First Day at Work — Zikoko Employee Edition

March 24, 2022

Have you ever wondered what a first day at Zikoko looks like? Well, it’s a different experience for everyone because some are getting free food and others were told to sing. 

“I tried to act cool”

— Ifoghale, the newsletter writer who moonlights as a sweet boy

My first day of work was April 1st 2021. I didn’t really know what to expect, but when I logged into slack, I saw a bunch of cute welcome messages and they made me really happy. I didn’t reply immediately because I wanted to seem cool. So I let enough messages come in before I finally said thank you. 

I had no idea what my week would look like, but I just kept being whisked from one meeting to another. I wasn’t really nervous, but everything just seemed to be moving so quickly. That’s why even though I wasn’t meant to work that week, I met with the social media manager so I could get to work on newsletters. She gave me some codes and her handover note, but I didn’t start work till after my onboarding. 

“I got free food”

— Dammy, the copywriter who exposes women’s secrets

My first day was full of onboarding meetings. I was very surprised that the onboarding was planned out in my calendar and would last for two weeks. In all the places I had worked previously, I’d never done any proper onboarding. I just dove right into work

The thing that intrigued me the most was how well thought out everything was. It felt so exciting joining a company that had structure and wasn’t just working on vibes. It’s so funny because, from the way Zikoko portrays themselves online, you’d never expect how much planning goes into the work we do.

When I visited the office for the first time, the admin gave me a tour of the office and told me that everyone gets free food on their first day at the office. When the food arrived, I almost shed tears.

“I forgot my email password” 

— Ruka, the managing editor that’s too bougie for Zikoko beer 

My first day at work wasn’t physical, so nothing striking happened except for the fact that I forgot my email password. So there I was — a newly hired manager — dm-ing the CEO to help me with a  link to reset my password. 

My first physical day was on a Friday and there were drinks at the office. I’d been warned there’d be beer, but I came with a bottle of wine and my wine glass. You could say I came prepared. 

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“Dwin told them not to embarrass him”

Ama, the copy editor who’s always dragging everybody 

The first thing I noticed was people’s hilarious Slack names that reflected their states of mind. Susan was “Su-Su Peppersoup”, Malakai was “Kai Is Cosplaying Happiness” and later “Kai-Kai like the strong drink”; Kelechi was “Kelechi’s Drafts Are Eating Him Up”. 

I’d never been in a chill place before where people actually liked their teammates, so it was sort of a culture shock. There was a lot of banter. Dwin, the editor-in-chief, told everyone to give me a Zikoko welcome. He said, “Ama is joining us today as our Copy Editor. Say, ‘welcome plis don’t embaraz me.’” Everyone welcomed me with, “Welcome Ama plis don’t embaraz me,” while David responded with his account number.

The time I visited the office (I work remotely), they gave me rice and chicken and coffee. So that was fun. 

“I said nonsense” 

— David, the NairaLife writer who keeps pet goats

When they asked me to introduce myself, I thought I said nonsense. I tried to be funny and since nobody’s camera was on, I don’t know if my joke landed or didn’t. Luckily, nobody laughed at me or anything. After the meeting, they sent me my onboarding schedule and I realised there were so many meetings. 

Since my first day, I’ve been trying to get everyone to sing on their own first day, but it doesn’t work because my coworkers are dead guys. As for sending my account number to Ama, it was because I wanted to collect offering money. 

“I didn’t have a Zikoko ‘first day’”

— Dwin, the editor-in-chief who writes the spiciest emails

My first day at TechCabal was on a Monday and during the meeting, people were talking about what they did during the weekend. Not only were they talking about their weekend, but they were giving great detail about it too. It was interesting to watch. 

Technically, I didn’t have a Zikoko “first day” because I used to work for TechCabal, our sister publication, and was already familiar with the team. So, I just had a transition period where I was kind of doing both jobs and then only one. 

“David lied to me that I had to sing” 

— Samson, the Citizen editor that may get us arrested 

Switching to Zikoko was my first major change of work, so it was hard to set expectations for what to expect. I was already prepped for what my week would look like before my first day at the office, and I was impressed. I was given a quick tour of the office when I arrived, and my assigned buddy, David, helped me settle in with an introduction to everybody. On the day of the introduction, David told me that everyone sang on their first day as an initiation thing. I was scared that by the time I was done, there’d be bleeding ears. Luckily, that didn’t happen. 

Also, one of my new teammates said I looked like an academic, and another said I looked funny. I was amused because both are opposites. The rest of the day was mostly just about having onboarding meetings, getting to know the company and what makes it tick.

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“I wore formal clothes. Welp!”

— Mariam, the HER editor who carries women’s issues on her head

I was super anxious and had no idea what to wear. I ended up wearing something super official which someone at work told me, “Let this be the last time.” LMAO.

When I got to the office, three of my friends who already worked here at the time calmed me down. Eventually, I was calm and everyone welcomed me. It was a good day. 

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