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Observations of a Young Nigerian Female . Powered by Blogger.

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I am young, "normal" and I like to write. People say I eat too much, people don't know what they are saying.

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16 Working Girl Purse Essentials


My Secret to Always Being Ready

First things first, if you’re Nigerian, this article is about your handbag.

Purses are messy. They don’t start out like that, but one week after you’ve organised your purse, you can’t find a pen no matter what you do. It’s always the pen, always. This is quite normal, but if you are a boss girl like I like to think that I am, you can’t afford to have no pen in your bag. Working girls have real needs for their purses that exceed phone, money and lip gloss, even though we need those too.

To start with, the size of the purse can’t be the size of your typical hermes bag. Your everyday purse has to have enough space to take in the important things without looking bulky. So, you better take your eyes off all those tiny purses that only have space for coins. Save them for the weekend, but if you’re like me, even the weekend needs an everything purse. In fact, I should call them the entrepreneur bags, or career purses, or executive purses? I’ll sort out the name if I ever decide to start a purse line.

One too many times, I’ve been stranded without important things that could have fit in my purse. I don’t mean stranded like when you go on a date expecting to get your bus fare back and he just says “thanks for a great date” and drives off. I mean, stranded as in needing something or the other for work related matters, and not having that something. To avoid that, I’m about to share something with you that I’ve been doing since my university days.

Every morning, on days that I have to go out, I pack my bag. I do this even before I go into the bathroom for a bath. Now, packing a bag may sound like something you do only when you’re traveling, but when you’re a go-go girl, then you know that if you’re stepping more than 10 feet away from your workspace, you might as well be traveling. So, every day before I go out, I pack into my purse all the items I imagine I might need. If there’s a possibility that I could need to use it, it goes in the purse. If it can help me get some emergency work done, into the bag it goes.

Now, I’m sharing some of those items with you, so you can be organised and ready for anything no matter where you are and what time of day it is. Let’s get started!

1.       Mobile Devices: I say devices and not devices because I’m a writer and it sometimes feels like I just have to have all the devices working at the same time to put one article together. So, for me that’s the iPhone, the iPad, and the android phone. The iPhone because you never know when you’ll need a camera. The iPad because it’s better for reading documents, and sometimes you have to do a review, a revision, or a rewrite in the back of a moving bus. Back in university, I never bought a bag without checking that my computer would fit in it. It was a mini-notebook. I can’t do that with my bigger laptop now because (a.) it might rip my shoulder off its socket (b.)  that would be a really big bag (c.) I have the iPad now.

The point is, you need your devices just in case something comes up and you need to send an email or find a document.

 2.       Phone Charger: Do you like going about the office asking for a power cord? Do you like to live like that? No one does. Put a spare cord in your purse, because you cannot afford to have your phone go off. Unless of course you’re not a working girl and you wandered into this page by mistake.

 3.       Alternate Power Source: I live in Nigeria, and here, electricity is an elective for the power company. It sucks, but it is what it is. Everyone here owns a power bank, and sometimes you need two. But even if you don’t live in a third world country, you might step out for a 20-minutes meet and not get back until the end of the day because of unforeseen circumstances. That’s why you should always have a power bank in your bag. Everyone else you’re out with may be enjoying the Friday party, but if you’re a freelancer, an entrepreneur, or honestly, most working humans today, something might come up. You may have a deadline after hours, or a meeting with a client in a different time zone, or an email that needs a response right away because your boss knows no weekends and NEEDS that info for a document she’s working on, or you’re the boss.

You can go partying, but you can’t be caught out with a dead phone. What if someone wants to place an order or you suddenly get an idea for your project and you just have to put down a few sentences to develop later. Ok, maybe I should have specified that this article is for workaholics. No harm, no foul, right?

 4.       Two Pens, Because Pens Are Fickle: It’s better to have no pen, than to have one pen and then discover it doesn’t work. It is the absolute worst situation to be in. so, put two pens in your bag, please. This can do something else for you. When the boss or the client starts to tap his pockets or ransack her purse, there’s no better feeling than the one that comes when you offer a pen, your extra pen. The meeting can only go up from there.

 5.       Notepad: Ideas, checklists, shopping lists, your sanity mantra and all the other things might be great on your phone, but nothing beats pen and paper for developing ideas and making lists.

 6.       Health Stuff: You can’t afford to forget your inhaler, epi-pen, insulin shot or any of the other emergency health items. Because nobody wants to die. Also, thrown in some pain killers, because of projects that try to kill you and the monthly cycle. None of these things should be the same one you use at home, because you do not want to forget your inhaler on your desk on the wrong day. Have a home inhaler, and a purse inhaler. I’m saying inhaler because I can’t just keep saying emergency health stuff. It’s long.

 7.       Money: Does this need explaining? I always carry my debit cards, but there are always those places where you get a look when you ask for a POS. Leave some cash in your purse so you don’t end up doing dishes at the place where you bought lunch because they’re cash only and you can’t find an ATM.

 8.       Lip-gloss: Some will say this is not essential, but don’t listen to that. You should not be walking into an emergency meeting with chapped lips. Also, if you ever run out of the house without putting on any makeup (and this actually happens a lot), lip-gloss is enough to brighten up your face and make you look less drawn. My lip-gloss lives in my purse, but you should probably have a spare.

