In Nigeria, it is believed that getting a job once you graduate from the University, finished the mandatory one year National Service, depends on who you know and not what you know. That is to say, nobody gives a damn about the skills you have for a job, the question is, “Who do you know”.
If as a fresh graduate, you still believe that your chances of getting a job depends on who you know, it actually means that you have not invested in yourself enough. Most undergraduates don’t really know the worth of investing in themselves until after graduation.
Well, even if you are done with school five years ago without a job, it’s never too late to start spending your money advancing in your career.
Below are ways you can invest in your career and yourself.
- Become certified
Technical fields, project management and human resources are just some fields in which certifications can help you advance in your career as a graduate. Even though getting certified is more expensive than degree programs, it is generally less time consuming.
- Read Like your life depends on it
I know that many of us hate the idea of reading but another way to develop in your career is by reading like your life depends on it. Deepen your expertise and acquire more knowledge by ready at least one book a month that is relevant to your career. It sounds easy, I know but it takes a lot of discipline to achieve this. Reading generally improves your work performance and benefits you both personally and professionally.
- Attend workshops and conferences:
Attending conferences and workshops related to your career is an excellent way to boost your skills. As an upcoming filmmaker, one of the things I love doing is attending Film festivals and master classes. Not only does it motivate me, it equally helps broaden my knowledge on filmmaking. So you should try this out too. Search online for conferences and workshops within your area.
- Learn relevant skills
I am sure you know that the university won’t teach you everything. You’ll have to learn certain skills that’ll make you more relevant and valuable than other job seeking candidates out there. You can do this by taking an online course, Master classes, watching YouTube videos, etc.
- Find an Internship or become an apprentice
Apprentice and internships isn’t just for undergraduates. Professionals can still take on a mid-career internship or apprenticeship to acquire new skills, navigate a gap in employment, or to help make a career transition.
- Promoting yourself \online
Instead of using your online presence to chat with friends about irrelevant stuffs, you can use that time and promote your brand online. Remember that your online profile can either get you or prevent you from getting a job, and this is why you have to be conscious of what you publish on your social media accounts. To sell yourself online to potential employers online, you’ll need to follow them on their social media platforms, contribute to industry discourse and express your opinions about industry issues. This might endear an employer to you if you’re consistent with it.
- Get a mentor.
One easy way to position yourself for growth in your career is to have a mentor. So, identify someone you respect and admire in your field and ask if they would be your mentor. This will leave most people flattered and they will be more willing to spend time mentoring you. Aside the fact that this can be done at no cost, having a mentor helps you to make important decisions in your career and also helps you develop yourself in any field of your interest.
Truth is that whether you are in the early stage of your career, are well established, or you are in between jobs, choose to invest in yourself with one or several of these ideas and you will reap the benefits throughout your career.