income increases. Always keep money aside for emergencies and investments. Avoid lifestyle inflation.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to earn six figures?
Research a high-income skill you’ll love to learn and focus on mastering it. Doing this was what helped me transition from law to tech policy.
But it’s not enough to upskill; ensure you promote your work, too. The right people should know what you do. If I had not spoken enough about my achievements on LinkedIn, the recruiter from the big tech company probably wouldn’t have approached me.
- Be proactive. As you can see from our subject’s story, going above and beyond in your career can help you stand out easily on your way to making six figures.
- Stay curious. In 2014, our subject couldn’t have imagined herself as a policy manager. However, being curious helped her stumble on tech policy. Don’t limit yourself to your present career. Learn more about other career paths and keep upskilling.
- Promote your work. Beyond being curious and proactive, you need to put yourself out there. When people know about your skills and accomplishments, they can connect you to the right opportunities.