By Mofoluwake Omololu
While you were in school it seemed like you had life all figured out. You were sure what you wanted to do with your career, you had a time frame and a lot of money to make. The world you envisioned was just so ideal, nothing could possibly go wrong. After all you’ve worked so hard to land a first class and even if you didn’t get it you were so close.
Now you have to wait for National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme to decide where fate would lead you, even if you already knew where you wanted to go. Posting comes and thank God you’re lucky and get your choice, or you seek and favorably get relocated to Abuja/Lagos where there’s plenty opportunities you just need to tap into.
So you’re here now and won’t get accepted in any of the companies you’ve applied to, unfortunately there’s no uncle to pull you through this one too. You’re resigned to take whatever you get because time is running out and you need the extra income from your PPA because allawee doesn’t even meet half the needs you have plus the cost of transportation is a headache.
You finally get placed to market products you won’t buy if they were the last options, it’s okay though since it’s not just you and the rest can relate with your rants so there’s always somebody to talk to.
You will survive service year, putting your dreams on hold since it is mandatory, but it’s over almost as soon as it begins.
Unlike the stories you’ve heard, your PPA writes your discharge and sends you off with a toaster. It’s cool though since you’ve been applying in person and online. Calls would soon start to roll in.
Four months after service and your most corporate shoe is already wearing thin from the trekking you have done looking for a job and in a bid to save money you don’t have.
You’re walking the fifty feet there are to get home and bracing up for the stares, and not so silent accusations, that will be sent your way. Then you begin to ponder your offence or what it is you have done to deserve this fate.
Your offence is that you don’t know the right people in high places.
Your offence is that you don’t have experience of 5 years and above.
Your offence is that your CV is not catchy enough.
Your offence is that you’re not willing to pay ‘the man’ bribe to secure your job.
Your offence is that you don’t think relocating to a strange land with no security (were you don’t know anybody and the company won’t put you up) for a salary of #40,000 is not an idea worth considering.
Your offence is that you expect too much from a society that has so little to offer.
Dear employer, it’s not suppose to be our fault, after all we’ve gone through the expected process to acquire a degree that qualifies us for the position we’re applying for.
Where are we expected to get the experience required when there’s not even an opportunity to get a job to learn on. In a country like Nigeria were the possibility of a holiday job is almost unimaginable.
You were once where we are, why are you doing to us what you didn’t like others doing to you?
So, that we don’t know somebody that knows somebody, what does this say of us even? And yet some people will use the same mouth they’ve used to call somebody on behalf of their wards and preach against favoritism and nepotism.
Or those in authority who request for bribes of different kinds for placement opportunities.
Then that your CV is not catchy enough, is it the font or the design or the qualifications (that meet your requirements most of the time) or the type of paper? Help us know where we went wrong please.
And realize that it cost money to journey to different States of the country for interviews that we’re not so sure of; money we don’t have. When we reply asking for Skype or telephone interviews be kind enough to hear us out.
When we’re asked if relocating is an option and we say yes, we assume that you will be providing accommodation, even if it’s for the time it would take us to settle and acclimatize to the new environment.
As for society, unemployment is one of our many banes and aside talking there’s not much else being done to tackle it. It’s our loss as a people when there’s more dependent people because somebody has to pay for them one way or the other and these ways most often involve vices.
Dear fresh graduate and undergraduate, my advice is, learn something, anything even, as long as it’s legal and you’re sure it’s lucrative, this way you’re not useless to yourself and those around you.
Dreams are free so I won’t say stop dreaming, but try to incorporate dreams that fit into our society and our reality. This way we’re not likely to crash and burn, we’re not likely to fall into depression and such.
Blue collar jobs are making waves these days so there’s nothing to be embarrassed about, you need to survive so you have to keep busy. Don’t sit down wallowing; instead, get busy doing what you know how to do.
Dear politicians and top government officials, please think of the youths. Don’t kill our morale. We’re losing hope and we don’t think it’s the right thing for us and our society. Provide jobs and opportunities and security for your leaders of tomorrow. You shouldn’t allow the things that were an issue when you were younger remain an issue now that you’re older and in a place to ensure that things are done rightly.
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Diary of an angry and frustrated graduate
By Mofoluwake Omololu