BECOMING EMPLOYABLE IN PRESENT DAY NIGERIA

It is no news that Nigeria has an alarming unemployment rate. However, life must go on and as humans we learn to adapt and make the best of every situation we find ourselves in. In this article, you will learn some valuable tips that can help you navigate the existing job seeking climate in Nigeria.

It is important that a job seeker has a sense of purpose and direction. By this, we mean identify a specific industry you want to work in and if possible, clearly state the roles you want to take up in that particular industry. As a result of the “scarcity” of gainful employment in Nigeria, many people have resorted to taking up just any job that comes their way without considering a myriad of other variables involved in making such a decision. For instance, if a person takes a first job as an administrative officer in the FMCG industry, later on, this individual takes a job in Customer Experience; before long, another job in IT, after some time, this individual will have experience across different industries and would not be a professional in any, hence that person is limited to the lower cadre of every industry.

Also, it is important for every job seeker to have an entrepreneurial mindset or approach towards getting a job. Having an entrepreneurial mindset means seeing oneself as a product for potential employers. Entrepreneurs are known for their dedication to making their products and services the best. They do this by ensuring their products add the best value to customers, this is the simple secret to every successful business – How much value does this product add? Employees must be able to add value to any business or organisation they seek to work for because employment is not a one-sided affair that should favour only the employee. Employers are more or less investors who would only put their money where they will get returns. Adding value to oneself as a jobseekers involves identifying the appreciated and required value additions in an industry and acquiring them. This is usually referred to as skills and competencies – What can you do?

Furthermore, it is imperative to utilise leverage. This is linked to the last point on updating one’s skill as relevant to one’s industry of choice. People in the 21st century are considered the luckiest set of people to have ever lived. This is because of the democratisation of information and knowledge required to get things done. The internet has been an amazing tool for building skills in 2021. There are thousands of free resources scattered all over the internet and accessible by a single search query. Although some high value information may require payment before access is granted, the free resources are usually sufficient to acquire enough knowledge to land a job. Another way to utilise leverage is by mentorship. LinkedIn is a repository of professional contacts across different industries and areas of operation. This makes it easy to find a mentor and reach out for guidance. In the case that an individual cannot get a personal mentor, it is possible to identify leaders in a particular field and follow their progress as a guide for one’s own career.

This post will be incomplete without the inclusion of Character and Attitude. Character is defined as the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing. In every workplace, there are people at different levels of operation such as customers, co-workers, shareholders and so on and regardless of the skills that a person brings to a job, PEOPLE INTERACT WITH PEOPLE and PEOPLE LIKE GOOD PEOPLE. While it is important to note that people are different and are shaped by experiences, backgrounds and so on, there are universally-acceptable character traits that every decent person should have. Evident character flaws can be the dealbreaker for many job seekers right from the interview stage and it can be a reason why a person may be unable to keep a job for long. Attitude is regarded as a person’s disposition towards a thing or person. A right attitude towards a phenomenon will produce right actions. Job seekers must ensure they, most importantly, have the right attitude towards their work. This will produce actions such as enthusiasm, punctuality, integrity and so on, which are indispensable to getting and keeping one’s dream job.

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