Three months, that was the time frame within which I was sure I would get a job. So after the fifth month without a job, depression naturally crept in. My name is Emem Etuk and this is my story.
I graduated from the University of Uyo with a degree in marketing and was posted to serve in Gombe State under the National Youth Service scheme. Service year ended in October, 2011 and despite the reality of job scarcity I was so sure a job will be in my grasp in just three months. Why was I so certain? Well for one, I was well armed with knowledge and skills I got from attending career seminars and employability workshops like the Microsoft Employability Programme organized by LEAP Africa. I was also certain that my enthusiasm and can-do attitude will work the magic. Yes, knowledge, skills, enthusiasm and a can-do attitude did work some magic, but one essential element was missing – I did not understand the Nigerian job market.
My job search started in January 2012, but the fuel subsidy crisis made that January a NO-VACANCY period in Nigeria. February came and went and so did March, and April, yet not even an invitation for aptitude test. Something was clearly wrong. Were my applications all going to the recycle bin or shredder? Depression set in, my enthusiasm waned, my savings dried up, and I began having disagreements with my parents. I found solace in relating with other job-seekers. We would gather to share information and recruitment stories and discuss the way forward. The movie “The Company Men” was also an inspiration. The movie plot is based on the lives of working class men who lost their jobs due to redundancy. Life was tough and depression set in, but they did not give up. They got their lives back because they had faith, courage and enthusiasm.
With renewed zest, I began to study trends in the Nigerian job market and also focused on personal development. I reset my goals, improve my computing skills, re-crafted my CV, extended my searchlight, pounded the streets more and things began to look up. The aptitude tests invites began to trickle in, and then came the interviews. I got my fair share of rejections, even turned down two job offers and in September 2012 after an aptitude test, a minor car accident, a computer based test and two interviews, I got a job (my first BIG job). Not just any job, but a job that matches my skill, abilities and career objective. Today, the story can be told of how a young Nigerian found a thrilling and fulfilling job after almost 9 months of protracted search. The long wait was not easy, but it was worth it because it birthed THE JOB SEEKERS’ CREED™. I did it, and so will you. See you at the top!