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Mofeyintioluwa Joseph: Unemployment is a Real Thing

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In three days it will be two years since I earned my degree. My graduation ceremony is in a couple of days, but I don’t think I’ll be there to celebrate with my classmates.

“Will you be at the convocation party?”

“No, I’ll be out of town for a project,” I lied to Uduak, or perhaps I prophesied. I will be at Sisi Modele’s place bent over my scrapbook or ironing a customer’s dress.

Before I left school, I never thought about unemployment. It was something that happened to other people at some other place. I never thought that it could happen to me. Nothing could prepare me for the great disappointments that lay ahead.

I wake up every morning expecting to receive an invitation for interview from at least one of the numerous organizations I have applied to.

“It will come in tomorrow,” I reassure myself as I go to bed every night. But tomorrow has not come yet.

“What do you do now?” I had been avoiding Mama’s friends but Mrs Anderson caught me this time. We met at the supermarket last Tuesday. She is a particularly inquisitive woman and one very interested in my affairs. The questions, I never know what to say. When I’m not at Sisi Modele’s place, what I do is to search and apply for jobs. But how do you tell a person that after two years of earning a second degree?

Initially, I was picky. I restricted my applications to international organizations that called for applicants in my field of study. I refused to spend a chunk of my days doing things I do not love. Udeme thought that I was too rigid and concluded that must be the reason I had not yet gotten a job months after trying. “Why? There’s more than one way to skin a cat!” He couldn’t believe in my ideology.

“There are no jobs in Nigeria o. Things are very hard. You better work with your hands instead of looking for a job.” That was Baba Semilogo. He visited Papa yesterday after he heard about his mild illness. “You just want to go to the office, sit down and collect salary at the end of the month?” He stared at me like I had said something sinful when I told him I was still job hunting. He is just like the rest of them who think only lazy people wants a white collar job. I could not blame him.

Papa is becoming frustrated. We are fast becoming sworn enemies. He forwards several job adverts to me on WhatsApp and insists, sometimes vehemently, that I apply to every single one. But how can I apply to an organization as a laboratory scientist when I studied guidance and counseling? I have grown weary of him.

Mama is not any different. She picked an apprenticeship form for me from Sisi Modele. She said I would make a good tailor, and a rich one too. A lot of times I wonder how it has turned out that Mama knows almost nothing about me. Why would she think I earned two degrees so I could end up making clothes? That had never been my ambition.

These days, almost everyone who knows I am yet to get a job has an advice for me. They all seem to know what I should be doing with my life. Not a single organization has called me for and interview. It seems as though I’ve been cut off from help. These past two years have been the most desolate period of my life.

Lebo is almost as driven to despair as I am. She’s jobless too, but she has a plan. If push comes to shove, she will marry and sit in her husband’s house. That would be an achievement. As for me, there is no such plan. I am not in a relationship and, in fact, have never been in any. This too is bothersome.

“Could something be wrong with your CV or applications?”

“Your guess is as good as mine,” I said flatly while discussing with Udeme over the phone this morning. He still couldn’t believe I have not yet gotten a job. He finds the fact that I have never been called for a single interview bewildering.

If I had not believed in seeing God’s goodness in the land of the living, I would completely quit trying and give up hope of ever getting a good, fulfilling and rewarding job. I would give up on my dreams. A lot of times I feel so much time is gone and life has simply passed me by. But as I sit quietly on my bed this evening, I feel a little bit encouraged remembering Grandfather’s words to me as I visited him on the day I wrote my final papers. He had said back then that, a person being chased by a masquerade should persevere and never give up because masquerades, just like humans, get weary. He had added a simple prayer: “May you not get weary before the enemy does.”

He saw the future.

 

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

If the cap of a writer fits Mofeyintioluwa, she'd wear it a bit. Most days, she picks her pen telling a story to amuse, enlighten or encourage the reader in some way or another. Sometimes, she does this all at once! [email protected] is where you can find her.

10 Comments

  1. daphne_647

    February 4, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    Hello Mofe,
    This story resonates with me deeply!
    Despite my strong CGPA, it took me awhile to get a job.

    Stay strong dear!

