It has been many years now since I was a fresh graduate just out of school and although it seems just like yesterday, I realize that times have changed ever since then. The possibility of not getting employed on time was a major concern back then as cases of people who had graduated and were still job searching was gradually on the increase. It’s been exactly ten years since then and it seems the situation has become more challenging than it used to be as the rate of occurrence of unemployed graduates has increased tremendously. A number of times, I try to be emphatic and try to imagine what job seekers who just graduated from tertiary institutions are going through as they are faced with the pressures of life and even from their families.
I recall a young man who walked up to me some months ago at the NYSC camp in Lagos and asked that I help him in his quest to get a job quickly. I could understand why he wanted to get employed so quickly but it was apparent that something else was motivating him. Further enquiries revealed that earlier that week, his mum had called him to remind him that now that he was through with the NYSC, everyone at home would be looking up to him for sustenance. To say the least, he was distraught and was practically begging me to help him in any way that I could. This is only one of such instances that I have personally experienced that have moved me towards creating solutions that would really help job seekers get employed.
Another interesting, yet unfortunate, observation I have made is that lots of heartless people have started exploiting this situation to the detriment of job seekers. Just yesterday, a friend of mine was telling me how someone he knows engaged the services of a recruitment agency that asked people to come to their office for guaranteed employment with several organizations who were their clients. Of course, they were asked to pay a sum of about Eight Thousand Naira each before they could be given access to the jobs. They were even asked to seat for a test which would be used as a basis for selection and beautifully worded text messages were sent to them all through the process. One day, the text messages stopped coming and by the time the job seekers got to their office, they had relocated. Now, imagine if only 300 people had signed up for this service, they would have made over Two Million Naira even after discounting expenses; a very lucrative business model indeed but a major source of discouragement and pain to those who fall victim of such schemes. Before I forget, I want to state categorically that no recruitment agency can guarantee you a job by themselves. Falling for schemes such as this occurs simply because people do not know this fact. Never ever let pressure make you succumb to their tastefully crafted promises that cannot hold water.
Having said all these, are there really credible solutions that can help job seekers out of the predicament they are facing? I’ll say the answer is a big ‘Yes’. A couple of weeks ago, a gentleman approached me to tell me he had been job seeking for a while now and was not making any headway in his job search. By the time I was through discussing with him, it was clear he was doing exactly what every other job seeker like himself was doing, (browsing the internet for jobs, sending his CV to any and every job opportunity that is available, submitting his CV in several companies or through his friends and relatives etc) and so he was getting the same results most people get, which was not getting employed. I coached him for a little while on what his career objectives should be, what his motivators and interest areas were and based on that we developed a more effective CV for him. With only one simple instruction, I asked him to do some activities and as I expected, he got employed within the month and as I speak, he has been having a wonderful time at his place of employment. I was able to give him specific instructions because these were steps that I had personally recommended to several people in the past and had delivered outstanding results.
A job search is the primary job for a job seeker and just like any job; certain steps are required to get the results desired. I would like to encourage job seekers that in spite of their challenging situation, they must never become or appear to be desperate in their job search. They ought to seek real and professional career coaching help, which might cost them a bit on the short run, but will yield abundant results on the long run.
A wise man once said that doing the same things which did not get you the results you desired is tending only towards insanity. There has to be a change in doing; before there can be a change in what you have. Watch this space for the conclusion of this article…