If you’ve tried digging a well with a spoon before, then you understand what searching for a job in Nigeria means; even with the right skills, you’ still find yourself wandering on the pages of newspapers and job portals for light years. Right now, and in the next few years, there’s no panacea to job unemployment in Nigeria or anywhere else in the world; and unless you go out of your comfort zone to effectively search for a job, you’d be nothing more than a dead fish going with the unemployment flow. The good news is- there are jobs; but the obvious challenge for job seekers is finding the right job and finding it fast. Here are some techniques to getting a job in a matter of Usain-Bolt-seconds. All right, maybe not as fast, but close enough.
Family, Friends, Acquaintances, and Foes: otherwise known as networking, one of the fastest ways to get jobs in Nigeria is through the people you know, or those who know you. Whether formal, informal or online, networking is a good avenue for any job seeker to thrive in the job market and increase chances of securing a job. Everyone you know or ever met is a potential link to your dream job. Start by telling members of your family and your friends, then move on to your former colleagues, boss, school senior or mentor; also reach out to people you meet in seminars, social events, networking events, focus groups, or through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. You’ll be surprised at the number of responses you’ll get and the several options you might have to pick from.
Volunteer: better put, work for free. Volunteering is not only about community service, it’s a big word for any free service you render; either to an individual or an organisation. So you have what a particular company needs but there are no vacant positions? Easy. Send in a letter with your résumé, both wrapped in a very attractive parcel, to the HR or any top executive asking for a job; if you don’t get any response, send in another letter asking to volunteer. By now, your name probably rings a bell in the minds of one or two people in that company. Many employers would jump at the offer and you only need this to get your foot in the door. A case in point here is the story of someone who decided to work as a volunteer analyst for a firm where she was initially rejected a job offer, executives in the company jumped at the idea of getting value from her at no cost. She worked for 3 months without asking for a penny, people soon forgot she was only a volunteer as she was voted to join the team working on the company’s then biggest project. At the end of the third month, she met with her direct superior to explain her need. Long story short, she was an official employee by the end of that week. Nobody wants to work round the clock and expect nothing but no volunteer experience goes to waste. You may not get hired eventually but you’d have avoided an employment gap and also added to your work experience.
If you’d rather not volunteer, try a lower job position or a job with lower pay: it’s a large lump to swallow; as it turns out, many job candidates remain unemployed because they are yet to land jobs with salary packages or roles commensurate with their skills. Of course you deserve a great job with mind blowing salary benefits; but while you wait to get a grip on it, consider taking a part-time job to keep yourself updated in your field and to hone skills you already possess.
Job portals and Company websites: Job portals serve as a medium for employers and potential employees to meet and they range from online job search sites to local Job boards. Without a doubt, Job portals are also a good way to get jobs in Nigeria. Subscribe to any reliable job portal, you’ll constantly receive up-to-the-minute job openings. Look through newspapers and local boards to see vacancies in different companies. Some companies also post vacancies on their official site, check these sites for vacant positions within the organisations; also, check for adequate information on any job you apply for in that organisation to avoid job scams.
Take the big bold step: walk in to meet with decision-makers (e.g. HR) in companies you’d like to work with; submit your résumé, do the elevator pitch and politely ask for an interview. You won’t get a positive response all the time but it’s a step closer to the job. Get as many contacts from the company as you can and call occasionally to find out about vacant positions; chances are, you’ll be the first they’ll call when there’s a vacant role that matches your skills set.
Disclaimer: this technique is similar to the traditional cold call- which many recruiters loathe-Be tactical in your approach to employers and you had better have the right qualifications for the job otherwise prepare to be dragged outside company premises.
Lastly, narrow your job search to cut out the clutter, resist the urge to submit applications for any job opening; it doesn’t help your job search, it doesn’t help you either. You’ll agree it is more depressing to receive 2 responses from 20 applications in any field than one application from 5 specific applications to your field(s) of interest.
What other ways can you get a job in Nigeria?