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Cover image for 2021: Kaizen or Nothing
Teri Eyenike
Teri Eyenike

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2021: Kaizen or Nothing

Writing this personal review on how my year went is kind of emotional. I have always procrastinated writing or avoided it the previous years, thinking I was no match to others writing theirs.

I am a lot courageous now, and I am grateful for how the journey so far has been for me in 2021. Choosing the title with the word kaizen was something I learned from Andrei Neagoie from his "Future Proof Yourself" talk earlier in the year on Zero To Mastery (ZTM).

What is kaizen?

For me, a simple explanation of what kaizen means is the continuous slight incremental improvement I have witnessed in 2021. Kaizen is a Sino-Japanese word.

Work

This year, I began the year jobless, and it was a tough one, and my mental health wasn't all that great. I persevered and made a promise that I would make it no matter how little my win came.
Here are some of my highlights that filled my face with a smile.

  • I became an author with Hackmamba and participated as a technical editor during the content creation hackathon in partnership with Auth0 and Cloudinary.

  • Got a job as a full-stack developer in an ed-tech company in Lagos.

  • Got a badge from my participation in the HarperDB hackathon for my job board application.
    Badge of participation

  • Taught a group of enthusiastic web developers as a web development instructor even when I doubted myself if I could do it. I did pretty well for the 7 months I partook in the exercise.

  • Made a couple of six figures in NGN from content creation. I became happy, and it stabilised my finances. The next target is 7 figures and higher in NGN.

  • On October 1, 2021, I received an email that I got in to be AWS CB (Community Builder) which came as a shock because I had forgotten I ever applied for the program.

  • Next was HackerNoon congratulatory email on becoming a blogging fellow. 2022 will be filled with me writing a lot.

  • Networking and connecting with people virtually made me calmer and relieved as I have worked most of the year from home.

Speaking engagement
Even though I promised myself I would speak at tech conferences this year, fear and imposter syndrome always kicked in 😜. Next thing you guessed right, I will say next time I send my proposal to speak. But finally, I gave a talk in December 2021 on Clubhouse.

Speaking engagement

The not so pleasant ride

Remarkable events occurred in 2021 but with a twist of rejections, failure, and ways to improve in 2022.

  • Got rejected for a lot of open roles. About 60+ or more rejections. Some never got back with "unfortunately" 🤐

  • Received an L in August as I left my full-stack developer role

  • Failed at the last stage of the MEST EIT and didn't get the chance to be in Ghana 😭

  • Technical writing saved me from my depression, and I hope to get better at it and churn out more content

Moving forward

Going into 2022, I will be more intentional about what I want to achieve.

  • Try to take fitness more seriously and be stronger

  • Learn the craze and buzz about Web 3.0

  • Also, I want to learn about the standard practice of DevOps

  • Make more money 💰. I am not shy about stating my intention

Conclusion

As mentioned in the work section of my review, some events in 2021 made me smile, and I promise to build on that and go harder in 2022 and make more memories that weren't as pleasant in 2021. Things can only get better from now on as this write-up has been on my mind all year, and I finally inked it on the digital space (the internet) 🚀.

Finally, 1% improvement every day is what is categorising my 2022. And I believe so much in the kaizen process.

Teri Eyenike stretching his arms

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