Written by Omobolanle Adeyemo – A study abroad consultant and Canada immigration expert.
I see many youth corpers take up professional courses that are not relevant to their field of study or whatever career path they wanna pursue in future.
I was guilty of this when I was serving too.
I did the Customer Service Professional exams, even did the Nigerian Institute of Management and another one yeye PMP training.
None of these have been useful for me and I can tell you that I wasted all that money and time I spent attending lectures and writing exams, I should have used the money to eat shawama and watch a movie sef.
I thought all this would place me in a better position than others when I leave service. I was dead wrong. Some of these trainings are sadly not even accredited and only issue certificates to unsuspecting corp members.
No I’m not saying all these bodies or exams are wrong, but please you don’t need them if you’re not furthering a career in that exact same path.
Many youth corpers save money but use all their money attending one course of the other, they has no long term benefit with where they’re heading to eventually.
I see many guilty of taking up courses in health and safety, Human resource, management and the likes. My dear, if you’re not studying such courses or you don’t intend to start a career in that path, please quit jumping from one professional body to the other. You honestly don’t need them.
1. The first thing service gives you is whole one year of free time on your hands. This is the time to find out what exactly you wanna do. Are you continuing what you were studying in school? Do you wanna pursue another path? Do you wanna further your degree? What exactly do you wanna do when your service year is over? Start a business? What business?
2. If you’re pursuing a career, you need to sit down and find out if you’re the right candidate for employers. Very often, employers are looking for right candidates – people who can fit into the jobs advertised. There are often too many job seekers but very few right ones. The jobs are available but the best fit for the role are actually low in supply.
A friend who is an hiring manager told me some days ago about looking to hire new graduates for a firm start up. When I asked her how the process was, she told me sadly that many graduates don’t know how to write, they couldn’t even put their resume together. Some wrote in abbreviations and couldn’t format their resume to avoid the letters scattering up and down. Many had no additional skills or extracurricular activities asides being in the four walls of their university.
2. There are some basics you should know.
A QS should be able to estimate the total cost of simple things like a two bedroom apartment.
Graduates in the social sciences should be able to write coherently and speak fluently.
An architectural graduate should be able to use Revit, AutoCAD, ArchCaD, and some basic design tools- basic skills to differentiate yourself from the rest.
An accounting graduates should know basic tools like Sage X3, Quick Books, SAP etc.
These are the basic courses you can start with rather than jump from one professional body to the other- such that has no relevance to your career long term path.
Every graduate should know some basic excel, Microsoft and power point tools. If you don’t know, go and learn. These are the kind of trainings you should put your money into.
3. Ensure you create a good social media page or account. Have your linkedIn set up.
What interests you outside work? Find out and start building content around that.
My friend told me that when she tried to be lenient on some of the rules, she requested for their social media handles, to get to know them outside work – passion, interest, other outside work engagements. Unfortunately that didn’t cut it either. It’s either their posts are filled with nothing else except sex, boys, girlfriends, penis, vagina, threesome, men, crushes and stuff in that line.
I recall being interviewed for a job sometime and the CEO requested for my most active social media account. I gave him my facebook account. First, he was impressed with the number of followers I had and secondly, he couldn’t get over my posts.
Secondly, he mentioned that it looked like I have interests in Feminism, women empowerment, relationships and career. I nodded in confirmation. He asked me if I could help coach his teenage daughters (for a fee), because if all I wrote is who I really am, he would want his daughter to grow up to be like me.
I got the job.
4. Find out what’s needed in your field and make plans to know the basics. Read outside your recommended texts in school. Learn how to write and speak well. Know basic research tools – how to use the internet to get what you want. Learn how to reference articles. That additional skill can make you stand out from the crowd. Be employable – that’s the point.
Know how to write a resume. A cover letter. Know how to target your resume to suit a particular job. Start practising aptitude tests to sharpen your numerical knowledge. Do you know how to answer basic interview questions?
Remember that Investing in yourself is never a mistake. Learn something new while waiting for that job. Volunteer in a strategic place. Consider horning your technical experience and soft skills even if it’s unpaid. Do some more research. Read more books. Write better. Get your resume done properly or learn how to do it. Get certifications that matter to where you’re heading. Use your savings to invest in yourself rather than buying weaves and phones (this isn’t bad), but allocate some money for your mental and intellectual growth too.
Remember that if you don’t do this, in the near future when robots are relieving people of their jobs, if you don’t have a comparable skill in the market, you’ll be left behind.
You own your future and your determine if you want to break the chains of poverty and joblessness or not.
NB: this post is strictly for those who want to take their future in their hands, if you don’t want to, save your energy and keep it moving.