    • Mofeyintioluwa

      February 5, 2019 at 9:57 am

      Thank you.

  2. Bijoux

    February 4, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    I get you. I get you so well. Kinda in the same boat. I had a really good job but my boss decided I wasn’t good enough for him so he got other partners to kick me out. This was 2017 May so I’ve been job searching since then.

    I get the whole “work with your hands thing”. I’m not a handwork person. I love reading and writing. I enjoy being a lawyer. I love solving analytical problems. I don’t enjoy selling things online. I don’t really like fashion. I’m ok with whatever clothes I have. I don’t even do Instagram. So sometimes, I get the feeling that maybe I’m lazy but I know I’m not. I just don’t have the passion to get a business up and running.
    I don’t intend to be an employee forever. FoFor me, it’s about learning from the best and building my own maybe 3/5 years from now.

    However, I thank God for the gift of supportive parents. They’ve not pushed me out but rather believe and support me. Plus I’m sure they see all the efforts I put in including taking online certifications, certifications from professional bodies and my continuous job applications.

    It’s well though. I believe in God. And He has given me promises which I desperately hold on to in these trying times.

    Ooohhh apart from unemployment, I have also dealt with a tough break up from my long term boyfriend and a sickness that I’m still treating till date.

    To be honest, my faith isn’t all I have right now and that is what I’m not letting go off. I have seen the hand of God at work so many times both to me and to other people around. So I know that even if it tarries it shall come.

    So from one waiter to the other, I implore you to keep the faith. Keep making efforts. I believe God will direct our paths and this period will only make us stronger. Loveee

    • Mofeyintioluwa

      February 5, 2019 at 10:00 am

      Thank you.
      I wish you a speedy recovery, a good job that is better in every way than the first and a very, very good man.

  3. Flow

    February 5, 2019 at 8:33 am

    I’m tired of the wait, everyone is looking at me with side eyes like it’s my fault, that’s the part that totally breaks my heart, I mean here I am bursting my butt applying for just about anything, and it’s seems like my CV gets intercepted halfway by some kind of force/s. I’ve seen shittier CVs get called for interviews so i know it’s not the CV. There’s no friend on this journey, everybody has an opinion, nobody understands and if you try explaining you’re looked at as proud and unwilling to “start small”. Nobody cares what you want, as long as you’re leaving the house daily, Nigeria is kills dreams mehn, If you’re not heavily connected, you’re on your own. It is sad! I am sad!

    • Mofeyintioluwa

      February 5, 2019 at 10:05 am

      Be encouraged!
      There is light at the end of the tunnel.

    • LOL

      February 6, 2019 at 2:59 pm

      Please don’t be sad. Use this time to get to know yourself. Find a hobby or a passion that you have and find out what you can do to turn it into money. Yes, Nigeria kills dreams but you can determine to be a survivor. God will help you. Explore all your opinions and re-strategize. all the best.

  4. Anon

    February 5, 2019 at 6:06 pm

    You write very well – hard to find these days. Not to pressure you, but this might be a gift worth pursuing. All the best and hope something works out soon.

  5. Steph

    February 5, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    Infact, this is my exact same situation..I have an MBA now from a really good business school and no job yet..turned down a job from one of these banks because of how crappy the training school was..Nigerian companies do not know how to treat their employees well at all and I have experienced enough of it to just go back. to that kind of company, irrespective of whatever the pay is..I just want to be happy really..Nobody understands, all they say is “start small”. Countless applications and nothing yet..but i’m positive ..

    Came to realise that nobody, not even family or so called friends will lift a finger to help. When you now get the job, everyone will now want in..I won’t stand for that sha when the time comes.

    My focus is now (and has always been) on God..He is the only one that can help me and frankly, the only one I want to help me because when men help you, they will want the whole world to know. May God open doors for all of us in this situation soonest..Amen!

  6. Ephi

    February 5, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    This was my story – faced a very trying time even with a first class, it looked as if the situation would never change but one very day it did. I can assure you that TRULY you will see God’s goodness in the land of the living. I know it is not easy. Stay close to Him and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit in this time of trial/test, He will comfort, strengthen and assure you as you wait.

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