For many Nigerian graduates, the road to finding and retaining a job can be a tedious one but the advice from these 13 women will go a long way to help you see things in the right perspective and do better.
You have to step out of your comfort zone. Apart from attending the traditional networking events, you just have to TALK to people. Some of the best people I have met were on trains, planes, Starbucks, social media etc. And don’t let your only agenda be to network to meet people for the sake of what they can do for you. People can smell that from a mile away and nobody wants to be used. Have a genuine interest in getting to know people. YOU ALSO NEVER KNOW WHO SOMEONE MIGHT KNOW. Also have something intelligible to say. Be well versed in your industry, current affairs and other things of value.
If it doesn’t come as quickly as you want it, have a plan B. Search deep within you, What can you start with the knowledge you have gathered? What services can you provide? What can you sell? Start something even if it is small. Train, read about it if you have to but don’t sit ideally waiting NOO! DON’T.
Work to gather experience, be humble and teachable even if your superior is younger than you.
Don’t get stuck on what you think a good career path looks like. Enjoy every opportunity that comes your way, there isn’t only one way to build a solid career. Some climb a ladder, some swing through a jungle on vines. Regardless of which one you find yourself, grab the bull by the horn and own it!
1) Pick up the phone and call directly. Ask questions about the role, ask if they do internships/or open to volunteering. Make it personal. 2. Once you get in, make yourself indispensable. Be open to helping different teams. Don’t wait for them to ask you for a task, have it ready. And ask for feedback whenever you can on a report/project/task.
If it doesn’t work out at first, don’t give up. Keep trying on the side to apply to more places while you tap into your passion! Yes I said passion. Now is the time to also focus on what you just loved doing ‘casually’ invest your time into it and watch it grow. That way, you’re not completely ‘jobless’ and when that job opportunity finally comes, you can decide whether or not you still want to take it.
My advice, if the job comes while you’re doing your ‘Passion,’ take it. There’s nothing stopping you from having a 9-5 and running your own business. This is the ‘right age/time’ to work smart and pray tirelessly.
Don’t be afraid to ask. It can be as simple as asking anyone for a job opening. Don’t be afraid to volunteer and work as hard to get something concrete, opportunity comes in any form
As much as possible, let your core desire be : a job/role with multi opportunities to learn and grow. Money is good, but knowledge is unmatched.
Be prepared to volunteer or start at the bottom. Keep adding to your CV while you wait for the perfect job. Remember the perfect job doesn’t exist, just what you make perfect for you. No matter what you do, work damn hard and keep learning.
As a fresh graduate, the salary shouldn’t be the first priority. You might be lucky to get a job that will pay you well but if you don’t, look out for gaining experience. You don’t have to wait for that dream job.. Build your dream job yourself by giving your best to what is available at hand
Define your purpose: see the whole picture and decide exactly what and where you want to work… Then start small, intern, volunteer, gather all the knowledge you can, push yourself, be humble and likeable, learn, learn, learn, work….by all means bend your head and work, do your very best, build meaningful connections, reach out, develop yourself, don’t give a minute to chance…. Always be so occupied with personal development and growth. While doing this, keep applying to your desired organizations. Prepare yourself for everything… Interview, trainings, the actual job.
Apply in different organisations even if your years of experience are not up to the stated years. 2. Gain a wide range of skills. 3. Volunteer when you can, it will add to your work experience and give you projects to talk about during your interview. 4. Network, talk to people when job hunting someone may know someone that knows someone. 5. When the interview date is here, don’t be timid, be bold when answering questions even if you don’t answer correctly, most times, they need to see how bold and confident you are.
1) Passion – Passion is a tricky one. A lot of people say “do what you are passionate about” but you have to be careful with that. Your PASSION has to make sense in the business world and it MUST have a USP (Unique Selling Point). If you are passionate about cupcakes and there is nothing unique about your cupcake company or there is no special service/product that customers can get at only your company then personally I will tell you point blank, do not start a cupcake company because all you will be doing is joining the masses. Most people are so focused on their first passion that they forget to explore their other passions. Also try to keep your “passion” broad, that way, your can infuse your passion into any career you may find yourself. That has really helped me. I have found I have 5 main passions in my life any I try to incorporate all 5 into everything I am doing.
2) Network – When people say network, most people think this is an excuse to go for parties. No. Go to every business related event you can attend. Collect numbers. Follow on social media platforms. Join the conversation of LIFE. The more people know you, the more they will be willing to help. If a business man or woman sees you at multiple events diligently putting yourself out there, you will stay fresh on their mind especially if an opportunity comes up. PEOPLE DO BUSINESS WITH PEOPLE THEY KNOW. I will always look for a friend to carry out a job before a total stranger.