Dear Graduates, how is life after school?
I have applied to many companies, but I am yet to secure a job. I’d have love to do business but I don’t have capital. I really wish to volunteer for many organizations but they won’t pay me. The job they are offering me in my community, is too low compared to my status.
Excuse me sir/madam, what is your problem? What exactly do you want? Uncle Graduate, how is life after school? Aunty Graduate, how far with you?
Dear graduates, are those your situations? Are you confined in any of those situations? Relax! It’s not the time to complain but a time to reflect on what you did wrong and what you could have done right.
We cannot replace the fact that the number of graduates produced yearly far outweighs the number of jobs available. Every graduate consoles themselves, with self-assurance that their case will not be like those who graduated and waited for years to get a job. So, did the ones yet to secure jobs foresaw that? No, they didn’t. The truth is that, even many of them also had such beliefs.
Over time, I have discovered that graduates naturally seek comfort. In fact, most graduates believe that after school, life is going to be much easier. At the least, once there are good grades and all. However, it only takes a while to realise that life is far from what they imagined. Even the ones who were after grades, always get stuck.
It is not unexpected that you find yourself in any of the situations highlighted. But there are some graduates who have their lives going well. It’s like they hit jackpot, but in the real sense, they didn’t.
The difference was planning and foresight. Many students are in school to fulfil all righteousness, some just for the fun of being a student. Some are just whiling away time. While some are forced to do courses they never bargained for.
The question is, as an undergraduate, what extra effort did you put together? Of course, I don’t expect everyone to be business oriented. But even as an intellectual, what skills did you acquire?
These days, employers are no longer particular about your certificates and grades. They have come to understand the possibility of competence without performance as a result of measuring excellence by grades. So, beyond the grades, you would need to be well versed in some soft skills to place you in your desired places of interest.
As a graduate, while you wait for the dream job, ensure you are a dream candidate. Ask yourself if you can employ yourself as an employer for that role you desire. When you have this mindset, you make things easier for yourself. For those who wish to delve into business, let not capital be an excuse for not having a plan or workable ideas.
Opportunities do not inform you of its arrival. But your preparedness for it announces you. So, keep preparing, learning, doing your bits. Start with the ideas that do not need huge capital. Don’t be a spend thrift, cultivate the habit of saving. It helps a whole lot.
For the academic, learning is a continuous process. Acquisition of skills is a compulsory process. And your area of interest determines the kind of skills you get to focus on.
While there are general skills you must possess as a graduate, there are specific skills that set you apart for your desired jobs.
So, get over your myths, excuses and start working towards becoming better. Invest in capacity building, explore opportunities but be intentional in the opportunities you invest in. Some opportunities are just there to lure you, so be mindful.
You can create an awesome after school experience even while you’re waiting for employment. Get busy, freelance, volunteer, acquire needed skills and be open to knowledge.
Dear Graduates, how is life after school? I know for some, it’s been amazing. While for others, it’s been survival of the fittest. Although, I quite agree with the nature’s way of working things out. You also want to be sure you’re not the one hindering yourself from breaking through.
It’s high time you started making things work, even before there is a need for them. As a graduate, you can create the kind of after school experience you want. Equip yourself so much, that you can’t be avoided and untapped.