It is sad when fresh graduates complain about their inability to get a desired job in Nigeria knowing fully well it has been like that for a long time now, it’s the same old story of high unemployment rate. The ugly truth is that we’ve known the situation has been this way for a long time and shouldn’t come as a surprise to fresh graduates. It’s no secret that the government is not doing enough to create jobs and employment opportunities both in the public and private sectors.

This realization should be the yardstick to spur graduates in this unfortunate situation to be at their best before they are ushered into the labor market. A lot of graduates have taken jobs in places they didn’t want to be, mostly because they failed to plan adequately for life outside and beyond the school walls. 

Here are a few tips to help you surmount the challenges of unemployment:

You need to do something: You need to take a job, any job. There is a saying that an idle mind is the devils’ workshop. Make contacts, connect with the real world and look for opportunities. You will build some form of confidence when you earn some money; however little it seems.

Embrace rejection: In your pursuit for your dream job where the labor market is non-performing in a country like Nigeria, don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t happen soon enough. You have to keep trying and build confidence, do not be discouraged.

Learn a vocation, Acquire skills: Develop your passion, take a long look at yourself and discover what income generating venture it is you would rather do if you’re not into payable employment. Try to discover what you’re good at and turn it into a steady but sure personal income generator. Be willing to learn, be willing to acquire relevant skills.

Attend career fairs. Career Fairs offer you the opportunity for face-to-face interaction with the potential employers for you to demonstrate your uniqueness and ability. Do not wait for opportunities, create them.

Prepare yourself before interviews. Employers are easily turned off by unprepared job applicants in interviews. Do some research about the company; its history, area of interest, hiring profile. Showing how much you know about the company will impress the employer. Do not look desperate, instead show confidence.

Be an entrepreneur. Be flexible in your approach to choosing what areas of business enterprise to explore. Have an entrepreneurial mindset, be innovative and get your ideas out there and make things happen instead of waiting to be told what to do. You can also be an employer of labor rather than being the employee.

Finally, I leave you with the words of Yusuf Stapic who says “remember that every challenge is an opportunity for you to learn, grow and reach new heights. Don’t fear failure, step out of your comfort zone if you want to achieve new things in life”.