6 Nigerians Reveal How They Discovered They Were Underpaid At Work

September 10, 2020

A huge part of life revolves around money yet we don’t talk about it. Especially when it comes to jobs and salaries. In the hope of demystifying this, I asked a couple of young Nigerians how they found out they were underpaid.

Here’s what they said:

Enny/Female/20s.

I did a job for a client where I charged ₦300,000. Then I found out from talking to a friend that I could have billed ₦500,000 – ₦600,000. See, I wanted to cry because the job stressed me. I truly wanted the job because of the client profile but last last there was NDA so wetin we gain?

Knowledge is a weird thing. You can be earning ₦10,000 and be okay but when you realise that you can earn ₦50,000 for doing the same thing, you become disturbed.

Kosi/Female/20s.

One guy hit me up asking for an illustration. He did all the usual begging and beating down of my price. I accepted because I was like let me do him a favour – I’m kind like that.

It’s funny because after I started the job, it suddenly hit me that I had agreed for a much lower price than he first agreed. Like, he agreed for a price, and still beat it down. Like say na jazz. Anyway, midway through the job I realized that it was for a big project for some celebrity and he was just the middleman, giving me peanuts from the entire thing. It pained me die, I can’t even lie.

Igiri/Male/30+

I was being paid ₦70,000 (65 after tax) to write 5 stories daily. You know, real sweat shop shit. And it felt like a lot because that was my first ever job fresh out of University.

Then I started meeting people in the same line of work and I found out how much they were earning. It made me weak. Even worse, my boss at the time was a super shitty person. Like, I’m talking shitty-for-no-reason-Nollywood-villain-type-shitty.

Hameed/Male/20s.

I always feel underpaid especially as a doctor in Nigeria. Since the first day I saw how much doctors in Canada earn, it made me feel cheated and underappreciated.

Tayo/Male/20s.

I don’t know if this is ethical but I was sleeping with the accountant at my office. One day we had a fight and she just dropped it: “It’s because you don’t have sense, that’s why your colleagues earn more than you.”

I was like what???

I can’t even lie, that one entered. In fact, I still hate that girl till today. The funniest part is that I still work in that company and no, I haven’t asked for a raise. Not because I don’t want to but because I don’t know how to.

Ebere/Female/20s.

I remember complaining at work about how broke I was. One of my male colleagues was now like: “I know right. This ‘insert money almost twice mine’ they are paying is not enough.

My head first scattered. I was like: “They’re paying you that!?!?!?!?”

Let me not lie to you, when I found out that I was being underpaid, I actually took a brief moment to breathe and scream into a void.

Editor’s note: Names have been changed to protect the identities of the subjects.

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