HR Millennial: The Overworked Assistant

HR Millennial: The Overworked Assistant

It is no news that we all have that overworked assistant in our organization. The one who does all the background work to make things happen while the boss gets the glory. It may even be you in your organization, and you cannot complain simply because it is your passion or you are trying to work your way up the ladder. But then, while this is ongoing, shouldn’t there be a point where you consider your health and how this also may affect your life?

Stress varies from one person to the other; what may stress me might be easy-peezy for another, so it is very important to personally identify what causes stress and inculcate coping mechanisms.  Focusing on the subject matter in a corporate Nigerian, this post is to address issues that may arise and differ from individual, organisation and even geographical location.

In case you miss the introduction post, please read here.

We’ve got a mail, again, please read below.

Dear HR Millennial,

I studied Banking and Finance as a first degree. Once I graduated, after taking the advice from professionals with financial encouragement from my parents, I enrolled for membership to become a member of the Chartered Institute of Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).  Going for classes, reading for the diet exams, were easier to juggle during my service year.

After service, I got this job to shadow (to be a PA, sort of like an internship role) my current boss; he is the CEO of an accounting firm. I know I learn a lot from him like the dynamics of the financial environment, how to close business deals, I have even improved on my business writings of proposals, emails and executive summaries. Although, I am learning, I have to work longer hours because I am at the beck and call of my boss, sometimes work on weekends and miss preparatory classes, I barely get to hang out with my friends. I must admit, I miss the flexibility that service year gave me.

My problem is that I feel I am doing too much for this man, and may not be able to focus as much on my professional course, which I have to ace as it would be a booster to my professional growth.

Please advise.

The Overworked Assistant

Dear Overworked Assistant,

Truthfully, you are with the majority of employees that face the issues of juggling work with studies, some have to include family responsibility and demands to the list.

Firstly, I should commend you for taking the step to boost your career prospects, (many people are yet to make this decision), so I wish you the very best in your endeavours.

My suggestion would be to cut back on some ‘extra-curricular activities’ (that’s what I’ll term them). Remind yourself this phase is only for a while, yes, body no be firewood, but these too shall pass, for now, these are the ‘DND’ days.

Channel all your spare time to reading and preparation of your exams. As you have stated, you are learning a whole lot working with this individual, which is a plus for you, and therefore also important for you to prioritize activities, so, you can be able to give your best at work and also for your exams.

You should also speak to your boss, explain the importance of this course to your career growth and eventual growth of your stay in the organisation. Also explain, classes can be missed only due to impromptu work exigencies.

Always here,


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HR Millennials, Millenials and HR, overworked assistant
HRM is a certified human resource millennial practitioner who addresses white-collar issues and proffers opinions faced by Nigerians in the working environment. You can send your questions to And follow on Twitter


  1. April 16, 2018 / 11:36 pm

    Hey Debs, this story reminded me of my ex colleague who worked his butt off but wasn’t appreciated for his hard work, and the funny thing is he was stuck there and couldn’t find another job; I used to feel sorry for him. Your response to this mail is apt. Hopefully I get to read more posts like this which will help millennials address work related issues. Great post 👏🏼

    • Akingboye Deborah
      April 17, 2018 / 12:38 am

      This is understandable and sad and it’s so unfortunate he ended up in such without finding another job. Neither did he manage to find a balance.

      I’m glad you find the post helpful. Thanks for stopping by, hun 💙

  2. April 17, 2018 / 12:53 pm

    Great Post. Quite helpful. Well done Deb

    • Akingboye Deborah
      April 17, 2018 / 1:00 pm

      Thanks Tee, glad you find it helpful

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