I got motivated to write this story and letter to the ‘otondos’ of the Federal Republic of Nigeria a forth night ago after a jobless friend of mine received a phone call from another very fresh jobless friend; an otondo who had just left the NYSC camp, she was desperately begging for N200 recharge card. So I asked my friend, ‘does she realize you are jobless?’ So my friend responded to her saying ‘you just left camp, you should be the one sending me card, and don’t you have savings?’ Oh! Lest I forget, if you are non-Nigerian, Otondo is a name commonly used to qualify Nigerian graduates undergoing the one year compulsory National Youth Service Corp program, the intent of the program is to prepare the fresh graduates for job market.
If you are a Youth Corps member reading this piece, I advice you read it in its entirety. For the majority of you, ‘life na per head’ after you leave the NYSC camp so it’s high time you started planning in advance because ‘mehnn… ‘The thing hard for plenty otondo oh! Very few with high connect get jobs immediately after service year, but for the majority ‘you go send CV taya, you go call people wey promise you job taya, you go waka go companies wey dem no invite you’ and after you exhaust all your options, the harsh reality of life would set in, frustration. Then it would seem like your world is falling apart after you have spent 5 years in the University. It’s so sad! What do you do to avert this kind of situation? Now, this is what I need you to do for me, get a piece of paper and write down; I am waiting! You ready now?
1. What are your goals?
Have you ever thought about this? Honestly, I can’t answer that question for you, it’s imperative that you have a general sense of what you want to be and how you want to get there. Do you want to build a career? In what field of Study? Do you want to be a CEO? How do you get there? Do you want to own your own business? What kind of business specifically? Starting small or big? How do you raise funds? These questions are left for you to figure out; it’s okay if you don’t have answers yet. You can wake up in the middle of the night or whenever is convenient or cool for you to seek answers to these questions. It doesn’t matter if it’s not detailed from the outset, just write it down, you can always re-write and make it firmer.
2. What are you good at doing?
Everyone knows how to do at least one thing! Look within, there has to be something you can do; don’t just say nothing! You see, I could write but just never knew how well until I asked myself the same questions; now I am writing and you are reading my piece, isn’t that cool? If you intend to work, what are your best work attributes or strengths? Can you effectively make use of the Microsoft Applications? Can you relate with people in the most courteous manner? Can you fix computers? Write down at least 5 things you are good at.
3. Do you have hobbies you would love to turn into business?
For most musicians, music was a hobby that translated to wealth; they just love what they do and if you notice, many of them started at a young age; they knew what they wanted right from day one. Is there something you like doing for passion or pleasure? Can you leverage on that and form a business around it? During my NYSC days, we had this performer and entertainer by name ‘Eddy Piper’, hope I got the spelling. He was the ‘ frigidi frogodo’ master, whatever that meant, I really don’t know; that was his music lines. He had a plan to get deployed to silver bird so he could leverage on their platform in order to accentuate and translate his hobby into business. I saw his video years back, I was happy for him. Look within; I am so sure you will find a hubby that can be translated into business.
If you don’t have answers to the questions above, it’s okay! This is what you can do, learn a skill. As a Youth Corps member, I believe you have the time to invest in a course; it could be a weekend class! There are hundreds of skills you can acquire; some of them are free while some are paid. If you have to pay to get knowledge, please do! After all NYSC alawi is about N20,000, a much larger sum than what was obtained during my time, N9,750! Once you have a skill or a hobby, you can research to learn more about what people in that field are already doing and how they are doing it. The essence of this is to enable you have a structured plan on what you want to achieve and also set a timeline to achieve it. What would you do one year after NYSC if you can’t get a job? In 5 years time, what would you have achieved? Where do you project your business would have gotten to?
The best time to start planning for your future is now! If you are stuck in between, you can use the help of a mentor or contact me, I will be willing to give a word or two. Remember, ‘he who fails to plan, plans to fail’. It’s high time you started thinking outside the box! You can avoid that ‘frustrating situation’ right now, you can be that fulfilled person in the next 5 years instead of the one who nags and complains about the situation of things. There is no better time to secure your future but now!
Watch out for the next series!
I wish you the best.