“It is always better to be prepared to meet an opportunity than being unprepared to meet one “- anonymous.
For many, youth service is a jollification period, an existing route from the claws of excessive parental guidance and as the case may be, a period to know new ways and cultures of new people.
While you can catch all the necessary fun that lies within this program, you shouldn’t forget that after the fun comes a bold reality.
From the experience of others, I have learned that most youths in Nigeria are not aware of the gap between unemployed persons and the employed. That most of the reasons they fail to secure an interview, not to mention the job itself are not far-fetched, it stems from ‘you’.
So, here are tips you must follow while in your service year.
- Resume! Get Them Ready: I have been able to have a chat with so many Nigerian graduates after their service year, most of them claim that they never thought of creating a resume/cv for job opportunities. But why? One answer I have always received is, most job offers recruits graduates who have passed out of NYSC. In as much this is true, it’s not true. According to Dipo Ogbeni Awojide, senior lecturer in strategy careers consultant, “Don’t wait till you pass out from NYSC before you start looking for a job. Once the NYSC year begins. Open your eyes and start looking. Send prospective applications.”
- Create Your Portfolio: Are you in the creative field? Then, a portfolio will do just fine. A career portfolio showcases your skills, abilities, and experience. A portfolio can be assumed to be a mini-blog about you. Be intentional about it. You want to be able to build yourself, make others see your philosophy, experience, skills, goal, and objective. Career portfolios have become an important way for professionals to prove skill sets in a way resumes can never do.
- Research opportunities: there are amazing opportunities, research. Go online, browse the company’s websites for job opportunities. There are quite several scholarships but you are just being a sluggard to research about them. Leave Tunde Ednut, Joro and Instablog and fix your future. The time is now.
- Learn new skills: Thank goodness! there’s the availability of skills to be learned at the course of this program. Learn employability skills. Set-skills that will keep you at an edge over other competitors. Asides these kinds of skills, skill acquisition, and other empowerment programs have given many youths better leverage. You do not want to be disappointed when your expected dreams aren’t coming as desired. Get prepared.
- Take a professional certification course: To complete NYSC without building necessary values for yourself, at least by acquiring professional certification courses to sustain you up the ladder, is very wasteful. It would be pitiable to think that your first degree is magnificently sufficient to sustain you during your job search.
- Get involved in voluntary activities: I have friends who likely do not have job experience, here’s my advice: be a volunteer. NYSC is one perfect platform to boost your employability skills using voluntary activities. You can join a recognized religious group, join the orientation broadcasting members, become a platoon leader, and join medicals (if you are a medical graduate). These little opportunities could lead to an amazing future.
- Optimize your LinkedIn: LinkedIn has been verified as one of the leading social media presence to boost your branding and create an online presence of being marketable. It is an ultimate tool for finding new qualified prospects and customers, developing and building professional relationships, enhancing professional skills and recruiting talent. So, what are you waiting for from getting started?
- Set your goals: set realistic goals. What do you tend to achieve within the stipulated timeframe? What can you do to achieve these goals? What process should you be undertaking to get to those goals?
- Create a network: here’s a chance of knowing more people and widening your horizons of positive people. See your placement as an opportunity to know more people and learn from them. Drop every iota of pride and “shakara” at your house. You do not know whom you may meet that maybe a ladder to your next phase of life. How do you grow your network? Attend seminars, be friendly, take initiatives, lead, be a follower.
- Sell yourself: Market yourself. Well, if you don’t, who will market you? I am always enthusiastic about what I do that it becomes contagious if you are always around me. I want to tell you about the new projects that just got started. The truth is, you can only sell value. And consumers sometimes determine the worth of your value. So what? Well, keep topping up more creativity and values, people will buy and pay your price.