Corper Shan! I will like to say how else can we thank you for dedicating one year of your life to serve your country. You have shown there is hope in our educational and Healy system only if we have passionate and energetic hands like you. What a great show of patriotism! What a great show of dedicated service! So what’s up after service? Like are you ready for the things to come. I am writing this letter to remind you of the changes ahead and how you can prepare for it.
If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything!
First, watch out for losing your identity to the challenges ahead. Watch out for losing your voice to that of the crowd. The school and NYSC has a way of protecting your identity from the reality and harsh conditions of life. The identity I am talking about is who you have always wanted to be! Do you know it is time that the protective shell of school and government ended. Some years back, you were asked what you wanted to be in the future and you mentioned great stuff you wanted to become. The expectation on what you mentioned years back on your great future starts now. The future you talked about years ago is finally here. Nothing holds your future back again not 4 years of school, not one year of service. If you have forgotten those great dream, aspiration and hopes about your future, now is the time to remember. You wanted to be a great biochemist, a world class philosopher, a superb counsellor. However, I hear you are already changing your gears. You wanted to be a world class biochemist and I hear you applying already to be a police officer. Are you sure you are going for your passion ? You want to take any job that comes you ways. You are ready to settle for anybody, any job, any fiancé, any life. Remember anything is nothing, that way any job means no job.
Now I challenge you to recall what you told me sometimes ago. About how you wanted to be somebody, a great person whose voice will be heard and valued. Now it is time to start taking steps toward those future ambition. Let’s say you want a biochemist job, you should
Go for your passion now ! You wanted to be an entrepreneur now it is the time to test the market. Having formed your identity it is time to give yourself a brand.
Second, I hear you are ignorant of what your personal brand is. You know someone once defined branding as staying true to the what you promised as your identity. A personal brand is how you project yourself. It starts from you on paper, that is your CV. Then the physical you, your dressing, your spoken and written English, social etiquette. It also speaks about your integrity.
Let’s start an intro conversation on the CV. I have seen so many dry CV. Old, common and dry! I hope your CV isn’t like that. And please don’t use the same CV for all job roles. Each job role is unique, so your relevant experience and hobbies should change.
I even hear some of your colleagues don’t have a CV yet and they are praying to get a job.
I overheard you wasted almost a page on biodata and nothing much on your relevant work experience. And some of you say you don’t have work experience, you want to be an accountant and you served as the financial secretary of your CDS group for almost 11 months. Did you need the Holy Ghost to tell you that it is a relevant experience in the absence of actual formal work place experience. We will talk more about CV subsequently.
What of dressing? By now you should know the dressing of the workplace. You should know the language of the workplace. You can’t wear a Khaki to an interview. You can’t wear a white tennis for an interview. Now Let’s talk about integrity.
One of the two major problems of our country is corruption and unemployment. Don’t be part of the problems, rather be a solution to these problems!! My pastor used to say your competence will open doors for you but your character will keep you in the room. Let’s assume your competence has gotten you a job, problem one of unemployment is solved. Then you will have to face problem two of corruption. You will be tempted with challenges of corruption. I have heard story of young corpers who were avid advocate of anti-corruption who went on to become corrupt as they become entrenched in the system.
Make your stands known from your early days so people are aware you are a no go area!
You might even be a victim of corruption. In a case where you are to get a job and it goes to the family members of a politician. You will be met with a lot of rejections which will should talk about too.
Third, you should be aware nobody owes you a job. Nobody owes you anything in this life. Not even your uncle who is promising a job when you come back home. And because of this you might be met with rejections as you apply for various vacancy. It doesn’t mean you are not good enough or you should give up. It is just because they can’t take all the very fantastic people or maybe you haven’t convinced them you are fantastic enough. In fact, I read one stat recently. It refers to the fact that an average graduate should submit their CVs in 70 organization before they are guaranteed a place in 5 companies. So be prepared for rejection in 65 others. Someone will not even get back to you.
Rejections doesn’t mean you are not good enough! It means you can do better!!
Remember my friend I have said three things about identity, personal branding and rejection. Don’t forget your identity. You can stay true to your identity through personal branding and be prepared for rejection of your brand.
Don’t forget our service to our dear nation shouldn’t stop in few days time. Service is a continuous process.
Do what you can where you are with what you have!