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 software engineer earning $15k (₦10.6 million) monthly. He tells us how he went from earning ₦25k as an intern to ₦10.6 million/month in five years.
What was your first job?
I was a software engineering intern at a small ICT company.
How much were you paid?
When was this?
2017, back when I was in university. I did the internship for 8 months; it helped me practice all I’d learned in school.
Interesting. What is your current job title and salary?
I’m a software engineer at a big tech company. I earn $15k (including bonuses) monthly.
That’s a massive income jump, and in just 5 years.
Haha. I think so.
Please, share your income trajectory over the last five years.
After my internship in 2017, I didn’t do any full-time roles until 2021. I was mostly freelancing, earning around $3000/month (₦2.1 million). In some good months, I made $5k (₦3.5 million).
However, I desired structure and stability in late 2020. This new desire motivated me to apply for in-house jobs. Luckily, I got an offer to work as a Software Engineer for a talent incubator. My salary was ₦2 million/month.
Unfortunately, I grew dissatisfied really quickly because I knew I could be earning more. And so, when I learnt that a big tech company was looking to hire software engineers, I applied immediately. The application process was quite complicated, but I scaled through and got an offer in May 2021. That’s how I started earning $15k/month (₦10.6 million).
How did you take this massive income increase?
I didn’t believe it at first, but I’m now used to it. [Laughs] I’m even aiming for more before the end of this year.
God when? What will you say is your most valuable skill?
I can easily master almost any coding language. This makes me stand out during interviews and even in companies where I work. Not many people have that ability.
Also, I write well. This isn’t necessarily an extraordinary skill, but it makes me stand out; writing isn’t typically a software engineer’s strength.
Ever had a career mentor or coach?
Yes. I met my mentor at the ICT company where I interned, and he changed my life.
He exposed me to the right information and even helped me land my first freelance gig. He is also one of the people who helped me prepare for my interview with the big tech company.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to earn six figures?
Put in the work! While it’s easy to admire millionaires, you have to remember that most of them worked really hard for it. No legitimate winner got to the top in a day or six months.
Take me as an example. Even though I earn what people would call a dream salary, it’s been years of work. I wouldn’t have landed my present job without a strong portfolio, experience and background.
You cannot earn six figures without working hard and smartly. So get to work!
- Hard work is inevitable: If you want to earn a mouthwatering income like our subject, you have to be willing to invest time and effort in building your skills.
- Patience is key. You won’t reap the rewards of your hard work in a day. This is where patience comes in. It took our subject 4 years to earn his current salary, meaning he probably would never have earned that in his lifetime if he had given up along the way. Similarly, you have to be patient when putting in the work.
- Never settle. Our subject could have quickly settled with his ₦2 million/job, but he had bigger income goals and pursued opportunities to make those goals a reality. The same approach should apply to your career. Don’t settle for less, even if it feels comfortable.