5 Nigerian Graduates Share Their First Job Hunting Experience

July 28, 2020
Job hunting in Nigeria

Job hunting experience in Nigeria can be a lot. Many people will argue that there are simply not enough jobs for the teeming youth population, hence the high rate of unemployment.

For a lot of people, job hunting is marred with terrible experiences. But for others, it’s a walk in the park. We talked to a couple of recent graduates and got them to talk to us about how their first job search after university went.

Gbemisola 

My NYSC Place of Primary Assignment was a local government office. After three months, I became disillusioned with the place and figured that I would be doing myself a lot of good if I looked for a new job.

I started sending applications everywhere I could. At one interview, they said they would need to ‘train’ me before I was sent to Dubai where the job was. However, I had to pay ₦20000 for training. 

I almost missed out on my present job. They invited me to an interview but I declined when  I realised that the salary was going to be ₦15000. Fortunately, I was quick to give myself a reality check. I reached out to HR and managed to convince them to schedule a fresh interview for me. 

Towards the end of my service year, I tried to look for a new job. I applied to a law firm. After I’d scaled through three stages of the interviews, I found out that the job wasn’t right for me. The MD was always calling me at night and asking me if I was capable of keeping secrets because the job would require me to be discreet. This came off as weird to me, so I gave up on the job. 

The folks at my job retained me when my service ended. They bumped up my salary, and things started to look up. 

Dara

I was deployed to Edo state for NYSC. I looked around and saw that there was nothing for me there. Besides, I wanted to work in Lagos. After orientation camp, I relocated to Lagos. At the time, I hadn’t even gotten a job or had an idea where I wanted to work. 

I returned to Lagos and pitched myself to a couple of companies. Eventually, I got a job at a technology company. The next step was figuring out how to make them promote me to full staff.

I was hired for the role of a graphic designer, but I did a whole lot more. It helped that I had a set of skills that they needed. I took pictures and shot videos. 

Not too long after I started there, I overheard them talking about getting a UI/UX designer. I saw another opportunity there. I downloaded a course on Udemy and learned the basics in a month. After I pitched these new skills to them and they gave me a project to work on. They were very impressed with my output, and I guess that sealed it. It was smooth sailing from there, and they retained me to work as a full-staff.

Tosin

At NYSC camp in Cross River state, a Canadian non-profit came to recruit national volunteers. Prior to that time, I was hoping to work in the media. But when this opportunity came, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to go for it.  I researched them online and saw that they could be a good fit for me. 

I got the job and loved it, and I decided that it might be fun to pursue a career in the development sector. As my service year came to an end, I became intentional about finding another job, and I was military about it.

I was selected for a Venture in Management Program at Lagos Business School. It was a good thing that I got in because one of the sponsors rolled out an internship program for the participants. I got into the internship program too and worked my ass off. At the end of 10 interesting months, I was promoted to full staff. 

Ola

About a month after I turned in my final year project at university, I got a gig at a digital agency in Ibadan through a friend. I’m a photographer on the side too. After three weeks on the job, I travelled to Lagos to sell a camera to an advertising agency. 

My business was with the business director, but she wasn’t around. I met the creative director instead and struck a conversation with him. I mentioned that I’d just graduated from university and was interested in pursuing a career in advertising. Also, I showed him some copy I wrote when I was in university, and he asked a few questions. Nothing happened on that day. I was a little disappointed because they didn’t even buy the camera.

Two weeks later, I got a call from the creative director. It was an invitation to interview with the agency. I travelled back to Lagos and attended the interview. I was hired on the spot as a junior copywriter. 

Sheriffdeen

For the better part of my service year, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I have a business, so I focused all my energy on growing the brand. However, I knew that I wanted to do a 9-5. Two months before Passing Out Parade, I went home for some introspection. 

A few days before my POP, a friend who owned an NGO reached out to me and asked if I wanted to go with him to pay a courtesy visit to a State Commissioner. I heard about a Digital Marketing Bootcamp there, and I decided to give it a try.

The application deadline was that night, so nothing was guaranteed. My application scaled and I got into the program. There was a recruitment phase as the Bootcamp came to an end, and I was selected to intern with a fintech company.

I left the company after three months because I wanted to work with an agency. I had just started my job search when the pandemic hit. For a moment there, I wondered if quitting my former job was a bright idea. 

My chances of getting a job were bleak, yet I kept sending out applications. A few of them got back to me, but nothing happened. I understood that — it wasn’t the best time to hire anyone. 

Sometime later, I got a call out of the blues from a colleague who informed me that a company was looking for a digital marketer. I took the lifeline and sent in an application. After a series of interviews, I was eventually hired. 

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

Watch

Now on Zikoko

December 2, 2021

Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, a member of Standard Bank Group, recently held the seventh edition of its flagship Corporate Social Investment Initiative to create awareness for children living with limb loss. The initiative tagged ‘Together4ALimb’ focused on children who had suffered limb loss, as beneficiaries of the initiative were provided with prosthetic limbs and empowered […]

Recommended Quizzes

November 22, 2019

It can be very stressful when you’re trying to find the love of your life, but you only keep meeting people that are exactly like your yeye ex. To help you be more aware of that problem, we’ve created a quiz that lets you know the kind of people you are attracting. Take it to […]

November 25, 2019

We already guessed how many people you’ve slept with, and y’all were out here denying the truth. Anyway, we won’t hold that against you. This time, however, we’ve created a quiz that predicts who you’ll sleep with next — so you can either prepare or try (unsuccessfully) to prevent it. So, take and see:

November 30, 2019

With No Nut November FINALLY coming to an end, we’ve decided to mark the torturous month with some more horny content. After quizzes that guessed how many people you’ve slept with, how good you are in bed and who you’ll sleep with next, this one will guess when next you’ll get lucky. Take it to […]

March 24, 2020

While we know that a lot of the best Nigerian artists deservedly have fans across generations, that won’t stop us from attempting to guess how old you are based on your taste in Nigerian music. So, take this quiz to see if we got it right:

More from Aluta And Chill

August 20, 2021

Sitting for any exam can be tedious, how much more, almighty JAMB. And checking your result? That can be a nerve-wracking process, but you have to go through with it because how else are you going to get into university? Better to do so as soon as possible so you can put your mind at […]

June 29, 2021

As Told To Itohan When I was in JS2, I started dating a lot of people consecutively. I was never really single. I dated two best friends. I even once dated a set of twins and their elder brother. Most of them were older and bought me gifts, which was risky because I was young […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X