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Kemisola Adetola: 10 Things A Job Seeker Needs to Know

Kemisola Adetola

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The last time I mentioned to a friend that I was going to get my dream job whether or not I knew anyone there, she exclaimed. “Kemi don’t deceive yourself, you have to know someone that knows someone. It’s all in the connections.”
I brushed the arguments that followed aside and didn’t give another thought to her prepositions concerning having “Connections” in order to get a meaningful job.
Until recently.

I was slowly beginning to agree with her and the realization is somewhat terrifying. I mean, why can’t I send my CV and if I meet the required criteria of the position, I get called upon for an interview or tests and eventually gets the job without having to ‘press buttons’?

If you live in Lagos, Abuja or PH and are job hunting, you probably know where the hot jobs in these areas are located. But the challenge is how to pave your way in. I was chatting with another friend yesterday and he said he had been applying for a particular job in Apapa in the past 18months and still hadn’t been contacted.

That was not the first time I was hearing that. I know of a very smart guy who had to resort to engaging in some casual business after two years of futile job search.

I thought about this for days and figured that there must be something missing somewhere. There has to be a thin line between rising to expectations and relying on who you know.

For I know some, even though not the larger percentage, who got their dream job without pressing buttons so to speak.

I asked them few questions on how they got hired and here’s what they have in common:
1. The job search didn’t start after graduation or NYSC passing out. It is something they had been working on by the daily decisions they made… long before they needed the job.
2. They kept abreast with information.
3. They knew what they wanted and pursued it with all doggedness, in other words, they are strong-willed.
4. They were irresistible; it was like the law of attraction working to their advantage.
5. They knew how to network without seeming in need of scouting for connections.
6. They made their abilities known and were invariably recommended for positions.
7. They had developed over-time, reliable circle of friends and association.
8. They are not just book-smart, but intelligent.
9. They developed set skills that are admirable.
10. They are simply goal and success driven.

So here is the deal, let’s take a cue from these attributes. If this category of people could get a meaningful job without the pressure of having to press buttons, so could you and I.
What’s your story? Please share your experience, what is your opinion on paving one’s way into those hot jobs?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Elena Elisseeva 

Kemisola Adetola is a Psychology graduate, creative writer, content developer and maker of sumptuous appetizers and deserts at Pebbles Appetizers. She has authored a short story and articles published on various platforms. She is passionate about writing articles that would help foster employability advantage, relationship and developing self. She can be contacted via [email protected] Instagram: @kemisolapebbles

19 Comments

  1. ajiji

    June 18, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Not now dear

  2. Jagbajantis

    June 18, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Where do I start? You are both right and wrong that connections are crucial in finding your dream job (if such a thing exists – as any job still requires your time and effort).
    Here is my 2 kobo (again)

    – It depends on the industry the job you are seeking belongs to. The legal profession for example as always been connection based. To secure a position at a top law firm in England back in the day, you needed a recommendation from someone who knows the law firm partners (probably your university dean or a family friend). These days in Nigeria and in most countries (I can speak for Yankee), the top law firms still place precedence over a recommendation from a colleague or partner than over a wild card application by a candidate. It also helps if you attended the same University or Law school as the law firm partners. Being a graduate of OAU, I have had easier passes to interviews because of the alumni privileges
    – Some industries require experience before you can break in. No amount of connection will fix that, unless the company agrees to invest in you by training you on the job. But even then you have to have a base. Roles in IT require you to pay dues, by gaining expertise in that role and doing certifications before you can land the big one paying six or seven figures. Or 8 figures in Nigeria (adjusted for inflation)
    – Networking skills. Attend job conferences. Shove your resume in HR managers hands. Learn how to make small conversations. Build your interview skills. How is your demeanour during interviews? Do you bunch up and shake your hands nervously? Do break into a sweat, like an EFCC guest? Or do you go off on a tangent when asked simple interview questions? Tell me about yourself – and then you mouth giving the interviewer BN gist sef. What is your internet health or reputation like? Employers check for those. Do you have a profile photo on Facebook which shows you in a state able to break the internet? Do you have a LinkedIn profile? Is it consistent with your resume, or does it contain phantom information like Certified Office Messenger?
    – Software skills. Can you use Excel or create formulas on it? Can you do a simple power point presentation without presenting yourself as a class idiot? You have some spare time on your hands? What about learning SAP or Oracle, rather than learning the intricacies of Toke’s marriage. Are you able to draft a simple email without murdering English or getting your paragraphing in a twist?
    – Attitude. Yes you want an oil job (who doesn’t?) But can you keep it? Do you have a sense of entitlement? Do you have a can-do attitude, or are you in it for basically salary. Interviewers can sense this from a mile away like rotten crayfish. I was once tardy at an interview, leaving a half drunk plastic bottle of water on the table after the interview ended. The interviewer picked it up and trashed it in front of me. I didn’t get the job.

    I have said enough for today.

