The alarming rate of unemployment among youths is mind-boggling. It’s a common trend to see people graduate for many years without a job. The problem of unemployment has generated so much interest that some unscrupulous individuals and organisations are beginning to cash in on the situation to extort unsuspecting job-seekers. Eradicating unemployment is fast becoming a million dollar enterprise.
All around major cities, you will see photocopied and hurriedly written vacancy posters littering the walls- “Night workers wanted in a factory”; “Hotel Manager wanted- salary from N70, 000”. One wonders what time of the day such notices are posted. Many job-seekers who yield to such adverts share stories of how they were lured into different ponzi schemes and made to lose the little money they had on them.
Over time, we’ve put the blame on the government, the man-no-man syndrome and our educational system. We grew up believing that once you study well, make good grades, the job will follow. You will agree with me that this is no longer the case as there are a number of graduates with impressive grades still job-hunting. See Why “A” Students Work for “C” Students.
Many have concluded that the jobs are simply not available. In this article, I hope to disabuse your mind from stereotypic statements like:
i. “the jobs are not available”;
ii. “ýou can’t make a living without a 9-5 job”;
iii.”you can’t get a job if you do not have the right connection”.
Let’s take these statements one after the other. While it is true that companies are down-sizing and cutting labour cost to keep afloat, companies are still spending money on a daily basis advertising job vacancies in newspapers and online job boards. What I discover is that there’s a disconnect in skillset. As a job-seeker, the question you should ask yourself is this: What skills do I have outside of my first class/2.2/2.1 certificate? You would be surprised that many of the subjects taught in schools are not applicable in real world. Depending on your field of study, you should acquire skills that will set you apart from others. I recommend Skills that Pay the bills.
While you can not make a living without offering value, you can make a living without a 9-5 job. In fact, while waiting for your desired job to come, you can be self-reliant. There are 1000+ practical business ideas you can execute in virtually every sector of the Nigerian economy from agriculture to art to finance to health to ICT with information on how to access funds and protect your business idea.
Someone once said “if you’re not born with a silver spoon, make one”. While you may not be born into a rich and influential family, you can start connecting right from where you are. Join social groups, meet people. If you’re a religious person, be active in your church, mosque or shrine. Be known there. I know quite a lot of people who have secured jobs through church/mosque links. Connect!
If you are reading this and you’re below 30, I say congratulations as you still have a lot of time to make some life-transforming adjustments. I strongly advise you read 30 things you must do before you are thirty.
See you at the top!