True Realities About Graduate Unemployment

So I was seeing this Nollywood movie the other day, and a happy mother celebrating with her ‘just graduated’ daughter uttered a most hilarious fallacy: “I’m now the mother of a graduate” she said, “I’m now the mother of the wealthy”. I really laughed at that one, I was like “na all graduates dey get money?”. Anyways, the movie’s a really old one so; maybe in that age, all graduates were prospective “Dangotes”-its definitely not so today sha and that got me thinking…
It’s no longer news that most Nigerian graduates are unemployed and most of the employed ones work outside their field of study. In fact, its like there’s a secret constant of direct proportionality such that the more graduates our tertiary institutions produce, the larger the number of unemployed youths we have roaming the streets. The drop-outs and illiterates seem to be making more waves than the graduates these days and honestly, most of them are the ones that end up employing the ‘glorified graduates’. Who do we blame for this unbecoming trend? What do we have to do to set things back in order?

Truth is bitter; typical Nigerian undergraduates or graduates don’t know exactly what to do to get out of the unemployment rat-race mostly because they are too lazy to make decisions for themselves. Rather than take life head-on, they prefer their family or friends helping them out. Don’t get me wrong, its not a bad thing to get some help climbing the success ladder; but you have to do your part of the thinking. The mindset of most Nigerian young men and women is : “let me get a grade and get a job”; sweetheart, wake up! The jobs on ground are not enough to go round, over 39 million people are unemployed in this country alone! That figure is more than Ghana’s population, so basically, what that means is that a whole nation is sitting around jobless.

You graduated with a first class degree or a second class upper division degree? I’m so happy for you-honestly. But guess what, good grades these days are a dime a dozen! People with the same or better grades are among the 39 million. Good grades are great but they’re just not enough anymore you need a little extra to get a head start else your grades count for naught.

I almost forgot this other possibility; your parents are very rich, they own a company or a chain of businesses and so you will just take over. In an ideal world, that’s like the coolest thing ever but it might interest you to know that even though you share the same surname with your parents, you are not the same person with them. Those riches are their achievements dear, if you don’t have the mental capacity to build something of your own, you’ll eventually squander that which was bequeathed to you. Please don’t misunderstand me, it is not bad for you to take over a mouth-watering inheritance, just develop yourself and equip yourself with the necessary skills, and only then can you make your achievements through theirs. You would not want to destroy what they had laboured hard for now would you? You can only make it better.

I should have just thought about this earlier, you are a lady, God blessed with a beautiful face and the body of a super model, you are just going to fall into the hands of a rich, smart, handsome dude and boom! “They lived together happily ever after…”
Well, good luck with that, but whenever you’re ready to wake up from your Disney dream featuring your prince charming on a white horse asking you to be his queen and face reality, I’ll be here to tell you that no smart dude will want to marry a pretty liability ( but I suppose you knew this already). Yeah, some traditional beliefs have it that no man will want to marry a successful lady especially with more achievements than his but sweetheart, you might like to check your calendar… It’s 2013!

Of course i didn’t forget the fact that you are well connected, you know a lot of people, your parents know all those people up there, the members of your extended family and you friends are just more than good enough to make things happen for you. All you have to do is mention where you want to work and at the snap of their fingers its done. Congratulations dear, but as much as networking is a key factor in success, it is not all enough to keep you going. What about what you have inside of you. When you get that job, can you keep up? Can you deliver what they expect? You might like to have a re-think.

Now what? What is the way forward? Its quite simple. Maybe not easy but, in the long run, it is worth it. It is good to be social, know what is happening around you, mingle with people and all of that but things have to be done with limits! You don’t have to spend everyday day on movies, surfing internet, social networks, telling people how pathetic school is or doing other irrelevant stuffs. Why not just divert some of that time into something meaningful and productive. You are a celeb on a social network, who cares? Some do anyway but what most people want is results, not just results, good results.

Probably you are thinking what am I to do? There are lots of things to do. If education is not your calling abeg go and learn a trade or go ahead to put any talent you have to work – you don’t have to necessarily stop school. What about your parents’ trades, you think it is too local? That is why you are educated and in a new century, rebrand and package it well. If you don’t know how, google’s always a friend in need.  There is a book for everything you might just think about, if you are still confused on the steps to take, your answer is just a book away. Don’t be too lazy to read books, money spent on buying books is never a waste, it is an investment, you might just end up running a library, all you have to do is package it.

One last thing, beauty, connections, good grades, taking over companies and what have you are great factors in becoming successful, you just have to apply your brain properly in adding more value to those things. Don’t forget to involve God, when God is number one, every other thing adds up.



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About Olumide Lawrence

OLUMIDE LAWRENCE is a writer, an artiste and a publicist. Started out as a PLAYER, now I am a Relationship COACH. Follow me on twitter @ilummynation and instagram @glowville Facebook: Olumide ilummynation Lawrence. BBM: 2A3B059E, 7E15126B.

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