Coping in Lagos as a Professional Without a Car

By -Brown Uzoukwu

Most young and fresh career persons working in Lagos State will have to face the challenges of having to pursue their careers in this town without a car of their own. Before the ride comes, you must learn how to deal with the uncertainties and the obvious experiences that the street have to offer. I have encountered, on numerous occasions, young career persons who have allowed the fact that they do not have a car, take a toll on their professional lives. If you don’t handle this stage of your career life properly, it has the capacity of affecting your personal finances, image, psyche and ultimately, your productivity.

So, today, I will be sharing some tips that can help you navigate through the storms of Lagos until your own ride finally arrives.

Transportation Cost
Lagos State is famous for its high cost of transportation; but, the truth is that, you can cut down on what you spend on transportation if you become more aware of your environment. I can remember vividly when I relocated to Lagos, I spent exactly #750 daily on transportation cost alone going to work. It was eating deep into my monthly take home, so I had no option but to shine my eyes wella. Like one of my friends will always say, “I no come Lagos come count bridge”, so I had to become more ruthless with my finances, and I also increased my street awareness. This brought down the transportation cost to just #300 daily.
Please guys, let’s use our heads. Unlike the ladies, no matter how long we stand at that bus-stop, no one is going to give us a lift until the next solar eclipse. So we must be street smart and prudent in spending as regards our movement. Take advantage of the BRT services and the ‘molues’. They are cost effective. Don’t use bikes unnecessarily. Try walking some distance especially after work. It is good for our health ok. *winks*

Public Conduct
Before your ride arrives, it is important you conduct yourself properly in the public for a better image and security reasons. Ensure, you use the pedestrian bridge where ever it is provided instead of crossing the highway. Even if you won’t use the pedestrian bridge because it is the civil thing to do, use it to avoid being a prey for the scavenging eyes of the men in uniform. Those KAI guys can really make your day start on a bad note and you don’t want that.

Secondly, avoid sitting on the aisle in the BRT. This way, you reduce the chances of other passengers messing up your clothes with their luggage and stamping the hell out of your shoes. While the seat by the window is most preferable, remember not take phone calls with your hand that is by the window. Avoid stories that touch.

Finally, reduce the rate at which you eat in a public transport or in the street.

Clean-up Kit
For those of us who work in a more professional environment that requires you to always appear cool, calm and calculated, it is important that we acquire a handy clean up kit that will enable us maintain that cutting edge professional image. Most ladies already know this, but carrying a mini clean-up kit is not an exclusive reserve for the female folks. Guys, we also need the clean-up kit.
There is no excuse for showing up untidy to work or before a prospective clients for the guys in the field. By the time you are done jumping from one BRT to another Danfo, then to one ‘Marwa’ (Keke Napep), you will realize that you are no longer looking your best.

So for the guys, I will suggest that we arm ourselves with a simple clean up kit that will consist of a face towel for keeping our face dry and dust-free, a spare handkerchief for dusting our shoes, a hair brush or a comb, a powder and a cologne for maintaining that fresh aura.

You know how it is, when you leave your house in the morning smelling and looking good, but then you have to pass through an area where some boys will bath you with the smoke of their Indian hemp; or you find yourself having to deal with areas along your route that produces a very strong stench from undisposed waste. Even when you finally board a vehicle to your destination, one ‘Iya Abike’ will also board the same vehicle with her carton of Fresh Fish to complete the deformation process. By the time you get to your destination, you can’t even tell what you are smelling of. This will affect your confidence level and ultimately your productivity. A simple clean up kit will be handy in this situation.

Use your bag and free up your pockets
It is not proper to keep your pant pockets too busy. Things like your wallet, extra phones, ear piece, handkerchief, money and your key should be kept in your bag. It helps you to be more coordinated and more aware of yourself. Having most of this things in your back pocket or breast pocket makes you look tardy and also vulnerable to theft, loss or damage of your properties.

Remember, the idea is for you to be at your best always, and make the most of what you have at the moment. Cherish the moments you have to work without your own ride. It is merely a season of your life. Don’t allow your professionalism, competency or productivity to be questioned because you don’t have a car yet.

Harris Steve said “It’s not what we don’t have that limits us, rather, it is what we have but don’t know how to use”. Have a great day and don’t forget to make your work your passion.

The quickest way to fall in love with your job is to imagine yourself without one. Thank God its Monday #TGIM.