#JJCseries: How to not lose your job in 10 days- Pt.1

job

Some things I have to say to anyone new to the labour market are:

  1. Be confident and know your worth: No matter that in this generation, the society goes on and on about the depreciating value of the graduates being cooked up in Nigerian universities, you are of worth. What’s worse than observing the declining value of the education system; being in that said education system. You have suffered through it and prevailed and if you passed on your own merit (whichcan’t be said for a lot of us), you do have something to offer an employer. Do not let anyone look down on you.

That said…

 

  1. Do not rely on just your degree: Never get too comfortable in your knowledge. Strive for more always and if you feel you education has been lacking in any way, pick up the slack. There are numerous courses out there that help you better yourself. Don’t know anything about Microsoft Excel? Pick up a book, use the internet or take a course from a good computer institute. Also always try to broaden your scope. Are you a Biochemist? You could do with a course in project management or supply logistics. A geologist? Safety courses would not be bad.

 

  1. Get experience: Experience can never be bought and it is oh so important. Do not be afraid to do an unpaid job or a volunteer job just to be busy and get some experience. Yes some employers are out there to use you but you could always use them too. In all things, get experience. This is the difference between you and a degree holder.

 

  1. Learn from your mistakes: Try not to repeat the same mistakes. While working a holiday job, I made the mistake of giving a customer change from my own pocket and balancing the books for my boss. This led to my boss thinking I stole from him when said customer came to return my money. Never again. This leads to my next point.

 

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Jennifer is a medical professional. You may reach her via @djenyva on Twitter.

 

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#JJCseries: Top things you weren’t taught 1

Hello!!!

In this first blog in our #JJCseries, I present life-changing statements the way you never heard them before. So what are those things I believe you probably were not told till now?

 

Find out

This has always been a proud and most insulting response to give somebody who needed to know something. Somehow, when we started adopting the tradition of telling people to ask questions, we did not really bring ourselves to the understanding that no one person can be an encyclopaedia of knowledge.

‘Finding out’ means searching out information accurately. It is getting curious, asking questions and then exploring different sources till you meet the bliss of accurate information. Somebody came to Lagos for the first time and needed some direction to where I was. It took terribly long before we finally met. When I tried to get the details of her ordeal, she became a little upset with me. I could not understand why she would depend entirely on the direction given by one person. Is this only applicable to the location challenge? No, unfortunately. It is exactly the same orientation people apply to everyday life but we can explain with the finding-a-location dilemma.

If you have to go to a place you don’t know, then you need to FIND OUT how to. How? Search the internet for the address and in the search results; look for landmarks (like a popular hangout in the area) or a forum discussion. Search for tools that are good for location guidance. You would probably find Google Maps. Use the map to locate the area. Ask different people till you find at least three people pointing you toward the same route.

 

Volunteer

We have a major problem on our hands when people only think of this word as a noun and not a verb. This wasn’t really an issue until we were aroused to it. Let me tell you how. At least 80% 90% of the people who contact us think we are Volunteers in Nigeria not Volunteer in Nigeria. We put up ‘Volunteer in Nigeria’ on all our profiles but for some reason not far-fetched from our noun-verb explanation, they probably think it is an error. So we can bet that many people, if they get to think about it at all, think of ‘volunteer’ as a person who cannot make a wage not really as a superb channelling of effort. Volunteer in Nigeria was founded to introduce youths to contribution-oriented living (via exposure to volunteering and development work) and then ensure that those who buy the idea get the very best engagement opportunities.

 

What’s the point here? There is probably a dangerously selfish thinking behind getting quality education/a job/a life. By the time we are in secondary school and can afford to push further or not, we are wired to think about bagging a good job and helping our families stay above the poverty line afterwards. This may be good thinking but it may also be somewhat short-sighted. Away from your family and small circle of friends are 6 billion people who your career may be beneficial to. Learn the theories and take home the practical. Have you ever wanted to solve a pressing problem and a free search on the freely available internet helped you find a free course or a how-to blog/video or app or website? Me too! Guess what? People like you put those things there. How can you CONTRIBUTE to making the world a better place for others?

 

Make money

Shout out to Kayobi clothing, the maker of the fine ‘Make Fufu not War’ shirts.

Kayobi

What’s the take home here? Very early in life we learn that peace must be disrupted once in a while. We spend good time recalling and recounting the faults of other people. However, to make smart use of time, our most valuable resource; we must put these things away as quickly as possible. If you have been in the world for some time, you would have found that virtually all the issues that take a huge bite of our time can be solved when we have the right attitude and err…enough money. Yes-money! We worry very much about how to find the better job/deal but do not think often about how to increase our money via legitimate and intelligent investing. To grow your money, there are indeed very many options. You need to FIND OUT.

 

What are your thoughts? Tell us those things you wish you were told much earlier in life via comments!

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