It will not be wrong to say that the term unemployment rings in the ears of Nigerians on a daily basis. But it is rare to hear people talking about underemployment which is even a greater issue.
For instance, a National Bureau of Statistics report says that while unemployment rose to 10.8% in Q3 of 2015, underemployment stood at 18.5% in the same quarter. Factor in the fact that the economy has entered a recession since and you will begin to get the picture of the number of those who are currently underemployed.
No wonder, facts from the World Bank’s ‘Nigeria Economic Report’ reveals the country’s employment challenge lays more in line with underemployment than unemployment.
According to the NBS report: “With eight million Nigerians technically unemployed (not including the remaining 14.4m underemployed), this means four per cent of the worlds unemployed are Nigerians.
“If we add the number of underemployed in Nigeria, in the interest of seeking full time and gainful employment for Nigerians, then Nigeria will represent about 14 per cent of global unemployment.”
That is a scary stat for a country naturally blessed with both human and natural resources as Nigeria is.
Either way, from various researches conducted, it is apparent that the various challenges facing Nigerian youths in getting desirable jobs are numerous. And though some challenges also exist in the private sector, the level of inconsistencies and restrictions in the government sector is particularly alarming.
Considering that jobs have almost become a lottery in Nigeria, here are the reason why it was particularly hard to land your dream job in 2016:
You failed to use your network
Despite the fact many tend overlook this aspect, networking has been known as the most effective and easiest way to get a job. There is a story of a lady that went for an interview and the interviewer was already impressed after a minute of going through her impressive CV. Asked asked why she hasn’t gotten a job since graduating two years prior, she replied that “No one wants to give her a chance and that getting an interview is difficult”. When asked her if she doesn’t have friends or relatives that can link her up or at least get a help she replied that she doesn’t have any friends. Its absurd for someone to go through secondary school and university without making friends. What that means is that she never imparted or contributed to anyone’s life. It is wasted opportunity if you are like that. It is good to build relationships as they can be a good pillar of support at difficult times. Now think back of those good friends you made at secondary school, university, polytechnic, hair salon, church, club meetings neighbourhood, bus station, gym, super-market, clinic or even a relative. Go and speak to each of these people; you will get help that will make your job search easy and faster. It is the most reliable way of securing a job.
You weren’t creative enough this year
Getting a job nowadays require high levels of sophistication. Gone are the days when you submit your CV and hope you get called for an interview. Here is an experience shared by wealthresult.com:
“Matthew Epstein is a very good example of how you can get sophisticated in your job search – He wanted a job at Google though Google didn’t advertise any job vacancy. He set up a personal website, with the name GooglePleaseHire.me and produced a video resume which he uploaded on YouTube. Due to the hilarious way he presented his case in the video, he was able to attract many views and got noticed by TechCruch. Few days later, he was feature on TechCrunch and other big websites. In the video, he showed how good he is at marketing by trying to show he could market something – in this case, himself – and the result was excellent. In three weeks the personal website he set up had 720,000 page views and had to shut down due to capacity problem. Google didn’t hire him though but he became online sensation according to ABC News and got so many offers from other companies like Microsoft and Amazon. At the end, he landed his dream job at SigFig.com.
Now, you need a job with the multinationals but the sad truth is that they may never come if you keep waiting for them. So, you need to do something now and reach out to them in a creative way. that is the only way you could distinguish yourself.
You may not necessarily need to make a video resume and send to any of the above mentioned company but must find a way to be extraordinary to land extraordinary jobs in Nigeria and if making a hilarious video resume is what it takes, why not? A lady actually did this in something like this in Nigeria and got to meet the Vice President.
You are yet to get the hang of the online thing
The key to applying online is to fill out the form well. Especially the slots that have asterisks on them. Avoid pasting your CV on forums and other pubic online sources for everyone to read. People can easily scam with such move. First know what you want and go for it. Target at least 30 companies per month. Go online and google their name. Find out what they do, their location, clientele, products, competitors, mission and company history etc. With a hand full of information you can check their career section or follow their social media handles to see if they are hiring. The good things is that if you fill your form with key words that are needed; you stand a chance to be short listed or be called any time they are looking to replace anyone. Prepare a detailed summary of yourself and at the bottom boldly differentiate how you are unique from every other person. Make sure use plenty of action verbs on your CV. That way you can stand a chance to be selected if you meet the requirements as most place do their recruitment online instead of the old routine of collecting resumes at the office.
The more marketable your skill set is, the brighter your chances of getting a good job. Of course by virtue of going to a tertiary institution you already have some skills that employers are looking for. But the moment you graduated from school was the moment your skills needed an upgrade so you have to be sure your skills are the type employers are looking for. Just go through job vacancies in the last 5 years and you will see the kind of skills that are in hot demand by employers. It’s not too late to lear something new. So update yourself and within a short time and you will also acknowledge the importance of have marketable skills.
You don’t have a referral system
Because you haven’t be telling people you need a job,most of your acquaintances don’t even know you are out of job or underemployed. To get a job; you must first start with the people you know and the people you meet with everyday. Even if you don’t get a job with the place you go interview. Ask people you know or the interviewer to refer you to their friends or associates where they feel you can fit in easily.
The truth is everyone can’t all get jobs the same way. Some will get through referrals, others through applying and yet others through pure luck. The main thing is to make sure you are prepared to exploit the opportunity once it appears.
Your next job can come from the most unexpected place, just prepare yourself to make use of the opportunity when it arrives. One other thing, don’t stop applying and most importantly, DON’T GIVE UP.
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