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One of the major challenges fresh graduates face is the level of work experience required to get a job.
‘1- 3 years post-NYSC experience, 7- 10 years experience’ These days most jobs advertised need experienced hands. Bet you think no one is ready to give fresh graduates a chance. But, we won’t really blame employers for looking for capable hands. Many of them do not want to hire liabilities especially as they are cutting costs due to economic restraints.
All hope is not lost. You can still get that work experience you so desire!
Firstly, you need to have made some decisions about your career and what kind of work you want to do.
There is nothing called ‘Any Job‘. You don’t go around telling people “just give me any job, I can do it”. You need to look for work that is related to your chosen career or the industry you want to work in.
Secondly, while searching, don’t be hell-bent on getting a job with an amazing pay, be more interested in what you will learn and the skills you will acquire. The experience will help you to decide whether the career path you have chosen is the right option for you as it will give you a good insight into the real professional world.
Thirdly, start looking for some companies that you can approach or apply to. Here are a few steps that will help you:
- Find any of your family members who work in the sector or industry you are interested in. Ask them if they can put you in touch with someone who can help you. Your biggest advantage when looking for work experience is usually the people you know. Even if none of your family works in that industry, they might know someone who does. Speak to them.
- Speak to family friends, neighbors or anyone you know who might be able to assist you to find relevant work experience at their workplaces.
- Search online for companies that you think you would be interested in recruiting fresh hands. Get their contact details and reach out to them. You can even gatecrash these companies and submit your application directly.
- Find companies that offer internship programs. Many companies in Nigeria actually offer internship opportunities and industrial training programs. For some companies, it is a way to train and build young graduates. while for others, it is one way to get cheap labor. Whatever the reason, latch on to these opportunities to get the required experience.
- Attend events held by companies in the industry you want to work in. Go online and find out about events, seminars, luncheon or dinner being organized. Even if they are not free and you can afford it, make efforts to attend. This is an opportunity to network. The more people you establish valuable connections, the greater your chances of securing the job you want through them. Show these professionals that you are dedicated and passionate about the industry. When they see your level of commitment, they can recommend you to an employer.
Make sure you go to these events with your CV prepared, you never know who may ask for them.