    • Kimmy

      June 18, 2015 at 5:08 pm

      @Jagbajantis Thx dear, I jst wrote everything u said down. Wish I can be ur frnd

    • Pearly

      June 19, 2015 at 7:39 am

      U nailed it dear!

    • Hephzibah Frances

      Frances Okoro

      June 19, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      Thank you so much for your comment jagbajantis!
      All shades of wisdom!
      KEEPING notes for later.

      And thank you Kemi! Frankly, i’m not that good with career stuff so I learnt a lot from this.

    • Jamila

      June 19, 2015 at 5:53 pm

      Thank you so much for taking the time to educate us. I learned a bit from this and wrote down some points. Thanks once again Jagbajantis.

  3. Lilo

    June 18, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    You’re right. But it’s not always about connections. Yes, connections occur(s) at times, even outside Nigeria. My best friend in Toronto got her first job through her “account officer”. The lady who assisted her with her account whenever she had issues or wanted to make enquiries.
    My point is, connections really does exist, but it’s not always the case. I always tell this to young and old people, so they don’t use that as an opportunity to give up. My cousin works in Bank of America, and she has a Microbiology degree, while of course she cannot be a financial anyalyst, or an investment banker or a business anyalyst, etc, she works at the customer service department. Sometimes, people get lucky if they happen to apply at the time when corporations are recruiting. And we have to bear in mind, thousands of people are also applying to the same positions we’re applying to. Job applications/hunting are at times a long, tedious and exhausting process. And as cliche as this sounds, that’s no reason to get discouraged. If you think employment is always about connections, you’ll lose out on job opportunities and amazing career opportunities. I know the number of companies I applied to (I got to know companies I was never acquainted with while job hunting) before I was able to get a job. Thinking now, if I got discouraged, I wouldn’t have been employed today.

  4. Nne

    June 18, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Hmmmm… .. It’s 5 years now after graduation, have written several aptitude test and invited for a couple of interviews, but no job yet. During this waiting time, I have gotten a project management certification and I am hopeful and staying very positive.

    • Lilo

      June 18, 2015 at 8:19 pm

      It’s well Nne.
      Research on different companies in different fields, by so doing, you’ll come across different companies you were never acquainted with. Make sure your CV and cover letter are appealing, and apply to as many positions as you’re eligible. If you get negative feedbacks, still keep applying to more companies. Don’t get discouraged. It’s hard to get jobs anywhere, Canada, USA, UK, Nigeria, Ghana; you just have to keep trying and never give up.
      Don’t give up. Many corporations have positions for some people in different fields. Research on companies.

      For those of you in Nigeria, always try to get the Tuesday newspaper from Guardian newspapers; I’m aware it’s filled with job postings.

      You’ll be alright, Nne. God bless you! Amen.

    • Debee!

      June 19, 2015 at 6:56 am

      Thank you so much, for your sincere concern and advice.

    • Abi

      June 19, 2015 at 4:28 pm

      Hello Nne,

      Where do you reside? I may have an opportunity for you.

  5. peaches

    June 19, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Tanks @jagbajantis……@kemisola.all dose things u jst wrote are tins we alredy know.i jst belive a peson shud b well fit to go into writting articles like dis.cos its nt jst an article u can jst write without really goin into detailed search.we mst also see d both positive b negative aspect of it all. Iknow u to b talented in some areas buh nt areas like dis…lol.not now dear.

  6. toolzsally

    June 19, 2015 at 9:10 am

    “Not book smart but intelligent” thats exactly what i tell people,getting your dream job is not always about you being a bookworm,a lil bit of intelligence would do.

  7. Nne

    June 19, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Thank you for your advice @Lilo, God bless you too.

  8. Anonymous

    June 19, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    I totally love this post kemisola! So on point. @jagbajantis, good points but I think you should read the article again cos she dint say getting a job is all about connections. @peaches you sound really shallow and dumb and am sure you need this article more

  9. Nne

    June 21, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Hello @Abi, I reside in Lagos. My email is [email protected]. Thank you so much.

  10. chukwukadibia

    June 23, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    THIS ARTICLE IS FULL OF INSIGHT.I HAVE GAINED A LOT JUST READING [email protected] AND ANYONE WHO HAS OPPORTUNITIES OPEN TO SHARE SHOULD PLEASE DO SO AND GOD WILL BLESS YOU. I STUDIED ACCOUNTING AND I HAVE A PROJECT MANAGEMENT CERTIFICATION AND A HSE CERTIFICATE ..MY EMAIL ADDRES:[email protected] .THANKS.

  11. Asari

    June 25, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Nice one Kemisola. Getting a job in this our country from my experience you must be connected, if you don’t have some one at the top nothing for you. I wish things should just change because every year more graduates are entering the labour market. Well @Abi pls kindly contact me if there is an opening [email protected]

  12. Ade

    June 27, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    All you have said are very correct. Nowadays, getting a Job in Nigeria requires; the right information, connection, patience and ultimately prayers. May God help us all.

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