It is 2016 and of course your journey as an undergraduate is about to end or has ended. You are extremely optimistic about the future and you are sure that you have more to offer your prospective employer than others. You check your ‘tool-box’ and you feel confident you have all you need: good graduating CGPA, a curriculum vitae with awesome recommendations etc. No doubt, you are well prepared, but how prepared? If you are reading this, I plead that you go a step further in your preparation especially as regards the labour market. Truth of the matter is that no matter how good your result and recommendations are, there are over a hundred other people like you, yes I said that, quote me anywhere! So what do you need to step up your game? It’s very simple, you need intuition, creativity, honesty and diligence. Let’s imagine the four mentioned above are ingredients for a soup, the soup is called SKILL. To survive in Nigeria after school, you should be prepared to embrace the fact that you may not get a job and if you get one, it may not provide enough money. In order to save you the trauma that comes from endless job hunting, I advise you get a skill. However, if you do not apply intuition and creativity to your skill, you will easily fall into the basket of those who have a skill but cannot earn a living with it because there are too many providers of the service. You may have thought about venturing into photography or makeup artistry but you think that there are already too many people in the field. What I always tell people is that the world continually rotates and as such people die everyday. Among those who die, are service providers who leave clients behind. I know I sound sadistic but it is the fact.
Learning a skill is but the first part. In order to survive, you have to be ready to continually look for new avenues to make money from. Do not assume that learning a skill will automatically guarantee financial security. You also need diligence and honesty. I need not tell you why you need honesty. As for diligence, this is one weak point of most young people. It can be too easy to give up on a particular hustle as we call it. The problem can come from unnecessary comparison. You look at your hustle and compare it to that of another young person which is doing very fine. You do not know how much money and time they have invested and the truth is that you can never fully know. All that you need to do is put in your best, be patient, be industrious and honest.
Importantly, never forget your education. Your certificate is not a uniform, it is a badge! It is not meant to identify you as a member of society, not meant to affirm your worth as a human and it is not a regular ritual that you must go through in life. It is a badge meant to make you stand out. Your education should give you an edge and make you a better person. Just because you studied Philosophy and end up working as an event planner does not mean that you should completely throw the knowledge out the door. Use it everyday, in every possible way and carve your individual path in life!