Graduating from university or polytechnic is one of those major milestones for every Nigerian youth. Convocation events are usually marked with much fun fate as family, relatives, friends and acquaintances are invited for the joyous occasion. People do this mostly because it is supposed to mark the beginning of success and open new doors mostly because the graduates have worked themselves out especially considering the tough academic environment of Nigeria.
It is however not a smooth sail after graduation as most people will get to find out sooner or later. Harsh economic realities, lack of openings for the requisite knowledge obtained in school and a lack of experience for available job spaces tend to make it difficult for fresh graduates to chart the course of their dreams. Nonetheless, it is important that young graduates re-evaluate their goals and find a way to align their efforts if they have any hope of achieving them. As such you need to forget your teenage partying time in university and tend towards professionalism which the outside world requires.
Evaluate Your Finances
Most people have little or no concern about their finances during their time in university. This is mostly because their finances while in school was taken care of by parents or guardians. Finances become complicated after graduation as you’re most times left to fend for yourself. Even though your financial costs may have reduced, other expenses such as transportation, feeding, clothing and general living expenses crop up and this most times become your sole responsibility. It is thus very important for you to re-evaluate your spending and find ways of getting an income no matter how small it maybe. The most important rule here is ensuring you don’t live above your means while making sure you take care of the most important expenses first. Plan for a way you can pay for your expenses even if it means taking up a job below your standard until you get one that suits your status.
After you’ve achieved one of the most important goals of your life which is getting a first degree, the next thing to do is to create newer goals that would help you accomplish your dreams. It is essential you have a mental picture of the kind of success you want to achieve. It could be creating your own company, working for a multinational company, getting married, becoming a politician, a researcher or an academic; whatever it is, make sure you have a mental picture of what being successful is in your mind. It is important that the goals you set for yourself are those that are based on the things you desire. This would help you to plan and act accordingly to get what you want.
Look More Professional
You’re done with those polo shirts and jeans which was commonplace for you during your university days. It’s time to curb a more professional look if you intend to get the kind of job you want. Create a professional image of yourself according to the kind of job you want. Place this image of you on your social media handles and while presenting yourself for interviews. Just as your expectations of life changed after graduation, so have other people’s expectations of you changed. Try as much as possible to dress to impress while remembering that ‘first impression matters most’.
Update Your CV
Your curriculum vitae is an important document that gives potential employers an idea of who you are at first glance. Your CV should no longer look like that of a student but more professional. It should be simple and not more than a page. Ensure your requisite skills are stated while using a friendly format. It is also important that typographical errors are avoided as much as possible. Use professional language and write accomplishments when describing yourself. You can also include a cover letter from one of your lecturers from university while getting your friends to go through it before submitting.
Get a Job
You may want to have a specific career path but try as much as you can to be open to different opportunities that may pass your way. Expect an entry level job and if that takes time in coming, get an internship placement which would help you add to your experience. Getting a job may take some time and effort as it may require you making good use of your social and networking skills. More so, try and get someone from your field to mentor you. Volunteer for any opportunity that comes in your field even if there’s no financial aid attached to it.
Know that your graduation is just the beginning of your life as there’s still so much to learn. Stay up-to-date in your field by attending seminars and conferences. In all, you’d be a better and sought after professional soon enough.