Some things I have to say to anyone new to the labour market are:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Jennifer is a medical professional. You may reach her via @djenyva on Twitter.
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