Nigeria they say is a land flowing with milk and honey. But is it ? We are told to come home because the opportunities are endless. However day in day out, more graduates are released into the streets, they fill up the buses in their corper uniforms, some are fortunate enough to have cars to drive them to interviews, however how many graduates actually get jobs? Not just jobs but good paying,needs – satisfying jobs?
A friend of mine complained to me that the issue with jobs is how many years work experience the companies are asking for. Some ask for 5 years, some ask for seven, some ask for three, however, how are we supposed to get work experience if we are not even given a break?
As I wondered and pondered on the next step of action to take with this generation of mine I realized how many of us are actually employable? How many of us fit the requirements? What do we have to bring to the table apart from a B.SC, L.L.B, M.S.C.
I saw a Broadcast message on whatsapp that triggered me to share this piece of information I was fortunate to have been blessed with. Firstly, the world is moving forward, we are in an IT generation, many of us tweet and share pictures without knowing that employers actually go to our pages to check out our substance. For some of us there is nothing of substantial value there. Mostly it is subs ( this is a slang), foul language, clique fights, sex. We need to realize that what we put out there for the public has an impact in our lives long after the 24 hours on snapchat.
I remember many of my classmates saying after our last paper they will never carry a book again. How do u expect to be given a job if you are not willing to read? A saying goes the best way to hide something from an African is to put it in a book. The mind is only as powerful as you exercise it. Interviews are not just limited to what u were thought in school, what u have learnt outside school is substance. Stop filling your mind with just music lyrics ( which is good ) fill your mind with books, poems, articles, publications.
It is quite surprising that we spend so much time on our gadgets but we are not conversant with power point, Microsoft Excel, e.t.c. For any employer to take you serious you need to be equipped with these skills, this is a basic requirement.
Professional competence? No matter the course you read in school there is always room for improvement, there is always an exam you can take to place you above your peers. Now a University degree does not cut it. We have ICAN, ACCA, B.L, CIARBNIGERIA, ICMC, Project Management, etc. Register for a professional course today, don’t just register! Excel!
Etiquette!!! This is missing in our generation. many of us have poor time management, poor decision making in picking the right outfit for a working environment, lack of respect for our superiors, poor accountability skills, how do we expect to be offered a well paying job if we don’t have these skills?
NEWS!! Not just local news but international news. Are you aware with what is going on outside the four walls of your room. What is your take on the Kaduna Crisis? ISIS? ISREAL moving its capital to Jerusalem, The Syria War. The Ripple effects of Great Britain leaving European Union?
Enough Chastising! What is the way forward? The most important step is to open our minds. We need to realize graduation is not the final bus stop. It is just the beginning of a looooooooonnnnggg road. Keep yourself positively busy, read books ( motivational and inspiring books, learn a trade or enhance your skill, learn how to use Microsoft Office, publish articles, take Professional exams, sharpen your etiquette.
Many of us might not want to hear this but a 9- 5 is not the only road. Entrepreneurship is slowly taking over our economy. Search inward and find what you are good at, perfect it and start up a business, no matter how small. This can be done alongside your office job or full time. The point is don’t keep waiting for a job! Create your own job.
Lastly, INTERNSHIPS!!!! Internships are so important and often overlooked. So many companies are offering graduate internships. Some pay while some don’t. I understand why many of us do not want to work for free ( who will pay for transport, feeding, data?) however, the truth is we are not aware that experience cannot be bought with money, many individuals started off volunteering and ended up getting a job offer, some learnt on the job and went on to be qualified for other jobs.
Don’t Sit at home and Complain that Nigeria is bad, no matter how bad it is people are thriving. Be the change you want to see, make yourself ready! So when that job comes around the question will not be are u qualified for the job? Instead the question will be is the job good enough for you?