As the d-day draws closer, the pressure on you begins to mount. Term papers due for submission, final project wahala (can never forget the stress I went through while writing mine), clearance, endless presentations, parties you just can’t afford to miss and at this point, you begin to experience constant mixed feelings… one time you’re like ‘Mehn… I just can’t wait to graduate” at the same time you don’t feel like graduating because of the friends you don’t want to say good bye to, the covering that is naturally available to you in the society as a student and the 'comfort zone' factor (reluctance to step into the unknown).
I remember how I felt few days to grad. Truth be told, I was scared to death. Scared of what? I don’t know. But I knew I was scared of something. Maybe I was scared of stepping out into the “real world” as they call it, scared of saying goodbye to the people I’ve come to know, scared to be left alone to make choices, scared because I do not even know if what I had gained in school was enough to sustain this new phase of my life.
As I walked alone on that calm night, reflecting on my journey so far and where I was headed, I was confronted with that big question… What NEXT? Ok… now I felt like becoming a college freshman all over again and re take courses such as WRITING 101, MATH 101, and all the other 101’s courses all because I feared stepping out into the unknown.
Fast forward a few days later, I had my diploma in my hands and was given 3 days to evacuate the school premises. But because I needed time to plan and get myself together, I stayed back in school for about a week.
Stepping out of the school gate after my week of planning, it was a time of transit from the crazy, carefree, lovely and stressful life as a student into the ‘real world.” On getting to the “real world,” I realized Nigeria is populated with a lot of frustrated graduates. Some who wanted to become Doctors, Lawyers, Computer Science expert, Engineers, and Lab Scientist, yet ended up with degrees in Fishery, animal science, linguistic, Library and information systems and maybe Bicycle Engineering (that’s if there’s a course like that). And the funny thing is some of these people are first class graduates. Now, I’m not condemning any degree, neither am I placing a profession above another, my point is; most graduates are equipped for the battle (Labour Market) with the wrong weapons. I mean, how do you become efficient in something you have no passion for?
Ok… now you’ve graduated… good… may be with a first class in double majors… awesome!! And you are on your way to getting a PhD degree…Incredible… But the question is, are you capable of solving problems and adding value? That’s what an employer wants to know; How can your first class degree make a difference in the organization? I believe life is about the enhancement of value and enriching the lives of others.
After I graduated from the University, I worked in an oil firm as a Project Admin officer for about 6 months and trust me; it was a different ball game. It was a match between theoretical knowledge vs. practical knowledge. You see, the title you wear is not as important as the task you perform. You must understand that you become more valuable based on the problems you solve not the degree you carry. No company wants to hire a “first class” liability. So before you allow your first class degree get into you head, take a chill pill, relax and ask yourself one simple question: Am I capable of solving problems? Ouch!
Now, let me issue a disclaimer here: The Labour Market is highly competitive and demanding. Don’t get it twisted. My friend Micheal Onobote would say, “Your first class will pave way for you to attend job interviews, but it doesn’t guarantee that you will get the job.” Your getting the job is predicated on what you know up stairs and the people you know “at the top,” I mean, “Your oga’s at the top.” Shey you get? And oh yes! The favorr of God.
Now, to stand out, you’ve got to increase your capacity. You’ve got to do what others are not doing. Look beyond your degree and keep growing. You’ve got to stretch and develop yourself. Acquire a skill and be good at it.
Read books, magazines, and articles that are related to your field. In fact be an avid reader. Read! Read!! Read!!! To lead in your field you’ve got to read, practice, and be disciplined. unfortunately, most people don’t read. All you here them talk about is champions league, AFCON, NYSC allowee, who stole money and who didn’t and all them Kim Kadashian, Rihanna and Beyonce’s story. Honestly, I’m tired of mediocrity…
Those guys have made names for themselves. While others were busy talking about others, they were busy honing their skills and building capacity. You also, should try, regardless of where you are presently and do same rather than sit for hours talking about people who don’t even know you exist *Throws away face*
When I started Blogging, I had three (3) things in mind: (1) to improve my writing skill and knowledge base. (2) To inspire people (3) to educate people
I know the height I want to attain, but to attain that height I have to start from somewhere which is what I am doing. You also can do same. We may not share similar passion, but whatever your passion is, chase it with all you’ve got. Maybe your passion lies in singing. Start developing yourself in that area. Maybe you are crazy about fashion, start a sewing class, read about top designers to know how they got to where they are today. “Despise not the days of little beginnings” If you have a passion for drawing… start practicing now. You want to be a computer guru but all you do is open and close Microsoft word every day. You must be joking. Your “oga’s at the top” definitely won’t be happy with you. Take professional courses and constantly practice and hone your skill in the area you want to major in. Start where you are but don’t remain where you started. Champions don’t wait for opportunities. They prepare for opportunities. Eaglets are born, but EAGLES are made. You will never be all you were destined to be by remaining in the nest of your life- the comfort zone. Step out of the nest of your life and join the leagues of eagles.
I’m pretty sure I have offended some people. Well, I’m sorry.
I think I should stop here so I can attend to my “oga at the top.”
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