First, my sincere apologies if in the end, this doesn’t fit into the conventional “Job tips” or “7 ways to get a Job” you typically find on the internet. It is my expectation that after you finish reading, you should be outraged.
Personally, I am not very impressed with our progression as Africans and Nigerians, particularly as it relates to our priorities, orientation and expectations. Please allow me to give some context. At my university, one of the best photographers in the university community was from Bangladesh. Although an engineering student, he invested his resources in digital photography equipment. He was not that “rich kid who loved to acquire gadgets because his parents could afford them for him”. He didn’t fit that description. We spent many nights together doing odd jobs as students. It was from his influence I bought my first digital camera in 2014. Today I have 2 (paid for over a period of 2 years on monthly rates).
As an engineering student, I didn’t see Manish (not real name) having a problem finding a job in Germany. As I wrote this, he already found a job as an Engineer in Stuttgart. But if he had failed to find one and things didn’t work out well, I have no doubts that he would havereturned home and become a successful photographer.
Among my Linkedin contacts, the most active blogger I know is Indian. She hardly produces original content on her blog but mostly share people´s content. By doing that on LinkedIn, she is putting herself out there. On her profile, she says she is a social media consultant. You will see that again and again whenever she shares content, and you begin to believe it after a while. Now, when I think of social media consulting, her face is the first thing I see. Although, she might not currently have the authority to make me bring out my money and pay her for a consulting job, in 6 months she would have improved her brand and created more awareness for herself in my eyes than YOU who might be doing nothing or posting about your new clothes and shoe collection on Instagram.
You studied communications and graduated in 2015, 2016, 2017, or 2018. Now you want a company in 2018 to employ you in a communication specialist role, but you don’t know how to use any of the widespread communication or social media tools at a fundamental level. Snapchat, no! LinkedIn, no! Xing, no idea! Twitter, no! Instagram, not really! Pinterest, no idea! But you are looking for a communication specialist job? And your “dream” company will open all these accounts for you and teach you how to be a PRO before you start helping them make a profit? Wow, that’s my idea workplace environment too! Please if you find their address, don’t be selfish, take me along.
I started learning Facebook advertising and using my resources to test run Facebook promotions. Today I have two pages and using both to improve my knowledge. And guess what, when I got my current position, Facebook advertising was one of the things the operations team at the company did. So, the day they were putting me through, I was responding smoothly, and the person in charge was impressed and thought that I was brilliant and picked up fast. “No madam, I am not…I spent hours on my own and wasted my money making several mistakes privately before today”.
It was the same experience when I was taught analytics and how to set up campaigns… The manager said, “wow, it took me months to learn all of these”. Well, Oga, it did take me the same amount of time, but mostly in my apartment. Twice I could save myself from stereotypical frustrated boss situation.
I gained my first experience using WordPress through managing NiSIG website. Before that, I had no previous experience or knowledge with that tool. It was in this environment I made most of my mistakes in website management and learnt from the experience. Today I can do better with my website.
Have you been applying for jobs but not getting any positive responses? Don’t be a lazy Nigerian youth like your president said, start your blog and begin to work on content in your field of study or area of interest. Take online certification courses, build your website, pick up a camera, open and operate as many social media accounts as youhave time for. My sister, take my advice and build your brand! Start learning something professionally and make all the mistakes while spending your time and money. In a fast-paced world, you might not be lucky to find a company who wants to invest their resources in training you, but if you already have done that for yourself, then problem half solved- Chikina!
Sincerely, If I was a manager, I know that I will not prioritise employing someone who is not up to speed with the latest communication trends and tools. To my own advantage, it makes more sense to want someone who will be adding value or assist older colleagues to come to term with the latest technologies. The truth is: no company wants you solely because of your degrees, but because of the job that they need you to do! If your degree says, you are a master’s in computer science, but in reality, you are not close to a beginner, nobody will blame your university for not updating their curriculum to meet up with the current market realities.
I am not very happy when I walk into a professional working environment and see people from all over the world (many of them with no German language skills) but am the only black person. Coupled with the fact that my “broken German language skill” is better than theirs. But what do they all have in common? Professional skills and knowledge. My French colleague spent a year doing several internships with different start-ups before she got her job. During the period of her internships, she stayed in several shared flats and Airbnb accommodations to get through the internships. Guess what? I also applied for her position, but she was the one that was selected. Luckily, I got another chance at the same company. And seeing her work, I agree that she more than deserved to be chosen over me.
The choice is yours. Be angry at me for not showing you enough respect, talking down at you, and not wanting to understand your peculiar personal and family circumstance – but get up with that anger and do something! In 6 months’ time, you can become an expert in website management, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram monetisation and advertising. In 10 months you can become a consultant for small businesses in Nigeria and Germany and help them manage their online presence or marketing campaigns. You might not even want a job in Germany anymore. Or on the other hand, you can keep expecting a miracle like your name is miracle BBNaija.
At the end of the day, I can only make you angry and feel insulted for not giving you some accolades, but what you do afterwards with that anger is your decision.