Q & A: Does Yomi Need a Job or Career Path?

I received the following on a thread on Nairaland and thought to share it.

What the heck is a Jobless graduate going to do with career path. can there be a career without a job.

Yomi is a 2.1 chemical engineering graduate who was unable to get a job that matched his course

He took up a teaching job where he taught Mathematics in a secondary school. this he did for two years hoping for a breakthrough. His salary was 14,000 naira monthly. he had to take extra-moral lessons, as his take home pay couldn’t sustain him.

He took a bold move to Lagos where he got a marketing job in an insurance company with a monthly salary of 40,000 naira.(calculate the percentage increase)

He later on, through a reference, got a job in a bank where he was paid 80,000 naiira. two months into the job, he was disengaged; as the CBN policy change, had affected his bank.

Now he is jobless. He probably must have been fishing in the wrong waters; since he is a graduate of chemical engineering. Getting an engineering related job has not been easy. Some employers see him as a misfit.

Lagos school proprietors are scared, he may leave his job any time; as he is not a born teacher but an engineer.
Some other organisations says he doesn’t have COGNATE work experience. Besides, most employers are not ready to invest on training young graduates.

Does Yomi need a career path or a job.



The choice of a Career Path does not follow after one has a job. A career path is born out of a decision of what one wants to do careerwise (based on interest, abilities and skills) and thus your job should FIT INTO your career path.

Using myself as an instance, I have a career path in finance and this decision guided my choice to study accounting and finance. While at university, I ensured I was engaged in activities to build the skills required for a career in my chosen career path. This ensured that I graduated from university not just with a fancy degree but also with skills that employers out there are looking for. You have mentioned that Yomi had a 2.1 but is that enough. I do understand that most recruiters set 2.1 as one of the criteria during recruitment exercises BUT having a 2.1 is just one of many other criteria/requirements recruiters are looking out for. From my experience sitting in during interviews and reviwing CVs I have learnt that the possession of a 2.1 does not mean that an individual is employable.

That said, I understand we are in an environment where people don’t always get the opportunity to study exactly what they want but there are ways of bridging such gaps, depending on the career path. There are engineers who have gone on to study professionally and are now chartered accountants and practicing in finance. THINK OF CAREER PATH AS A MERGE OF INTEREST, ABILITY AND AVAILABLE OPPORTUNITIES.

It is very competitive out there and a lack of focus all in the guise of “there are no jobs out there, my options are open” is much more harmful than good.

You also mentioned that Yomi is currently a teacher but school proprietors are scared he will leave his job because he is not a born teacher but an engineer (That sounds pointless. What do you really mean?). It sounds really bogus because job satisfaction is not achieved by ‘degree’ but interest. Perhaps Yomi does not show an interest in teaching. After recruitment, employers assess employees on their performance which is a product of abilities and interest in the job and not on their degree certificates.
There is no rule out there stating that an engineering graduate cannot be a teacher. If an engineering graduate has an interest in teaching, he/she will follow up with necessary training/qualifications to solidify his/her teaching career.

As I said earlier, it is very competitive out there job-wise and job seekers must endeavour to be creative, build yours skills, make yourself needed and ensure you know what you’re looking for in a career.
I rejected sales (marketing) position in a bank where I served during my NYSC and took a lower paying job at an accounting firm to remain within my career path in finance. This has really paid off for me because I have really strengthened my stand in the finance path. Also, when I searched for jobs, I was very selective. In the space of three months perhaps I applied for less than 10 jobs because my aim was to ensure my skills/profile were a good fit. I also ensured my applications was well presented with an effective CV/Covering Letter.

I have noticed a lot of jobseekers just apply for every single thing they come across without paying attention to the requirements of the job. I recently helped a friend put up a job advert and I also screened some of the candidates. I received over 60 applications (very poor presentation of applications, I was shocked that people seeking jobs could be so carefree) and just 7 were shortlisted. Of that 7, there were more disappointments which I won’t go into here. Stop hurrying. Calm down and package effective applications that will WOW recruiters!

I advise you not to judge the importance of career paths on these stories that draw on emotions and pity.

My questions to Yomi – What is your interest? What are your abilities/skills?

I advice you to read my post on Career Paths – and if you have further questions please ask.

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