• Success Looks Like You

Episode 4: SLLY Speaks Careers Podcast

In episode four of the podcast, I talk to Addy, Diana and Ayo about knowing your financial value and they each share practical tips on how to ask for what you're worth from the jump!

Whatever your chosen avenue, go hard, go all out, hard-work dedication, do whatever you have to do. As long as you make it your own and yo go hard, you will blaze a trail

Episode 4 Speakers:

Addy Frederick, Reputation Management

Diana Apedu, Market Analyst

Ayo Oyebade, Quantity Surveyor

Hey, guys welcome to the Success Looks Like You podcast SLLY Speaks Careers, bringing you the best British Black talent, spilling the tea on all things careers. I'm your host, Mwila, Founder of Success Looks Like You and our motivation for starting the podcast is that we have lots of opportunities for young people to connect to mentors through the programme on a one-one level. There are amazing black professionals who have got so much wisdom and knowledge to share about the industry and careers advice and guidance and the podcast is just a platform to be able to promote some of that good stuff to more people.

Who do we have today?

Hey, I’m Addy Frederick I work in reputation management which is a mix of corporate PR and media relations. I work for a FTSE listed insurance company. My introduction to SLLY was when I was a mentor 2 years ago. I was pleased to see my mentee flourish and she’s gone on to do great things. One of my passions is seeing more women that look like me in senior leadership positions in PR. I’m doing this podcast to help people that look like me to thrive.

Hello, my name is Diana Apedu I have been working within the financial services industry for the last 8 years. Currently working for a financial media company. I was introduced to SLLY by being one of the very first guinea pigs. Very proud to have connected because it was a great opportunity to give back.

Hi, my name is Ayodele Oyebade I am a philanthropist, media mogul and I also work in the construction industry. My introduction to SLLY is basically opening the doors for more young people like myself to get various roles in media and construction. All-round trying to inspire and push people to do well.

Younger self advice

Mwila: Thinking about careers and what you know now, what would you have told your younger self as you were starting out.


I’ll say hold the line when it comes to money. Especially as a woman we often undervalue ourselves. If you start off being underpaid, you’ll continue to be underpaid. I think it’s really important, especially before you start a job, to get what you’re worth because once you’re in there you don’t have the same leverage as when they were trying to get you in.


Sometimes you might not always know what you want to do so be patient with yourself. It’s ok to try different things. Let’s give Law as an example, you only see lawyers in the courtroom may be on the TV but actually you can be a paralegal. You can combine things. Look at the things you like and how you can combine your hobbies to do something.


I would have advised myself to do some research into the avenue that I’m I would have liked to go down. Research and have examples of people within that avenue, their salaries and what they do. It’s better to have a focused approach to wh you want to be. The thing I like about SLLY is that it allows you to link up with people in the industry that can give you the advice you need.


Being curious. There are hundreds and hundreds of jobs out there. Use your curiosity in doing your research. Be present when you get opportunities presented, make the most of them.

Mwila: Let’s talk about what someone in your role might earn, entry-point and mid-level and senior management.


In the financial services sector, the pay brackets are very different depending on which sector you’re in. For instance, private equity will pay you a premium in comparison to high street banks. You can have an Analyst position that starts at 25-35k. Someone with my experience, the bar can start at 40-60k and a senior analyst could be anywhere between 50-150k.


I’m a quantity surveyor, I do all the costings for the projects, everything from concrete, floors, windows and wages for the workmen. Coming into construction with an HND or HNC you can get 18-23k. With a degree coming straight out of uni, you can get 28-35k and once you have some experience, let’s say 2-3 years you can get 40-45k and the seniors can start at about 50 and it goes up uncapped.


Coming in you’re looking at 18-25k. I’ve been working in the industry for 12 years and you looking at 60-90k and then when you get higher your base salary could be 100k+. But you could also get a bonus that is double your base salary.

Mwila: Let’s talk about education, in your industries can you get in without a degree. What did you get from your own uni experience and what would be your advice, do I go or do I not go?


The cost of university now definitely means you need to think bout whether or not it will give you that value. I’ve noticed that a lot of companies are trying to make sure there are other ways for people to get in like apprenticeships.


For the finance industry, the training you get at university will help you. But what’s really recognised is the professional qualifications.


Most big organizations are starting to respond to the change in the culture in terms of what people want to do in terms of their education. There’s also pressure from the government who’s introduced an apprenticeship levy for any company that earns over a certain amount. So I think that now is the time for young people to take advantage of alternative routes.


Staring out, definitely finish your secondary school get you GCSEs. Definitely do college, college is free, get your A levels. You can get into media and construction without a university degree but you’ll struggle to get the kind of salary that you would like. The smartest way around it is to go for an apprenticeship or an internship after college and if you need a degree for your chosen field, try and get your company to pay for it from their professional development fund.

Mwila: What’s one piece of advice or one moment in your career that’s really stood out and what did you glean from that?


Whatever you chosen avenue is, go hard. Go all out. Hard work, dedication.


Remember that all people can say is no. Just ask. If you don’t ask for help you’ll never get the help and people will assume you’re doing fine. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know what could be.


Allow things to not go according to your plan. If that makes sense? Allow yourself to be open and fully take in everything that’s around you. Embrace it all and learn from wherever you can.

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