How specializing in one field helped me get my foreign gig

Winner Ajibola


#GreyChat is a laid-back series where Grey users share their experiences with Grey. We discuss their relationship with money, tips for financial freedom, and other fun anecdotes. Want to get featured? Let us know here.

Vic is a Software Engineer working remotely in Nigeria for a US company. In this chat, he shares how he switched from juggling multiple Nigerian freelance jobs and how not being a jack of all trades pays in the long term.

Hello Vic. Please share a little bit about yourself.

My name is Vic. I work as a software engineer with a US company remotely, and I’ve been using Grey to receive my payments for over a year now.

Oh wow. That’s before our rebrand?

Yes. I get paid on Deel and use Grey to receive this payment in Nigeria. It’s easier than using Wise or Payoneer, and it was easy to set up. So I’ve been using it since then.

Before Grey, were you using Wise to receive your foreign payments?

At all. Before Grey, I was receiving my salary in Naira because the company had a partnership with a foreign bank.

They used their standard bank rates, so it’s fixed. This means the conversion wasn’t really favorable. Because of that, I only stayed in that company for a year before moving on to my current role.

How long have you worked remotely as a software engineer?

That’ll be like two years plus, I think.

Have you always been a software engineer?

I started my own career path as a software engineer, or should I say, I switched very early. I won’t get into the details, sha. But when I started, I worked with Nigerian companies and did a lot of freelance gigs on the side. Now, I just work for a single company. There’s really no time to even take on any additional gigs again.

Do you think you’d keep being a software engineer in the long term?

I love to write code, but I think there are other interests I’ll explore in the future. For example, I have an interest in clothing. These days, it’s very difficult to get clothes that fit you, especially if you’re plus-sized. So it might be something I’ll go into.

I could even do agriculture, sports, education, and many things, to be honest. But when I switch, it will be to something that excites me though. Not something to make money, and I’ll end up being bored.

Lmao, this is something someone with money would say

Hahaha…I don’t have money, please.

Is there a piece of advice you would give to a junior engineer or someone trying to transition into software engineering?

Nigerian developers are really good, based on my experience. You may not know, but compared to developers in other countries, we are good. Sometimes, the only other person on your team that’ll be better than you will be a Nigerian.

It already shows that the culture here pushes people to do a lot. So don’t look down on yourself at all. Know your stuff and be confident in it.

Most companies also hire people who specialize in a specific area. They don’t often look for a jack of all trades, as many would think. It’s how I’m landing roles because I’m good in the specific field I’m in.

So my main advice will be to build relevant experience in a specific area and be really good at it.

Okay! Thank you. Now if you were working at Grey, what would you love to implement?

I was waiting for the app for a while, but that’s dropped. I wanted a virtual card too. Because there was no way to spend the money, but that has also been resolved.

What I’ll recommend would be a savings feature or an extra wallet. This is because I end up moving all my money from Grey to spend it.

So if I could stash up some money and then, over time,  move it to my main account, that’ll be nice. It could be flex, one-month or long-term savings. Anyway, to sha save on Grey.

What’s your favorite part about being a Grey user?

What then was how simple it was. There was no app, so it was pretty much a website then. I loved that it was very simple and efficient. I was receiving funds, and the payouts to my bank were also very fast. I know you guys are still improving, so I’m sure it’ll get keep getting better from here on.

Thank you. If you had a Nigerian, Kenyan, or Tanzanian working in your company, would you refer them to Grey?

I already do this. I’ve referred everyone I know to Grey already. So I do my part by talking about the app.’

Was it a referral that brought you to Grey?

Oh yes. Some guy kept bugging me till I signed up. Lol

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