Few months before I finished my NYSC, during the final clearance of the set that passed out of NYSC before I did, I overheard two of the then corp members passing out have a conversation.
One of them was lamenting about how clueless he was and how unprepared he was for the post NYSC life. The other talked about being happy that he has something going on for him.
First, I was shocked. The whole conversation helped me understand why one of my older friends would keep nudging me to send applications out. And try to figure my life out before my NYSC was over. Even though, from his approach, he was trying to make the choices for me.
Regardless of how prepared I allowed myself believe I was for the post NYSC life, a day before my POP, I was thrown into a panic attack. My mood was so foul that I couldn’t even process any information. It dawned on me finally that I was completely on my own. It didn’t matter that I spent over a year at home before I went for service. And have about three job experiences. The pieces of advice I have gained before then began to make sense to me. Trying to speak with some of my peers proved that I wasn’t alone.
In light of the fact that some corp members just finished their NYSC, I reached out to a couple of people(who have been done with their NYSC a while longer) asking them to provide some pieces of advice that would guide these people through the post NYSC life. Adding that this could be an advice for a younger relative of theirs or a younger friend.
Below are the responses:
“Before the end of the service year, be focused. Not knowing what you want is a huge setback. The ability to know what you want gives you a direction. Do not think of so many things at a time. Post NYSC year is a whole different year of one’s life, it could be suicidal. Take one step at a time; job hunt; do not be job selective you need a ladder to climb.” Chioma Nzeh, Tecno Smart Ambassador.
“I think every one must decide what they want from life – things like the kind of person they want to be; the kind of life they want; the lifestyle they want. It’s important to identify this as it informs a lot of decisions you take; provides a sense of purpose and focus that may otherwise be missing. The earlier this is done, the better as you have the biggest opportunity to make mistakes, learn, grow and adapt when you are younger than if you feel you have to correct the course of your life when you are much older and have a lot more responsibilities.” Oluwadamilola Banji-Alabi, Founder, Atlas Creative Consultancy and CTO Econova Energy Solutions.
“One of the shocks many people face post-NYSC is the sudden surge of responsibilities placed on them by family and friends. There is an assumption that now, you ‘must’ start earning and at the same time spending. This often puts pressure on us to either avoid showing up at some places or living a lie. The truth is getting a job for many takes longer than expected. So, use the time to do some thinking (dreaming actually) on a specific area of interest. Find out where those that have succeeded in that career have reached; where they are today and apply to every place you find. Never be ashamed at any time to send in your applications – it’s either a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’.” Oladipo Ogundipe, Brand and Marketing Communication Consultant.
“One of the ways to build experience is by volunteering. As a student, it helped me. As a youth corps member, it guided me and now like a working class, it has changed my life. Find a need; build the skills you need to tap into the opportunity; use volunteering to build experience and you’ll see yourself repositioned for greatness and far above the other corp members in the race for scarce jobs.” Daniel Nwaeze, Media and Communications coordinator Afrika Youth Movement.
“After the euphoria of POP, the early post NYSC period is perhaps the best time to pursue Post Graduate/Masters Degree; if, the means are available. While job-hunting, be open to volunteering and internships. They help to build on-the-job experience.
As much as possible, particularly, considering the present economic realities, it’s a perfect period to pick up some vocational skills. Whether a side hustle or main vocation, it may eventually come in handy on the long run.
Lastly, take the opportunity to seek mentorship for personal and career development.” Phranklin Alli, CEO ZTEA (Zobo Teabags).
” 1. Get a job or volunteer just for the experience and exposure. Be sure to use wisdom in volunteering i.e. it should have prospects.
2. Learn a trade. Everyone needs to learn a trade. Even, when you get the white collar job, you can still run a company with the knowledge gained from the trade. I learnt sewing (which I do not use, but would once my triplets arrive – lol).
3. Start a business. Buy and sell anything, no matter how small, you will be shocked how it grows into something unimaginably big” Ifeoma Ezeama, an NGO staff.
“As soon as you are through with the NYSC program, if you can’t get a job, try and learn a skill or two. Socialize more. Meet more people and tell them what you can do. That way, your next job won’t be far away.” Gerald Okolie, Barrister PIO Solicitors.