But you already know that, right?
Life after a college degree
For an average reasonable student, what clouds his/her mind is what life has to offer after school.
A lot of questions beg for answers as reality looms ahead; “what is next after a college degree?
How will I soar amongst the crowd? What are the expectations in the outer world? And other related questions.
A lot has been heard, and as the economic situation of the country shrinks, ‘Will I succeed out there’ is the question that roams the mind of many students.
If you are conversant with happenings in the country, you already know that tough competition exists in the labor market. In order words, jobs availability to jobs seekers ratio is absurd.
An ample example is the Nigerian Police Force Recruitment Portal that had applicants in tens of thousands against ten thousand available positions.
Truth be told, life outside campus is not gloomy. Gone is the era of “go to school, study hard, have a good grade and you’d secure your dream job”.
Graduates of today have an inordinate obsession for white-collar jobs. They want to work in Shell, Chevron, NNPC, etc.
However, the available white-collar jobs can’t go round. The earlier you realize this, the better because then, you can explore other viable options.
How to excel after a college degree
Wake up from your slumber and work assiduously to acquire viable skills that will position you for better opportunities.
When I was in school, a colleague developed his programming skills such that we reckoned with him to be a good programmer, and it paid off when he started apps development. During his NYSC, his employer discovered his skills and paid him the salary scale of a regular staff.
During the luncheon of my book in 300Level, Dr. Mahfouz made an analogy that still echoes in my head. He said:
“if you study hard and graduate with a first class, it is as if the door is opened for you and you still have the key… so, you don’t even need to use the key; if you graduate with a 2-1 the door is locked but thank God, you still have the key… so you still got a chance to open; if you graduate with a 2-2 the door is locked and the key lost… so, you’d do lots of work to search for the key before you can open the door…”
He meant as a first class student, opportunities yell at you, that grade placed you ahead of others; as a 2-1 student, you’re lucky because most job recruiters consider you for an interview. For a 2-2 student, you have a lot to do to lift your head high amongst teeming graduates.
Don’t get it twisted, I strongly believe that regardless your grade, what distinguish you is the skills you’ve acquired and the preparations you’ve made for the challenges ahead.
These, coupled with a positive attitude, great passion for what you do, and good integrity distinguishes you more.
Gather experience even if you will have to volunteer to acquire it. If you are a mechanical engineer and passionate about automobiles, don’t feel pompous to learn, even from a roadside mechanic.
I understand that most of us prefer where we would gather experience and still get well-paid. Yes, it’s great! But it doesn’t come so always.
During my 4th year internship, I had to switch from a firm to another because I was not engaged and I couldn’t agree to be idle. I settled for an electrical installation company where I had to chisel, plum, plaster, install…and do all sort of laborer related works, despite being offered an internship position at GTBank.
Pay now, Play later! It always pays.
Over the years, a lot has been said about entrepreneurship. Being a student doesn’t stop you from being your own boss, or at least working towards becoming one.
You may have other skills that don’t relate to your field of study. Who says you can’t earn with your writing skill and still maintain a good academic stance?
If you are a business oriented person, you can do well in marketing other people’s ideas and/or projects.
Also, maintain good rapport with your colleagues in school, you never can tell who will assist you out there.
Don’t be like a buddy who didn’t relate while in school. He only said hello when he needed help, and everybody knows him for that. Hardly would any of us remember him when an opportunity comes, that is just the reality of life — those that linger in our mind are those that care about us and brought a smile into our lives.
Lastly, a life without God is a futile life, and the one with God is a MAJORITY. The future is bright. Start investing in yourself, even if you’d have to starve for it today.
Think out of the box. Think out of those four walls of a college campus now!.
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