NYSC is a platform which the federal government has set aside for fresh graduates to serve their fatherland Nigeria.
NYSC is not just about you serving your country or being up and doing in your PPA (place of primary assignment), but also a training ground where you have to prepare yourself for the labour market and the things that come after.
The labour market now is not all about what you studied in the tertiary institution, but what you have to offer that others in the same field as you cannot offer. For an instance when there are job offers and you are called upon for interview, even before you apply for this job some qualifications must have been specified, so that means everyone that has applied and coming for that same interview has same qualifications, some applicants there have results far better than yours.
Given the statement above, everyone is qualified when it comes to grades but the company cannot employ all. So in this situation what can you offer that others can’t? Here creativity and skills come in. if you are an engineer and during your NYSC period you advanced the knowledge you got in school that becomes your saving grace, to a certain extent it will work for you because the company thinks you don’t require much training to go.
NYSC introduced SEAD which is all about skills acquisition. It was not introduced so that corp members will have fun in camp but to prepare you for the outside world which is the labour market because they have first-hand knowledge of what graduates go through after their service year. Nigeria tertiary education institution produces 500,000 graduates on yearly basis (Jobber man, 2017).
As a serving corp member do not sit and focus on your PPA alone, develop yourself and acquire a skill for your own benefit.
The scarcity of jobs will not be an impede for the higher institutions in graduating students. Every year millions of students write JAMB and gain admission, as of 2017/2018 1,662,762 students registered for JAMB (VANGUARD, 2018). School management don’t care about the high rate of unemployment, but they care about teaching and graduating students yearly.
As an individual and fresh graduate, it’s left for you to develop yourself, check yourself and know the game you are watching that you are supposed to be playing; a butterfly cannot go back to being a caterpillar, learn a skill and subsequently become an employer of labour in contrast to being a liability to the nation. Look for a skill that you are passionate about and enjoy doing for a long time without getting tired or frustrated and learn it; learning it is not just enough but you have to put your best into it and become perfect.
One good thing about SAED is that it is not just limited in camp alone but also extends throughout the service year. NYSC has many outlets in all the 36 states of the federation where one can register for SAED at a subsidized price. Another good thing about SAED is that certificates will be issued to individuals on successful completion of the training which has automatically entitled the holder to loan that can be used to establish in various fields they might have been trained.
Another way forward is registering for a professional course that fits into various fields of study of the corp member. This adds more knowledge and also boosts the CV of the individual corp member. Under these professional courses, we have numerous courses like Project management, Health and safety management, Business management among others. Check for the one you fit into and go for it.
Developing you and boosting your CV will go a long way to help you where your certificate can’t in the labour market; a white-collar job is not the only work that can put food on your table which is even a mirage in the current economic situation of the nation. Entrepreneurship is the perfect way out of poverty and depression that comes with the inability to secure a job; China is arguably the fastest growing economy in the world today due to skills and entrepreneurship, they produce goods and services in circulation all over the world. Nigerian youths can if they believe in themselves.
Finally, maybe you have wasted your service year, you still have a chance to start from somewhere because “the best way to finish anything in life is to start” meaning you can’t finish if you don’t start. Just look for a place to register for part-time, it will go a long way. Loneliness is not the absence of affection but the absence of direction, don’t sit and be lonely because that’s where depression steps in. If you want to live a life of purpose don’t start when you get good, start now so you become good.
Sitting idle with big dreams in your mind won’t do the magic but acting will. Don’t stop when you are tired stop when you are done! Take that bold step today and change your world.