Is there is any hope for a 2.2, third class and pass graduate in the Nigerian labor market.
The answer is an emphatic YES. There is hope and opportunity . As a matter of fact I know a handful of persons that have good jobs (not business) without a degree.
The truth is that it does not guarantee to be an easy ride, but I sure guarantee you that you will find it interesting and adventurous.
There are still quite a number of first class and 2.1 students roaming the streets searching for jobs. So many factors contributes to this unemployment rate. Top most of them all is the fact that the jobs are scarce to an extent, then secondly, a high percentage of our graduates has learnt absolutely nothing.
During adverts for jobs the essence of the 2.1 benchmark recruiters or employers place on job adverts is just to reduce traffic and make their job a bit easier. Nobody is blown away by your grade during the interview, it is not even up for discussion.
That is why at the end of the day, the best candidate is taken from amongst them and the rest goes home. So below are 5 difficult steps to land your dream job as a 2.2 and third class grad.
1. Decide on the kind of job you want
I understand there could be numerous justifiable and funny reasons why you couldn’t make first class or 2.2. Probably you lost interest in your course of study and did not give it your best shot. It could also be that you gave it your best shot, but your efforts were frustrated by your ‘wicked lecturers’ or by some ancestral or village deity (lol).
For some others you were just clueless and careless in your first year in school, but by the time you sat up in subsequent years, the damage has been done already and you really wished you can turn the hands of time.
For some folks even, you deserve not to even succeed in life considering the way you conducted yourself on campus that landed you here. But whatever is your own story, just put that behind you and take a decision.
Life has never been fair. Life does not give people what they deserve but what they demand for. Decide on the kind of job you want and attract it. This life you see is more spiritual than it is physical.
2. Enlarge your capacity
What can you do? You must be able to answer this million dollar question. Your answer to this question in the face of opportunity could be the game changer for you. You know your grade is poor already. So you just don’t have something to prove but everything. Right now you don’t have a choice but to be the best at something.
Acquire a skill that is relevant in your job choice. Get a professional certification (forget about masters for now), work on your communication skill and professional poise, work on your personal branding. Image and perception is everything. Exude the confidence and aura of a Harvard MBA grad.
3. Don’t apply for advertised jobs
Don’t wait for a vacancy to be advertised before you apply for a job. It limits your chances. As a matter of fact some of the adverts has already place a 2.1 benchmark on the qualification. So what do you do?
Even when there is not bench mark, the recruiting firm or HR has a lot of 1.1 and 2.1 CVs to contend with. So yours won’t get anybody’s attention. So you don’t have to be applying for advertised jobs. God gave us the ability to create. Where there is no vacancy, you can create one. How? See no. 4
4. Proposals not CVs
Improve your business writing skills. Learn how to write proposals because that is what you will be needing, not CV. Start selling yourself and the value you can bring to the system.
The private sector is result and productivity driven. Do a convincing proposal to the company, stating how you can contribute in improving either their bottom line, accountability, security, maintenance and operations, image, communication and market expansion. This is what consultants do and most of them don’t do anything special. Do a good proposal and attach your CV to it.
Start building a strong network. No matter the grade you graduated with, a strong network can help you land your job. Like I said in my last article, one good contact is worth more than a hundred CVs submitted at random. Seek to meet with Business owners, by pass Recruitment agencies and HR. build relationships with people that have decision making ability. They are in your churches.
You can meet them in clubs. Just focus on building strategic relationship with industry executives. Do things for people without being paid. Volunteer to serve on different platforms where your ingenuity will be felt.
Don’t be in a hurry to brandish your CV or inundate people with calls because you are looking for a job. Employers are interested in what you can do and what you have the potential of achieving. By pass the long queue and seek for employer’s attention.