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Stop thinking like Secondary School Students

I’m often asked by final year students and recent graduates, the most important thing in landing a dream job in the Oil & Gas or Telecom sectors – we know people are running away from Banking these days…we all know the story.

I got asked this week and I shared my views: do a market research about the industry, develop a mini business plan and approach the CEO or Management to implement some or all of the opportunities identified in your plan, possibly work for the CEO or top management, get the job where you are not defined by job title or restricted by your job description. Unfortunately or fortunately, this kind of position is not advertised, you have to create it. They don’t even interview on campus – few companies do that nowadays in Nigeria. Less I forget, forget about selling any idea, if you are not available to drive it.

Then, I asked myself: this is a really bright student but grossly confused on getting what he wants.

Let me tell a little story: I have a good friend who has been working on a business plan to set up a Telecom Infrastructure Company based on his extensive market research in the Telecom industry for some time. He did not stop there, he went ahead and started talking to various industry players on implementing his idea. One thing led to the other, he had the opportunity to speak with one of the Founders at Helios Towers and today works as an Executive Assistant in the company. A fresh graduate on a management track?! Did I mention that he managed to survive school with a third class? Prior to landing this plum job, he had run various successful businesses on and off campus.

This is a sample of how the world works…

Yet most of his colleagues refused to think differently. They refused to choose. Instead, they treated University like an extension of Secondary School. They did only what they are required to do to get by. I think the ability to choose is a tremendous gift. The ability to start a business, to travel, to learn a new language, to just stand out is critical…People hardly ask you what your cGPA is after 1-2 years of finishing school, anyone?

The competition is stiff. The pressure is high. I doubt you will get any big multinational to interview you before a new world starts. No one owes you anyway! Cut class. Go for an Internship. Be interested…

I think more than 99% of job seekers are still thinking like Secondary School students. Why? Simple – they will only wait for employers/recruiters to advertise in national dailies before applying or come calling on campus.

It’s pretty clear that our system of education does not foster creativity or innovation – it’s just clear from questions people ask! This educational system does not support discipline to think. I will only hire Hungry people with a strong desire to win and a critical mind.

Enough. I’m out!

Nathan Jeffery
Notification Bell