Communicating with Dami was interesting and inspiring. I’ve known him for some time but I’ve never really had these deep discussions, so this was great to do.
Damilola Adenuga-Taiwo fondly known as ‘DJ Damiger’ started out his career wanting to be an Engineer. He went to the University, graduated from Systems Engineering and not long after, he branched out into Information Technology ‘IT’.
After getting some certifications and experience, he was ready to settle into IT security. About four years ago, he relocated to Canada for his post-graduate studies and now works as a Cyber Security Consultant.
But that’s not all, he has a strong love for music.
“I love how beats sounds and it’s always been that way since I was a kid and the passion grew.”
In the University, he started mixing songs unprofessionally for 8 years, listening to radio DJs and decided to go professional after some time. It’s now been 5 years.
Did you think I was done?!
DJ Damiger is also a lecturer at a College here in Canada where he lectures a course on Hacking, Exploit and Penetration Testing.
I was curious and wanted to know how he merges it all -these three careers or professions! He giggled and I could see that feeling of surprise even to himself.
Calmly, he responded:
“Sometimes I wonder how I do it all and I almost want to give up. All the same, it sort of keeps me going because I’m a person that loves to be challenged.”
“My IT profession supports my major career. DJing is something I have love for… a hobby and a passion, while lecturing is a way I give back to the community or people, and that’s how I’m able to balance it.”
Of course, I probed. And so he had to continue speaking:
“It wasn’t easy and at some point or the other, I was unemployed and found myself going into DJing full-time and when I have a job, DJing becomes part-time and so on. It wasn’t less of a passion, but I loved doing it and I find myself doing it. I try to figure out the type of DJ job I can do and still maintain my full-time job.
For example, weddings happen on weekends and are really good to do. Concerts also happen on weekends and so I get involved. As well as birthday parties which happen on weekends or on weekday nights and this is how I am able to merge it all.
My job is quite flexible and so it allows me do my DJ jobs when I have the time. But, if I had a typical 9-5, I would DJ during evenings or weekends. But it’s not the easiest thing to do because Djing isn’t something you just go in to do or figure out on the day.
Your level of preparedness for an event depends on how you are able to think about the kind of songs people will enjoy, and that’s how people judge if you are a good DJ or not.”
On how culture has affected him especially since he is an immigrant in the workplace, he had this to say:
“It helps that I speak English. I’m not saying this to be witty, but language could be a barrier and deter you from making friendships because of communication issues.
In a work environment, you have your own goals as a person and you are much more judged on what you can do and the soft or technical skills needed for the job.
In the work environment of today’s world, I feel that soft skills are much more in play when compared to technical skills. If I were to give a ratio, I’d say it’s a 60:40. 60% being soft skills, and 40% technical skills required for any job.
The more soft skills you have, the more people are likely to relate better with you and like you on the job. I focus on my soft skills and try to communicate better even while I work on my technical skills.
How warm are you at work when people approach you? How likely are you to make jokes? These are skills needed on a job but not many people realize this and I think it’s important.”
I asked him how he schedules his time, giving that he has three professions and he was willing to share his tips thankfully.
“My personal time is doable to be honest. I’m not the best with time management or spend so much time planning my schedule on an excel sheet, but I sort of plan mentally.
I mentally picture hours of sleep per day. Most of my schedules are planned daily. This is good and bad at the same time, but I’m constantly trying to improve this. I try to socialize and have my personal time spent on events or parties once in a while.
Having three occupations or careers at the same time doesn’t afford me enough time to balance things really.
So I just try to be purposeful in my planning. I try to mentally plan my cleaning time, sleep time, and all of that to be at peace with myself. I think it’s important to dedicate time for personal time off.
It’s not a concrete advice, but that’s how I currently function because if you have three things to focus on at the same time without making these plans, you may loose it at some point.”
One of my standard questions is asking workers how they deal with boredom. It sure happens every once in a while and many complain of this. I did ask him and he was brutally honest with me.
“I talk to other people. You can’t play games at work, or watch movies because you don’t want to be caught doing that honestly. I think the better way to go about it is to talk to people.
I mean to engage in meaningful conversations. Go out with them for lunch or coffee. During breaks do something you haven’t done in a while, or go for a walk just like Zinny does every other day.
And be creative. Do what you love. Work-life balance is important. Anything that makes you happy at work, go ahead and do it.
Even if it’s ice cream you want, because your state of mind and mental health is really important. Pay more attention to that because it helps with your performance on the job.”
I wanted to know how he has been able to adjust to a new environment and what he has learned. He shared this:
“I came here as an adult and that’s pretty different compared to if I was coming in as a 16 year old. Experiences are different. So I had a direction when I was relocating. It made the challenges less difficult to embark on.
Coming from a very warm region to a very cold country wasn’t an easy thing on its own. It’s hard to come in during winter and get used to the education and all that.
My advice is to settle into the environment as quickly as you can (get a bank account and other things sorted). Don’t give excuses or compare anything to your previous place of residence.”
Giving yourself less excuses as a human being helps because it makes you focus on the new environment itself. Making friends help too. I can’t also not mention God in this. He has played an important role in it.
I’m not the most prayerful, but I have a belief system and I lash unto Him and he helped me out when I relocated. So whatever your belief is, hold unto that – Christian, Muslim, Buddhist!
Have a goal in mind and be persistent and have your eyes on the prize. Having a goal should be the first step because it helps you stay focused to get a hold on what you want.”
Out of the blues, I asked him which he would choose: Games or Sports?
He made it clear that he would go for sports, especially soccer. And that he takes walks. For relaxation, he makes calls to random people and it relieves him of stress. He picks a random place and goes to once in a while.
“Will Smith is.
He is one of the hardest workers. He has made a lot of money and lost it, been broke, came out of that. Been something, been another thing and continues to inspire people.
He didn’t make the perfect decisions in life at an early age, but was able to bounce back. He is the combination of talent and hard work and I identify with his life and it’s something that keeps me going as a person.”
I also like Kevin Hart because he is really enterprising. He may not be the funniest comedian, but is the highest paid.”
I hope you enjoyed this chat I had with Dami as much as I enjoyed reporting it.
Please let me know what you loved about the interview in the comment section below. What worker would you like for me to interview next? I’m always on the look out for inspiring workers.
I love hearing from you, so please let me know!
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