Why jobs seekers should dust ‘bachelor and spinster’ degrees for soft skills
Employers love applicants’ experiences, skills and degrees, they pay more for the former than the latter, though. Most people searching for jobs have degrees, but lack skills and experience that are much needed in the corporate value chain.
There are bouquets of jobs that are begging for the right skills and experience in the employment market, skills gaps are creating a vacuum. As you may recall, at the last count, the unemployment rate in Nigeria settled at 33.3% and that is not a joke.
Youth unemployment at about 60% makes the case worrisome – nature abhors a vacuum. By now, unemployment might be kissing the 40% mark, after all, the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics has stated that more than 40% of Nigerians are poor.
When Nigeria says you are poor, you are poor indeed! What this data implies is that for every 10 youth born in a family, 4 are working to supporting others. So you have been looking for a job? You are not alone in the search, even Julius Alagbe is seeking a good offer.
Perhaps, it is time for you to look inward, take a bold step and devise a new strategy to climb the mountain of unemployment before you. Naturally, there are things people do individually without struggle. If you have one, that means you have a job.
Unfortunately, many people have “stuff” that tickle their fancies, yet they are out of jobs. There is a gap between what some individuals are doing to earn income and the totality of what they can do productively.
Small and medium scale enterprise development will answer to perennial jobs gap in Nigeria. The job market is going to be tough after this pandemic, but the rule of productivity remains the same. I have some simple tips on how you how to give yourself a job despite the rough edges the time presents.
Gather soft skills
The first thing you need is to gather soft skills. It is selling because it is purely performance base. If you cannot deliver, you don’t get paid. How does that sound? To get paid, which means you must add value.
While you are on the street looking for jobs, people with soft skills are making free cash from doing what they have passion for. If you really need a job, get on it and see yourself through it.
Re-educate, diversify and discover
If you are a kind that has lost on the euphoria of academic scam call bachelor or spinster degree, well you need to have a rethink. Excessive focus on your qualification may take away your thinking ability to diversify your interests.
Successful people don’t really bank on their certificates, they go the extra mile to re-educate themselves in things that society needs. Your tertiary education in biochemistry will fail to get you a job if there is no laboratory that is looking for your expertise.
But does that means that it is only there you can work? Obviously no. Then, who are you waiting for to make the first move? Fix the gap. Hey, it is on you if you don’t have a job for the next decade.
Make yourself available – even for free
Some graduates don’t have the energy for internships because of their high expectations. All the fairy tales shared within school premises of getting jobs at oil companies or other fat salary paying organisations often follow them to the labour market.
Welcome to reality.
Series of interviews, they are still hoping Chevron, Shell etc will beckon. Don’t do that. If it comes, fine. But how many people do you really think is waiting for that to happen? Think! Instead, make yourself available for an internship. Test run yourself at any organisation that gives you a platform to experiment with all that you have learned.
Don’t look for a fat cheque in your early career, look for opportunity to gain much-needed experience. That’s where it goes down.
Explore the entrepreneurship side of you
Sometimes, all you need is to get ready for experience managing or operating a business. Wait a minute, you must have detail -knowledge of any business you want to venture into. Round square peg in a round square hole, else you will get it wrong from the beginning.
There are things you can do now that will give you the opportunity you desire to exhibit what you have inside. It is that simple, but not that simple when it comes to starting for the first time. Hey, don’t be discouraged with the last part you just read, I can’t believe I just write that too.
If everyone and everything fails you, don’t fail yourself. That’s the golden rule. Cash is always the end of every bargain. You can do anything productive with your enterprising spirit. It is commerce, with technology, it has become so easy.
Graduates are retailing online everywhere. Some are producing “stuff” for sale without incurring so much more…and the margin is good. You don’t need an office in highbrow areas to become a chief hustling executive, with your mobile phone, internet and direct line including email, you can be in business.
It now depends on how rich your mind is!
Build career, not Job
People that prefer a job over a career always end becoming jobless. A career person stays within the economic radar all the time. Build a career, not job hunting for a significant part of your life. It is not uncommon to see people in their 60s, 70s in the waiting lines for interviews.
There is a difference between a career and a job. Most people with pay jobs don’t really have a career. Job answers to your immediate needs, but your career is future-oriented. You may have a job, yet remain unproductive. Career is defined by productivity – value-adding works. And it gets better over the years as you accumulate experience.