 9.       Mint bubble gum: I added this here for two reasons; (a.) I like food with fresh onions in it (b.) there have been multiple times when I had to run out early in the morning straight from bed and completely forgot to brush my teeth. With a card of mentos in my purse, I can manage such situations temporarily. Get you some gum, girl.

 10.   Bottle of water: Dehydration can mess up your day. I always put a bottle of water in my bag the night before. Yes, like a little, geeky kid in elementary school, I pack my bag the night before. I regret nothing.

 11.   Wipes: Wet wipes or small tissue paper; whichever you like, don’t forget to put it in your bag. I recommend the Paloma tissues. They come in small packs so it fits easily into your purse and doesn’t take up space. Wipes are convenient for bathroom trips, and the times when you eat bole or roasted yam at a place that doesn’t offer napkins. You deserve to eat all the oily finger foods you want, but you should have something to wipe your hands with. Don’t go smearing red oil all over the place.

 12.   A Scarf: This may not be an essential, but it works for me. I have a small scarf in my purse, and I use it to tie my hair back when it gets hot and I need to focus on work. Long hair gets in the way sometimes, actually a lot. You might benefit from a scarf in your purse. I also keep rubber bands in my purse for the same reason. Even more, I grew up in an orthodox church, so this was very convenient because I could go to church from work and not bring on the wrath of ushers and elderly women.

 13.   Wristwatch: I know this one is a little weird, but it will get clearer in a minute. I feel incomplete without a wristwatch, still somehow, I find myself running off without my watch on my wrist. This of course makes me feel uncomfortable the whole day, if I can’t run back for it. To fix this, I started leaving my wristwatch in my purse at the end of every day. So, when I get home, the wristwatch goes in the purse, and not on the table. It might help you, or be utterly useless to you, but it might help you. I think every professional should have a watch on their wrist. It’s old –fashioned, but it still gives you a look of importance, like what you have to say matters. Even if what you have to say is “Pepsi is better than coke.” Shame on you if you say that.

 14.   Earrings: As you may have guessed by now, I run out of the house in a hurry a lot. I forget things jewellery a lot, so when I’m on the road and discover I have no earrings on, there’s a pair in my bag that suits every outfit. Or maybe it doesn’t actually suit every outfit; I wear it anyway.

 15.   A Tiny Perfume Bottle: This is for midday and end of the day meetings. Just in case you’ve had a really active day and you stink just a little, or a lot.

 16.   A Nose Mask: It’s 2020. If you don’t have a mask in your purse, you are going to have to buy a new one every day you have to stop at a supermarket, or a restaurant, or well, anywhere at all.

 This was supposed to be a short piece like all my other articles, but it got away from me. I hope this helps you be prepared for anything that comes up in the day. It saves you time when you can just grab your purse on your way out and know that you have everything you need for the day inside.

If you love these tips, leave a comment and share.



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  1. This really helps, thank you! Especially the perfume tip. I get out the house smelling like mint money and arrive at my destination smelling like firewood (enter random person burning garbage by the roadside)

    Oh and mouth sprays are a great tip in place of gum, it can be rude popping it like a RnB singer at the office.

  2. I agree, pens are fickle. You can be very comfortable carrying the most curvy pen but you step out and realise you need the one that only has a blue cover.

    For a mouth freshner, I carry a mouth spray and Xylitol because the later comes in a classy bottle and you can pop a gum even if you're sitting in a room full of professionals.😂

    Another important one for me is any item for feminine health; pantyliners
    for myself and sanitary pads for strangers who may need my help. I love to act saviour so I always carry sanitary pads to save a life. With the pantyliners, it saves me the extra urine smell that'd have lingered on my underwear. Paloma tissue is great,also having a pantyliner is important as well. Females don't stick tissue way inside their private to clean whatever, we simply clean the vulva area and try to dry the place up but trickles of urine will drop because your underwear will find it's way into your private and get some drops. That can be avoided by carrying tissue and extra pantyliner asides the one worn from home.

    The last thing that never leaves my bag is handcream or any lotion. AC can dry out your skin and I love the soft feeling that moisturizers give. The feeling that comes with freshness boosts confidence and of course improves delivery.

    I really loved this article, I actually went to drop a card of painkillers in my bag just now😂 but only because I can be a saviour when someone needs it.

    Thanks for sharing, Jelly.

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  4. Soteria Standley5 October 2020 at 07:34

    This article is amazing! 2 things I like waking up to are, my Bible and something inspiring for the day. This may not be the "inspiring" one, but it was so worth the time. I never got bored at any point, considering who the writer is ��

    Thanks Annie! I think the only thing I'm guilty of, is the lip gloss�� but I'll definitely add that to my purse.


  5. I have face masks littering everywhere yet I still lack in my handbag sometimes. Yes, shame on anyone who thinks Pepsi is better than Coke...LOL. This is helpful.

  6. I've laughed and I've learnt. Brilliant piece💓

  7. I totally love this. I laughed and I learnt a lot. An all-around funny and insightful article.

  8. This is very apt, every time I underrate the importance of all these things but then this cannot be overemphasized. I really do need to work on that pen part😂😂😂


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