The experience I’m going to be sharing with you on this post isn’t really my first job, but it’s my first paying job and that’s why it qualifies.
Ever since I was in secondary school(high school) I’ve never worked a part-time job or anything of the sort, even though I always wanted to. The opportunity just never presented itself then or now. I live in a small town (some would beg to differ) and it’s not easy to come across a decent paying part-time job.
I was in my first year of University and I wanted to be able to supplement whatever allowance I got from home. I wanted to enjoy and make the best of my time on campus, it was time to get a job. There was just a little problem, all the challenges I told you about getting a part-time job were still there, they had not miraculously disappeared, the nerve!
I hit the internet, searched google for different ways I could make money online, offline, best part-time jobs, etc I would toy with some of the ideas for a while, and then drop it. I was scrolling through Instagram one day when I stumbled upon the perfect job I could do.
It was event hostessing and I thought to myself “why didn’t I think of this before?”. Event hostessing was an opportunity to get out of my shell and it was a challenge to myself as I was very shy back then. Plus, I get to make money while doing all of this.
Event hostesses/ushers create a warm and inviting atmosphere for guests and event attendees. Hostesses work at a wide variety of venues and social functions, including art gallery events, restaurants, wedding receptions, fund-raising efforts, conferences, and trade shows. They greet and direct guests upon arrival, provide them with the information they need, and answer other questions as best they can.
I started looking for job opportunities and hostess agencies to join, but opportunities near me were few and far between. I even worked a couple of events for free in the hopes of better offers, these I chalked up to training for my main job even if they were not pleasant experiences.
The day that I came across what would later lead to my first job, I was just going through the hostessing/ushering Instagram communities and hashtags as usual. An agency was recruiting new ushers and the agency works majorly in Ibadan. Ibadan is not exactly close to me at 1 hour to my location but it was the best I could do. I practically jumped at the offer, I applied and I kept my fingers crossed.
I passed the first test and qualified for the video interview. I did this and passed as well. I was ecstatic, now it remained the small but significant hurdle of getting myself to Ibadan whenever there was a job. For the moment though, I was in, I had the perfect part-time job and that was all that mattered. This time was around the end of the year and when Christmas rolled around I decided to spend it with family in Ibadan.
Just before I left for Ibadan, a job alert came in for the 28th and 29th of December, just a few days after Christmas. Is anyone still in doubt as to why I chose to go to Ibadan for Christmas? The event details and location were provided and I was able to prepare in advance. I was a little bit nervous but overall excited.
I got to Ibadan, had a lovely Christmas, and waited anxiously for the 28th to roll around. The event was a 2-day elite wedding ceremony. The call time was 10 am and I was up by 6 am. I got ready and applied my makeup as was recommended for the event. By 9 am I was out of the house and was on my way. On getting to the event center, I was the first hostess to arrive. My boss and some assistants were already there as well as the organizers and decorators. My boss just confirmed my identity, and gave me some instructions and told me where to wait, and just as quickly as he appeared he disappeared.
Very soon after, my colleagues started arriving. Most of them were already acquainted on previous jobs and when they met me they were all so nice and jovial. I don’t know what I was expecting but I was pleasantly surprised. I guess it came with the job description, event hostesses need to be well versed in human relations and be very good with people.
We were given our uniforms and then we got changed, while some girls applied makeup for those who could not by themselves. The atmosphere was interesting and it gave me the feel of a girls’ locker room. Before the event started we were briefed about the mode of operation for the day, the number of guests, and were assigned portions of the venue to handle once the event was in full swing. Then we took individual and team pictures for the agency to publicize with. Soon after, the event started.
For the most part, I mirrored what the other more experienced hostesses were doing, tried my best to be helpful to the guests, most importantly I was on my best behavior. I was almost overwhelmed at a point, but I got ahold of myself. According to the other hostesses and judging by my own experience now, the job that day was a very easy one.
I enjoyed myself massively even as I worked and we were well taken care of. We ended that day on a good note and were given the call time for the next day. The job for the next day which was the wedding reception was a rinse and repeat of the previous day, with a little exception to the seating arrangements and I even got tips!
On getting home that day, my payment was already sent to my account. I felt so fulfilled like I could do anything. Baby girl got her first payment ever! Looking back now, it’s not as much as I would earn now as an event hostess but as a newbie, it was more than enough. Working 2 days in a row made it even more substantial.
I still work with that agency now and I also freelance. I can’t wait for Covid-19 restrictions to lift and for me to be mobile enough to start working as a hostess again.
Wanna know what I spent my earning on?