You are looking for a new job? If you are a recent graduate, you are probably wondering ‘where’ will help you land the job. Here are my top 10 picks:
Hungry, successful people don’t rest on their laurels. They keep trying, learning and pushing. They never stop to be intellectually curious. They spend their Evenings and transit time shopping for the next book to read. They are voracious and a sponge for information. Go to a high-street bookstore, e.g. Thisday Media Store, see what they are buying and it you might get a good chance at opening up a conversation. Be brief and focused. A good book a month should not kill – you can earmark a budget of N3,000. Cheaper still, you can go for the Economist – at N700 per week – that will nourish you with a good dose of knowledge.
2. Airport Lounge
Pretty successful people are found hanging out in Airport Lounges while in transit. Getting into a Lounge is not dependent on whether you are on First or Business Class. And Lounges are everywhere from MMIA to MMA2. You just need to be polite with the in-Staff and things will go fine. People you find here are decision makers and maybe a Commissioner somewhere.
3. Industry focused Conference(s)
My first bet while going into New Media was the power of networking and getting to know what is available out there. Who are the big names in the game and getting a better understanding of the industry landscape. It’s a no brainer. If I’m an IT professional – the yearly CTO will be a must-attend event for me. Events like this afford you the opportunity to walk up to a CEO and make your elevator’s pitch. I promise, if you are remarkable – they will
remember you by your first name the next time you are talking.
4. Career Fair
Career Fair are events that bring together job seekers and employers. It’s very focused as the intentions of both parties here are clear. There are not much Fairs happening around Nigeria but you should be on the look-out and it’s a MUST ATTEND ‘adored’ with recruiters, headhunters, employees of companies and some Senior Executives. Be focused and only go to Booths of companies you have deep interest in. Do your 1-minute pitch and exchange details.
5. Hotel Lounge
Desist from meeting people in Quick Service Restaurants (known popularly as Fast Food chains). It will be die hard or almost impossible to meet any really high-profiled person here. They don’t hang out in such places. You will find
them in 4-star and 5-star hotels. The list is endless: I’ve seen Wole Soyinka, Dora Akunyili, and Segun Aganga (hmm, name dropping) in Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Ikeja all in one day. Did it cost much? No – just a Glass of Juice & some nuts! I was on a mission to meet an Associate from South Africa. It’s a good place to get a conversation going…
6. Philanthropy Organizations
Make no mistake – The Lion’s Club (LEO) and Rotary International are both fantastic platforms to learn, share and network. Members are well placed, connected and that means successful. They offer an incredibly great mentoring platform to grow. I think it’s important to find out about LEO or Rotary whereever you are now in Nigeria. It will be worth attending one of
their meetings. Both organisations are magical! (quote me). So much to offer – Rotary has an international Ambassadorial Scholarships for those looking at Higher Education opportunities.
7. Social Clubs
Clubs are places where people love to go to relax their nerves and belong. Being an active member in Ikoyi Club or Yoruba Tennis Club gives you a lot of social mileage and this will open doors if used properly. One key thing about successful and busy people are they lead interesting lives. They are either picking up a new Sport or a die-hard Manchester United Fan. I’ve not seen one without strong interest in Politics and Economics – you better be
8. Social Networks
My current ‘Boss” found me out on Linkedin and Facebooked me, interesting, isn’t it?! Social networks like these are extremely powerful in building connections especially with top industry practitioners. You will need a brief, focused and updated profile that is clear about your interests and expertise. You also need to reach out to people asking specific questions or a bit forward, asking time to meetup (like me), you will be surprised at the number of positive response that will hit your Inbox.
I still find it hard to believe why people don’t volunteer. Maybe because we swim in a cash-driven society or simply, don’t know how powerful volunteering could enhance our skills and land us a job. Imagine, volunteering for Nigeria Leadership Initiative for one year! You will smile at the number of powerful and influential people you will connect and learn from in just a short space of time. Imagine, volunteering for Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) and how many people you will dine with.
10. Place of worship
This is my last and could be controversial but we need to remember that
Nigerians are extremely religious people. Why do think young professionals are drifting away from Catholic, Methodist, Baptist to Daystar, Covenant Christian Centre, KICC, House on the Rock – the list is endless. It is clear to me (or maybe I’m deluded) that one, generational affinity has a role to play. Two, it offers networking opportunities and places like Daystar offer Career Services and a Training Academy. I’m not pitching for any Church here (disclosure). Last point, these places are creating an impressive clusters of very successful people and that simply attracts.
What do you think of the advice above? Let’s know your thoughts in a comment!