On campus, especially during the penultimate levels of undergraduate studies, students are often carried away by the thrill of leaving the school. They are often on high spirits, with big hopes and dreams they wish to chase upon graduation. They can’t just wait to dive into their dream jobs, careers or enterprises.
They seem so confident, that sometimes erroneously make them believe that their successors, that are unemployed are lazy. In their minds, nothing is impossible to achieve, especially their dreams.
Upon graduation, their family and well-wishers promise them good paying jobs after completing the compulsory one year National Youths Service Corps Programme. The future seems so bright and certainly beautiful.
While waiting for the NYSC programme, some of them end up securing for themselves low paying jobs, since they cannot be employed as graduates without the NYSC discharge certificate or exemption letters (for those above the age of 30). They are not bothered by the little they are paid, because it’s just a temporary job and the income they make is to enable them take care of some basic needs of theirs. Something they do in order not to be idle.
Some others prefer to remain at home, instead of taking jobs beneath their status. They can afford to wait for a few months, instead of wasting their precious time for peanuts as salaries, after spending years in tertiary institutions, with good GPs to show for it.
Finally, after few months of graduation, they find themselves in NYSC orientation camps. It’s almost like a dream come true. Throughout their stay in campus, they have always imagined how it felt to be called a corper. Their bigger life dreams are even rekindled in the orientation camp. Here, they are enlightened on the numerous job opportunities available in the labour market. They are educated on how to prepare good CVs and application letters for employment, as well as how to impress their potential employers during job interviews.
About from preparing them for jobs, they are also educated about entrepreneurship and how they can start up and run successful business enterprises. They are also enlightened about the numerous grants and credit facilities available for fresh graduates and how they can access such facilities.
Everything seems so rosy to an extent that they can’t just wait to complete the programme and start living their dreams. Nothing can hold them back. Where others have failed, they will succeed. Failure is not an option.
From the orientation camps, they are posted to their places of primary assignments. Some are posted in rural areas, while others are posted in urban areas. Wherever they are posted doesn’t really matter, though some places seem more unpleasant than others.
In my own experience, I found out that so many corpers have absolutely nothing doing in their places of primary assignments. Some of them only report to the places of primary assignment for their employers to sign their clearance papers for payment or just to socialize with their fellow corpers. Life seems so fun when you receive monthly allowance from Federal Government and sometimes from State and Local Governments, simply because you are corper. For some of them, this is the first time they ever experienced ultimate freedom, to acts as they like, away from their family. They’ve got to make the most out of it.
Not so long, they complete the programme after a passing out parade and are awarded with discharge letters. Now, they are complete graduate, with all the requisites to be treated as one. They can now apply for jobs as graduates.
Lo and behold the Reality!
Now they are no longer entitled to monthly allowances. As a graduate, they are not expected to receive allowances from their family and well-wishers. They are now complete adult with all it takes to procure good jobs and take care of themselves. They are expected to work and earn real income for themselves.
At this stage, most of them still have their confidence intact. Their hopes and dreams are still alive. Their dream jobs are just a click away. This is where they put into practice all the do’s and don’ts they learnt in the NYSC programme. Their CVs are fully prepared and ready to be dispatched to selected potential employees. They seem selective of organizations to work for.
Not so long, they subscribe to numerous online job placement agencies. Consequently, they receive notifications of job vacancies and in turn respond by forwarding their CVs to them. After submitting countless applications for jobs in some selected companies without any feedback from them, let alone, a call for interview, they begin to consider every other vacancy available. Day after day; week after week; month after month; their tastes begins to change.
Sad Reality of Labour Market
With only a prevue of the nature of the labour market, they are forced to consider applying anywhere vacancy exist, even if, it’s just temporary until they secure their dream jobs. Eventually, they are invited for an interview. What a relief! I knew it? I told you?
They rehearse the lines they have learnt from self-help books on Job Interviews. On the interview day, they are fully prepared all round to step into their destiny, only to find so many candidate contending for the same position. They had anticipated one-on-one interview, only to be subjected to written interview. A measure to reduce to seeming large number of candidates. A majority are screened out, leaving a few number to compete for job positions, perhaps reserved for special candidates, who don’t necessarily need to attend the interview.
In time, they become frustrated, just like their successor, abandoning their dreams to fate.
In the next article, I will be sharing with you tips that will enable you to cope with the seemly hard realities after graduation.
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