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Life After School for Nigerian Graduates (that no one tells you)

Ever wondered what it is like for most people who have gone through the common academic journey – from primary to secondary to university or other higher institutions and now they’re GRADUATES! What happens next?

My friend, what life graduates face after school is a complicated story but let’s try to simplify it a bit.

There are categories most graduates in Nigeria find themselves for quite some time before things begin to settle for them:

Job Hunters

This is the most common one.

You know how they tell us “you can work anywhere” with the course you’re studying? “If you study XYZ, you can work anywhere, including in space ships or world bank. Blah blah…”

It is funny because they’re not telling the whole story.

They’re not telling you how many jobs are even available out there let alone how it can be easy that you studied Physics and can work as a lawyer.

You can argue that most jobs are true “connections” and that you know many people that studied A but working as B; but even in that case, the question is do you have those “connections”? What percentage of the Nigerian graduates have these “connections”?

If your connection is that man in your village that promised to help you get a job in Abuja after graduation, you’re in for a long ride.

There are so many graduates looking for jobs in Nigeria, that is a fact everyone can see.

Please note that by job, I don’t mean the “suffering for nothing job”, where you work 8AM to 6PM, 6 days a week but get paid peanuts at month-end. I mean “real job”.

“Real jobs” are scarce. That’s one of the big problems the federal government is trying to solve. Until we see significant improvement in that regard, just have it at the back of your mind my friend that “job no dey” is not a joke. Good jobs are too few to go around.

With that in mind, make sure to prepare yourself well before you leave that school wall so you have a better chance of securing a real job.

Eearly Employees

Well, “job no dey” is not for everyone. While we have many who have been searching for several months or even a few years, some graduates get jobs soon or just a few months after graduation.

There could be a number of reasons these chosen ones land jobs so quickly.

For some, it could be because they’re the brilliant ones who also made the right efforts to get a job early. The right efforts might include things like:

  • moving to a city that has more jobs
  • doing internships
  • participating bootcamps where they learn in-demand skills
  • taking profecsional courses and getting some certifications
  • etc.

Recommended: Top 10 Professional Courses and Certifications in Nigeria

For others, it could be the “connection” thing playing out. Maybe his father’s friend is a senator… you get what I mean.

Whatever the reason, just know that while some people are busy complaining that there are no jobs, things are hard, etc., some others are taking their destiny into their own hands.

Generally though, landing a good job is not easy, not just in Nigeria but in many countries. No one is saying it is going to be easy. Therefore, if you want to get a job, you have to make the right efforts.

Hustlers – the “street geng”

And then the hustlers. While some are dragging the few jobs available, some graduates decided to go into hustling, a.k.a “street”.

Hustling can be anything, from small business to sports, music, freelancing online, etc. Many Nigerian youths are in this category.

The interesting thing however is that many people who went into hustling are graduates who have tried for a long time to land a good job with no success; so, they decided to try something else.

Of course, there are some who went straight into hustling because they decided earlier on that entrepreneurship is their thing from the onset.

Whichever the case, just note that many of our graduate engineers, lawyers, linguists, economists, etc. are in the street hustling.

What about you?

The question now is, what is your plan for life after school?

Are you preparing yourself for the tough job market? Do you hope on the grace of God “connection”, skills… to land a great job, or you are working out your hustling gameplans already, ready to hit the street as soon as you leave school?

Whatever your plan is, my one advice is DO NOT WAIT until you leave school. Now is the better time for you to plan things out, build the right skills in addition to what you learn in school, do that thing that will make life easy for you when you graduate.

*** Study Abroad Guide: All You Need to Know as an African Student

Nothing good comes easy. If it were easy, everyone would be living fine…

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