The job search in Nigeria is a process that gets even more difficult as the days go by. Millions of citizens have subscribed to career platforms that allow them to simply get notified on jobs near me. Job vacancies in cities like Lagos, are so limited, but have a large pool of applicants, whereas only one or a few will get the job. Therefore, you must prepare your mind with the 10 things you should know.
It is tougher than you think
Not in a bid to scare you but truly, the job search in Nigeria is tougher than you think. Nigeria is a country filled with millions of talented and skilled people. The only problem is, very few have what sets them apart from the rest. Tertiary institutions have incorporated basic certification exams into their curriculum. This act produces thousands of graduates who are not unique to each other. However, some graduates are more employable than the rest. Joining the job search in Nigeria will not have you competing with your course mates for the limited and almost non-existent seat, you will be up against, thousands of fresh graduates, millions of past graduates, foreign graduates and more.
It might take a long time
In your own little shell, you might believe that all it takes is applying physically at the office, or via email. After this, you hope to get an email back the next day. Sometimes, you never get an email back. In swift and smaller businesses, that response email to your job application might come within two or three working days. However, in real time, it could take weeks or even months, so long you forgot you were on the job search in Nigeria.
Secure a new job before leaving your old one
If you are presently working and you seek something, new, easier or better, get it before you leave your job. Here is why. When you are on the job search in Nigeria, especially the job vacancies in Lagos, there is always room for disappointment. Yes, I dare say it, there is in fact, a lot of room to be disappointed. In a place like Lagos, most people in the workforce have what is called a side hustle. If you do not have a side hustle or a full proof plan, do not leave your current job until you get a new one.
Always have a plan B
Like I mentioned above, a full proof plan B is a must when engaging in the job search in Nigeria, especially in megacities like Lagos, Enugu, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Ibadan. This plan B will cushion your unemployment for a while, should in case you find yourself job searching for a longer time than you expected, or unexpectedly in the job market again.
Connections eliminate half the stress
The job search in Nigeria is all about connections. Building a large and quality network is all you need to scale through the toughest steps of the job search in Nigeria, especially in cities like Lagos and Abuja. Lagos is the most competitive place to seek employment. Sometimes, you might get lucky and most times, it is about who you know. Having the right connections will get you the best until your wings are fully grown to fly. It is important to have these connections as it will save you from sending your CV/ Resume to a million companies. Having the right connections will get you to the door. Sometimes, it will get you through it, to a seat at the table that matters.
Be prepared at all times
The truth of the matter is, your next employer or job opportunity can be everywhere. Therefore, to conquer your job search, you must be prepared. In Nigeria, the opportunity comes but once, seize it. If you miss out, the universe must be on your side in order to present such an opportunity again. Always have the soft copy of your CV/resume, ready to email, or just pull it up for an interested party to see. Always have your portfolio or a business card ready. You never know where you will find yourself and where that interaction might lead.
Apply to as many jobs as possible
Only a very confident person with a wealth of connections can apply to one or two jobs and secure something out of it. If you do not fall into this category for a job search in Nigeria, kindly apply to as many jobs as possible. You can say you are shooting your shot, however, do not use a pistol, use a machine gun to spray your qualification bullets on all jobs. Your mode of operation is on a lucky click basis so any application that clicks is fine with you.
You will be told ‘No’ and it is okay.
Just because you feel you are qualified or you gave it your all, does not mean you will get the job. One thing people need to know about the job search in Nigeria is that a lot of times, you will be told ‘No’. Some recruitment managers won’t even spell it out, you just may not hear back from them. This is why you must understand the saying that goes “you win some, you lose some”. It is okay to be told you did not make the cut, it should only motivate you to do better and improve yourself.
Anticipate pre-interview tests
In recent times the recruitment process has shifted from what it used to be and what it is now. The process that starts with vacancy and leads to application, shortlisting, interview and selection, has a new addition. The job search in Nigeria just got harder as now, a lot of recruitment processes require a pre-interview assessment in the form of a test, sometimes two. More documents are required and sometimes, you must possess the necessary edge to get the attention you seek to begin with. You will not finesse your words through an interview, anticipate thorough pre-interview tasks.
For the interview, look sharp
Every employer wants staff members that are easy on the eyes. That is, they look sharp, presentable and are well branded personally. At an interview, your appearance just might be the show stopper for you. Believe it or not, looking sharp scores you points during your job search in Nigeria. You simply just have to look your best at the interview and on occasion once you secure the job. On other days, just look good.