Unemployment is a major problem in Nigeria and most African countries at large. Although education has been a priority, graduates are left disappointed as being educated is not enough to secure their dream jobs. According to the words of an International Training Consultant and Graduate Coach, Edem Adzaho, having a good degree is not enough to get your dream job as graduates need to develop crucial soft and life skills.

Self-discovery is essential as it forces graduates to focus and answer questions of themselves such as: who they are and what they want in life, for these help in shaping their goals and career choices. Hence, they need to be encouraged to step out of their comfort zones in order to reach their maximum potentials.

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We live in a technological era, which means every form of information can be easily accessed through the internet. Therefore, gadgets such as smartphones, etc. should be used to increase a graduates exposure and knowledge of the business world. A graduate needs to be enthusiastic, to read and learn about diverse subjects and not be restricted to information related to their field of study or career. Maximize the use of internet and social media platforms to enhance and develop themselves, as this creates more opportunities and helps boost self-confidence.

Young man/lady, think about your image management such as how people perceive you because first impressions really do matter. When going for a job interview/ seminar, dress modestly (be formal and professional). Likewise your social media image should be pristine. Thus, think before you post or tweet. Focus on your appearance, presentation, reputation and communication style.

Business and commercial awareness are important as most graduates miss out opportunities due to lack of research and preparation. Doctors, Lawyers etc. are all business people as every profession or career is a business. Hence, if graduate intends to start a business, it is important to know and understand the economics and the dynamics of the industry. Therefore, be updated with relevant information as employers can assess your enthusiasm and commitment to the organization or job being applied for.
As graduates, or in fact as people who desire to be great. Networking is a crucial act at every point of our lives. Don’t always stick with your regular cycle of friends; always make efforts to meet new people (most times useful contacts that can provide connection to job or business opportunities). Be enthusiastic, polite and respect people’s boundaries and remember to follow up these relationships.

Finally, graduates or job seekers need to be prepared to handle disappointments and be able to bounce back, as the world owes them nothing but expects their remarkable contributions. Therefore, have the right attitude, pay attention to details, stop making excuses or blaming others for the outcome of things or events, take risks and when mistakes occurs, assume responsibility and learn from them. Always remember opportunities are available for the prepared. Never give up, always push on and be positive.

Writer: Sandra Ezidinwa

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Author: Chinedu Ukoh