Every Nigerian undergraduate heaves a sigh of relief the moment they write the last paper of their final exams, no matter what part of the world they find themselves. They tend to think the worst is over and they are pumped up with enthusiasm for the future. Most of them who are not in the country immediately return home with copious optimism despite the fact that most of them have little or no knowledge about the Nigerian job market and potential careers for them.
Fortunately, life does not start and end within the four corners of the classroom. It is important that you are properly prepared – mentally and otherwise- before jumping into the labour world, that way you are prepared for every possibility.
If you have just graduated from university and you have decided to move back or migrate to Nigeria to start a career, we suggest 5 things you should keep in mind.
Slow your roll, it is not a race
You have just graduated, you have so many dreams to achieve, your goals and vision seem so feasible, and because you have so much positive energy, you are possessed with the strong urge to achieve them all immediately. You then find yourself comparing your strides with those of friends and thus filled with self-loathing when most of them seem to be ahead: they are already in Law school, graduate school or have landing a great job while you are still at home still watching reruns of Jenifa Dairies.
While it is fairly common to justify your worth immediately after graduation, you need to keep in mind that life is not a race. Give yourself time; your path does not necessarily go in the same way as others. Take your time in forge your path…and remember, the race is not for the swift.
Your degree does not guarantee a job
Yes, you worked your heart out at the university, studied every night, attained excellent grades and graduated Magna Cum Laude. However, these achievements in school, no matter how laudable, do not entitle you to a six figure job, with full benefits and a corner office.
You need to get your head out of the sand and realize that your mental ability and hands-on skills are what sets you apart in the real world. Forget the degree! Take personal responsibility and equip yourself with the courage to shape your future with your own hands.
Experience is worth more than the pay
Do not be too fixated on how much you earn. You are just starting out so be smart, take the first few years to gain the best possible experience that and equip yourself for opportunities to make all the money you need in the future.
Do not stay idle waiting for the job with the huge pay, it may never come, as in Nigeria, experience matters a lot. Take the internships, the unpaid jobs and use the opportunity to build a network of contacts. Spend your days and nights gaining valuable working experience and marketable skills. The experience and skill will eventually separate you from all the others who graduated with you and set you apart.
Your Social Media page has a huge influence on the opportunities that come to you
Social Media is huge and almost everyone has an account on either Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat.
While you have free reign over your account and can post anything you want on it, you need to be cautious when sharing stuff online as you cannot regulate the number of people who visit and view your wall. One of them could be your prospective employer or someone who is linked to a company you have applied to. Avoid immature comments and foul language as most times, companies use their potential-employees social media profiles in order to know them better…and you want them to get a good impression. Create a social media profile that reflects your ambitions, and provides a link to your resume for potential recruiters.