Welcome to the labor market! Here’s a big welcome to reality and to your first month of ‘no allawee’. I’m sure you have heard a lot of stories from senior colleagues who entered the market before you on how favourable or unfavourable it has been for them. Maybe you have been among the people that have been praying day and night for God to suddenly change the name from labor market to favour market. I totally understand because I have been there. I really hope you find this article helpful and apply it to whatever you are going through.
Firstly you have to understand that everyone’s race is unique. Don’t compare your life with someone else; this will only get you depressed and leave you feeling unworthy. I’m sure some of your colleagues are lucky to have jobs waiting for them but thousands are still on the ‘OYO’ level. You need your self-esteem to enable you get your desired job. Don’t allow peer pressure make you lose it
Secondly, you need to understand that the labor market may not be as easy as you think it is. There is a popular saying that it’s not what you know but who you know; this might be true, but don’t let that discourage you from applying for a job you would like. There are still numerous opportunities that are given out on merit.
Thirdly, don’t be distracted by the love of money. As a fresh graduate, the first two years are more like paying the price. Although some people would be lucky to get jobs with a nice pay from the start, note that getting a low pay internship opportunity is a good start. If the opportunity offers you the exposure you need to climb the next step to greatness (a higher paying job), please take it without thinking twice.
Fourthly, keep yourself busy and enjoy your free time and flexibility while it starts. Having a full time job will come with its challenges, so learn a skill that can give you a side income, during the waiting period. Go for networking events where you would meet potential employers. Volunteer at an N.G.O and give back to the community.
Lastly, don’t give up! Keep looking for ways to improve yourself. Don’t feel entitled that the government/society owes you something; pick yourself up and take the bull by the horn. Update your resume and give a professional to help you review it. Dress your best for an interview (without over-doing it). Update your LinkedIn profile and become active on it by connecting with the people that can help you get your dream job.
Don’t just stay there and wait for luck to happen to you, put yourself out there and don’t get discouraged. I know it may not be so easy. Trust me I have been there and was able to overcome it.
I sincerely wish you the best in your career journey!