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Ivie Ogbonmwan: You Should Take that Job that’ll Make You Employable



Evelyn studied law at a federal university, graduated with a good grade. Unfortunately, three years after her compulsory Youth Corps Service, Evelyn was unable to get a job.

When she approached me, I had only one opening, and that was for a receptionist in a gym. Of course, Eve didn’t like the option. “How can I, a graduate of law, work as a receptionist in a gym?” She asked me.

I smiled.

8 months later, a client called me looking to hire a personal assistant. My client was the managing director of a subsidiary of one of the top oil and energy companies in Nigeria. It was a good paying job. She described her preferred candidate as someone with good research and customer service skills, social media savvy and able to work awkward hours.

I knew the exact candidate for the job. Evelyn.

You see, after Evelyn grumbled about working in a gym, she took my advice and went for the job. She hated it. Her boss added more responsibilities to her portfolio and so she began to handle admin, procurement, customer relations and digital marketing. She had no idea how to perform these responsibilities, and so she would call me to cry, then eventually teach herself using google. She ran a shift and sometimes closed work at 11 PM. She was sad that all the research skills she learnt as a law student was now being used to study gym operations and not case laws.

Six months into the job, Evelyn was employable. She had honed skills and competencies that made her valuable to an organization.

So when the opportunity came, I knew Evelyn was prepared. She applied and passed all stages and was eventually employed.

Evelyn didn’t even want to be a lawyer but she also didn’t know what she wanted to do. Her 8-month stint at the gym helped her realize what her true passion and interests were. It helped her recognise her strengths, weaknesses, skills and competencies. It helped prepare her for the market place.

Many times, I see people turn down jobs because, according to them, they are worth so much more. Hmm! A job may not pay you millions today but it will provide you with skills and competencies that can never be lost, and will eventually make you employable to a company that will pay millions.

Ivie Ogbonmwan serves as the human resources manager, responsible for strategies to attract, develop, and retain talent for ACT Foundation. Prior to her current role, She was an experienced analyst with OutsideIn HR, a management consulting firm which focuses on human resource business partnering, global talent development, and organizational effectiveness. Ivie’s educational background includes an LLB in Law from the University of Benin and a B.L from the Nigerian Law School. Contact Ivia via: and [email protected] Follow on Instagram: @iviechic


  1. teekay

    June 18, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    I would say Evenlyn was lucky. I have seen people take up jobs that makes them unemployable because there is no growth and transferable skills.
    I am not a believer of looking out for high paying jobs(If you see one good) but at the same time I strongly believe you should take a job that there is propensity for growth and development. It doesn’t matter the pay but I don’t advice anyone to take a job just because of the sake of working and not considering other important factor. Where there is no growth you eventually become a liability to the job market and sooner than later your employee would employ someone with better skills and you are back to square one.

    • ogie

      June 18, 2018 at 3:38 pm

      I absolutely agree. What if the oil & gas gig did not show up? The longer Evelyn stayed there, the less attractive she would be to a Corporate.

    • ogie

      June 18, 2018 at 3:41 pm

      Also, the “London” way of doing things may not necessarily apply in Nigeria. You can be employed in London but just rotating around odd jobs.

    • Uberhaute Looks

      June 18, 2018 at 5:14 pm

      Well said!

  2. Hada

    June 18, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    Good for Evelyn. I would like for HR folks to show balanced views- let people know the truth. It can swing either way. I once chose staying at home for a full year over taking 2 job offers that offered to pay crap and would take all my time. Everyone said to manage – i didn’t. My wait eventually paid off as I had time to prepare for a difficult set of interviews for a mega role. Truth is if had taken up either of the offers when this mega role came by, i won’t have been able to prepare for competitive interviews at all. (Plus God’s favor)

    Balance here is even though this worked for me, it doesn’t mean it would work for the next person. Pray and let God lead you.

    • tolu

      June 19, 2018 at 7:31 am

      Well HADA you are right there for one to pray for direction but if you are to give a professional advice,knowing not everybody is a christian i would say like IVIE get something doing first also you where able to wait because you have a support system financially, there are so many who dont have someone to give them money while they equip themselves so again as IVIE said you can start with that job and still prepare yourself for the dream job, you might think that would consume your time for preparation but my dear you never know what you are capable of until you find your self in desperate situations that expand stretches your capacity.

    • posh

      June 19, 2018 at 8:02 am


  3. tolu

    June 18, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    Ivie you are on point

  4. Ada

    June 18, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    There is a problem with this post ivie omeregie and ivie ogbonwan are two different people.

    • Ephi

      June 19, 2018 at 5:46 pm

      So Bellanaija, you guys cannot even tag your authors correctly. Seriously? Smh.

  5. Minella

    June 19, 2018 at 9:05 am

    This is so true! I’ve been at home for 6 months post NYSC and trust me it can be depressing, looking for a job so recently have decided to apply for teaching jobs and volunteering in firms. Taking a job makes you employable but whilst you wait focus on developing yourself. Distractions will be ever present, learn to give yourself space, time and set goals.. it also helps you discover yourself.
    P.S. I AM LOOKING FOR A JOB! I TAKE PICTURES of PRODUCTS (Instagram :@photominella AND I MAKE ANKARA ACCESSORIES (Instagram: @_eldugo_) please help a sister… Thank you! I’m not a lazy Nigerian Youth..

  6. Ijeoma

    June 20, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Thank you ma’am for this valuable piece. You might not know​ how helpful the advice contained in this write up is for me and many in my position (just concluded NYSC and trying to find a footing in the job world).

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