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Thursday, 7 January 2016

iRelate Buzz: Is Getting A Job REALLY A Job?

Job Market
*Photo used for illustrative purposes only*

I came across this piece which was written by my dear friend, Izere Imosemi (I'm not famzing though), and I found it very interesting and knew I had to share this with you guys. Finding a job these days has become a job itself, very competitive and highly tasking, with the ''who you know syndrome'' being the order of the day. 

There are lots of tips you can learn from this piece and apply to the job search hustle so stay glued and READ below;

When I was in the university, my friends and I studied hard to graduate with a First class or Second Class Upper Division grade. We had been advised by well-intentioned parents and guardians that graduating with a good grade was a sure ticket for a well-paying job. We believed them; how ignorant we were.

The idea that a good university degree is the key to social economic mobility is one that is still sold to many young people today. This misguided sermon is often used to encourage students to study hard and obtain good grades. Upon graduation however, reality assumes a different face, many youths shockingly realise that getting the dream job is exactly what it is: A “dream”!

Getting a job requires a blend of good grades, strategic networking, seizing opportunities and resilience. In fact, getting a job is a job!

The first step towards landing that dream job is to realise that there is no such thing as a dream job. There are good jobs, well-paying jobs, flexible jobs, jobs that allow you use your abilities and skills. The dream job on the other hand is an illusion that we create in our minds.

I have yet to meet an employee, who is completely satisfied and happy with his job. Every employee I have interacted with appears to be “managing” their current jobs till something better comes along.
It seems like employees all over the country had a meeting and decided to live in a perpetual state of dissatisfaction until a better job comes along. People often discover later that the better job they have moved on to is not as fantastic as they had imagined.

We live in a fast-paced world, and things are constantly evolving, chances are that the skills and knowledge acquired in school may become obsolete or irrelevant at the point of job search, hence there is a need to constantly improve your skills to stay relevant in the market.

Another important fact every young graduate should realise is that your qualifications or impressive results, do not guarantee automatic employment and you may actually never do a work related to your field of study. Many people who studied courses like engineering or meteorology work in banks and financial institutions. Even graduates with “exotic” foreign degrees are not spared this dilemma. In this time, more than ever before, employers are increasingly prioritising experience over qualifications.

Most people in between jobs are silent about their search because they feel embarrassed at telling people their plights. This is a costly mistake. When you inform people about your search for job, you inadvertently increase the “eyes and ears” that will be on the lookout for opportunities for you.

Contrary to what a lot of people believe, the fastest way to get a job is through referrals, and not applying online on recruitment websites. This is not to say, one should not visit or upload CV’s on recruitment websites, by all means do. The truth however is that a friend or colleague in a company where there is a vacant position is more likely to inform his “jobless” friend and may even put in a word on his behalf with the line manager, before the vacant position is advertised publicly.

Job seekers should address their resume to the decisionmakers, the key is never accept a “No” from someone who cannot give you a “Yes”. It is not a good idea to visit offices and submit your resume to the secretary or receptionist, particularly when there are no advertised vacant positions. This set of people have no authority to employ you, but can give you a “No” by discarding your CV, or not handing it over to the appropriate authority. Rather, your resume should be properly sealed and directly addressed to the MD, line manager or any other person with superior influence and authority.

Before applying for a job, it is important to review your resume and ensure it reflects the skills required for the advertised position. It is wise to research companies that invite you for interview to learn about their business objectives. There is also a need to prepare adequately for interviews. One of the ways of doing this is to research likely interview questions, and hold a mock interview session with a friend. During the interview, it is better to calmly admit ignorance than give a wrong or foolish answer to a question.

Young people should join social groups, that allow them mingle with older people who are more established in their career. Most youths would rather hang out with people within their age range, as many find socialising with older people “tricky” and boring. The fact is that often times, the people who can quickly assist you get a job are largely older people with settled careers and expansive network.
But what if you have tried all of these things, and   your job search has been unsuccessful, what other options do you have? It is very crucial at this stage to remain positive, as it can be extremely frustrating, and psychologically debilitating, when one has tried to get a job for weeks, months and sometimes years unsuccessfully.

If you have tried and failed to get a job related to your field of study, you may need to consider exploring other options. Evaluate your skills and competencies and determine which other areas you may be interested in.   Be flexible in your job search, keep an open mind, be willing to try new things and you may be pleasantly surprised.

Another option is to offer to work for free in an organisation that provides the kind of career opportunities you wish to pursue in the future rather than stay at home doing nothing. This will provide an opportunity to learn new things, and gather relevant work experience. Furthermore, one stands a chance of being assimilated as a full staff in the organisation if one proves resourceful enough.

This option may be difficult for people who are in dire need of finance and cannot rely on their parents for help or support. In this case, be willing to start small, accept a not-so- well- paying job, teach in a local school in your community. Start a non-capital intensive business, explore agriculture, take up a vocational job, learn a handiwork that requires little or no capital. Skills like sewing, baking, cooking, hairstyling, plumbing, repairing of electrical appliances should not be regarded as skills for the unlearned.

There is a lesson to be learnt from the makeup, photography, and events planning industry. A few years ago, makeup and events planning were never really regarded as jobs, while photography was viewed as a profession for the not-so-educated. Today, people both old and young are ditching their traditional jobs and hard-earned professional qualifications to build careers in event planning, photography and many other non-traditional jobs. The lesson is this, no skill or job should be regarded as reserved for “lower class” or uneducated people. Any service offered, if properly packaged and professionally rendered, may bring more financial satisfaction and psychological fulfilment than the conventional 9-5 job.

With the current economic situation in our country, it is important that young people begin to think of creative ways of generating income outside the structure of the traditional white collared job. This can be done by finding a way of providing your best value to those who will benefit from it the most and charging a fair price for your goods or services.

Whilst education remains the fastest and surest route out of poverty, a certificate remains just what it is, a certificate! At the end of the day, it is not your class of degree that matters, or the number of certifications you have, rather it is what you do with what you have. This year, refuse to be jobless. Do something, do anything! Except going into crime and criminality.

Credit: Ms Imosemi, a lawyer based in Lagos, wrote via

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