Many graduates like myself once thought the easiest way to make it big in life is by going to school, graduating, and getting a job.
We’ve had our lives planned way before we graduate, but after school, life happens, and it dawns on us that things don’t always go as we plan. We’re left distraught and disappointed because the labor market creates no room for us to fly.
The Nigerian labor market makes it evident for many young promising graduates that although education might be the key, it rarely opens the preconceived doors. Hence, the youths have to find other entries that the key can open. Below is a list of three things every graduate and prospective graduate ought to know before graduation.
- Education is only a tool.
Nigerian youths have to see education as a tool. This doesn’t mean it will automatically land us good-paying jobs immediately after graduating, no. However, we can practicalize our course of study. Don’t wait till you’re hired; hire yourself. Be productive.
Last week, a friend of mine had an encounter with a doctor of books. Is he gainfully employed? No. however, he’s implementing what he has been taught in school. He has a tutorial school where he tutors students about to sit for their senior school certificate examinations (SSCE). And he also coaches undergraduates and the M.A students in my friend’s department.
The truth is, we are the deciding factor. We’ll decide if we want to be victims of a wrecked system or use it as a turning point for success.
- Learn a course/skill
I have heard several people complain that they have to work in an official setting to implement their courses of study? And so, what can they do when the job isn’t forthcoming?
First, don’t sit idle – that’s what you can do. Second, there are quite a lot of high-income skills you could learn.
Don’t make people who aren’t ‘literate’ poke fun at you. You don’t have to take up menial jobs that aren’t befitting. It’s only in Nigeria you’ll see a graduate work as a cab driver, while the skilled uneducated youths sometimes live like kings.
I think the word ‘skilled’ should steer something in us. Learn a skill and level up. Would the journey be smooth? No. but I promise, it’s always worth every stress and penny you spent while learning the skill. Put your ‘first class’ brains into use. With God by your side, you can be anything you dream of becoming.
There are many intelligent Nigerians who have explored this part and are successful at what they do. A prominent example is the CEO of Anjy Luminee Couture. Despite being a graduate, she’s skilled in fashion designing and has gathered her success and fame through her skill and the dedication she puts into it.
She wasn’t afraid to start small. She began with a sewing machine and a yard of a lining. Now, she has built an empire for herself. The bottom line, find something you’re passionate about and explore it diligently.
There are so many high-income skills that don’t even require you to step out of your comfort zones; you could be in your pajamas all day, lounging on your couch while working. Isn’t that life worth living? Some people are making millions working from home.
- Have multiple streams of income
You’ve learned a skill or have a job that’s giving you a steady income, and you feel relaxed? Unfortunately, many people across the world learned a severe lesson during the covid19 pandemics.
Those who have a single means of income and have to go out to get money were cash-strapped. However, those who have multiple income streams were not affected, especially those who work from home. If you have a 9-5 job, try getting side hustle(s) that can pay the extra bills.
Another good thing about having multiple income streams is that you can provide income to other people, thereby helping the country’s economy. For example, a copywriter with a 9-5 job who has a couple of copywriting gigs to deliver will consider outsourcing some of these jobs to skilled people in copywriting.
What stops you from reaching the sky? Nothing stops you. You can only be your stumbling block. Remember, if you can dream it, you can achieve it.