7 Dos and Don’ts when searching for a job

The hunt for jobs in Nigeria has become a minefield; you think you’re safe with your great degree and skills but it’s never enough, challenges keep popping up. We agree that not everyone has to be an entrepreneur and so for the eager and hopeful as well as the almost-hopeless job seekers, there’s a way to manoeuvre the field to get to your desired job opportunity.

Here are a few dos and don’ts to help you survive the arduous task of job hunting.

1. Do; Think quality not quantity

You have probably heard this a lot; not every job is for you. Understanding this can be difficult in the face of the Nigerian situation is not easy at all. Job hunting should not be a numbers game, you should not have to apply for anything and everything just so you can get paid recession or not.

Not in this case… don’t do it.

Pick out the jobs that you would truly enjoy, the ones that are in line with your skills and passion so you get to earn a living while actually enjoying what you do to some extent.

2. Don’t; Undersell yourself

Avoid picking jobs because you think they will be easier for you to get. Most of the time, you will end up hating the job and your bosses when you get it because you will assume you’re being taken advantage of.

Take your time and select a position that is a fit for you, do not let the panic of “being broke” rule your jobhunt.

3. Do; Risk Rejection

As someone living with a serious case of impostor syndrome, I completely understand the fear of not being good enough because I have had to constantly fight the “you-might-not-be-good-enough-for-this” mentality.

You have to be ready to put yourself out there no matter how unqualified you may feel you are. There will always be people that may seem like a better fit for that position you want. However, there will also be something about you that gives you an edge over that seemingly perfect person so always give it a shot. If you get rejected, you move. You lose nothing by trying.

4. Don’t; Let the Nos deter you

To buttress the previous point we made, you are going to get turned down a number of times. You have to let the Nos be the push you need to be better.

I read a great book years ago titled “Go for No” by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz and it taught me just how good “no”s are for your growth. My favourite quote from that book is “YES is the destination. NO is how you get there.

Take the rejection in stride and keep moving forward.

Be like these guys

5. Don’t; Get overwhelmed

It takes a lot of strength and determination to keep sending out applications, writing cover letters and hoping for a call back.

As a jobless Nigerian youth, the pressure from family especially can take its toll on you. Everyone will start to offer their own two cents on your predicament, help and advice based on their own personal experiences and which might not in totality apply to you or your goals; you will get through it.

At some point, you will begin to feel demoralized,  avoid getting overwhelmed by it all.

Never forget that you are.

Focus on the big picture, on continuously growing yourself, acquiring as many skills as you can so you are the most valuable version of yourself there can be.

6. Do; Exploit social media

New opportunities are constantly popping up everywhere, place yourself in a position where you can’t miss out on any of these. Social media is a great ally for you in this scenario.

You cannot afford to keep searching in the same place as everyone else; get creative with your search. Interact with more people in the cooperate world online, enter more DMs not to set p, find out what new skills you might be able to pick up to make yourself even more employable in your field of interest.

Find out what new tools are being used and how you can best place yourself in the mix. Share your pet projects and success stories online; get people interested in working with you.

You have to keep an eye on the competition, people equally looking for positions like you are, do one thing or another that will set you apart. Do not be satisfied with having similar qualifications and skills. Be extra.

7. Don’t lose focus + Do keep improving yourself

This one’s a double dosage.

First, keep in mind that you are allowed to have a side hustle, something you’re doing to make a little cash till you get that job you really want. However, it’s also pretty easy to lose focus as a result of your frustration. If you truly believe in the work you’re searching for, then you have to constantly look out opportunities to grow yourself for that position.

Take on volunteer work, paid or unpaid internships, online courses, anything and everything in this case that will sharpen and expand your skillset.

Again, be extra.

Be extra!

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