5 Nigerians Share How Job Hunting Has Affected Their Lives

April 7, 1990


What happens when people suddenly lose their jobs due to COVID-19 (thanks, but no thanks 2020) or circumstances beyond their control? For many people in Nigeria, life gets tough. Make that tough because it’s already the ghetto over here.

We got 5 people to share their job hunting chronicles with us, and honestly, the struggle is real!

Read on.

Yetty

It was my first job after school and I was just really grateful that I had a job, even though it was the absolute worst. My boss called me one day and explained that they weren’t making money and so couldn’t sustain the staff strength. He added that since he had been spending his personal money on the company, he wanted to invest in something else and would have to let me go.

This happened in February.

One thing I regret is that I have nothing to show for a year’s work in terms of funds. I didn’t have income insurance. I wasn’t earning much either; had to pay rent in Lagos, feed, and take care of basic stuff. Looking for a job has been stressful. Before losing my job, I was trying to transition into a new career entirely and I’ve been studying and all. But you know how the job market is, they ask for three years of experience for entry-level roles and even internships (all my life, I always thought internships were meant for one to learn and acquire skills). So yeah, it’s been very hard.


Jeph

I was working in this place where I was handling Marketing. Frankly, I loved my colleagues and the impact of our work. The CEO on the other hand, I didn’t like very much. He paid little to no attention to employee welfare and would stress the life out of you. The work hours were terrible and he’d call at ungodly hours. I once resigned and he begged me to stay. He wouldn’t let me go on leave because I was a “key man risk”. He never increased salaries the three years I worked with him.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown, I had to work overtime to ensure that the business ran as smoothly as possible. Still, no raise. There was even the risk of a pay cut. One Sunday, I didn’t pick this man’s call because I was asleep. When I did, oga said I was acting stupidly, and that at my age, he was running a business worth ₦22 million so I should stop being irresponsible.

I waited for my salary and I resigned in March last year (2020), but the drama lingered till October. He wanted to punish me with handover like he’d usually do to others and I ignored him. I instead requested for my statutory payments to be made and he ignored me until I sent him an email. They finally responded that they were going to pay up, but then they sent a lawyer to me saying I threatened them and I should come to sign an undertaking. This was about 3 months post-resignation. They also said I obstructed their revenue inflow by not handing over and some other nonsense like that. Then went on to threaten to sue me for $36000 and 4 Million Naira. Thing is, their claims were frivolous and asides from that, I was never given an employment letter and wasn’t bound by any contract terms to follow any set procedures. I sha had my lawyer do the talk with theirs till I never heard from them again. I have sha learnt the importance of knowing the labour laws, work insurance and how to handle employment contracts.


Temi

I resigned o.

I was working for a bunch of companies and one particular day I just typed my resignation letter and sent it the next week to most of them at the same time because I was tired. How would I be having thirteen-hour meetings, and they’ll still schedule a meeting for the next day!? It didn’t make sense to me. I was juggling like 9 companies at the same time including my travel agency thing. It was a lot. I was always tired and never even got much sleep. I’m job hunting, but not totally unemployed. I already found a job in the U.S. Getting it was very difficult and my contract will be over in 4 months. I’m sending my resignation to the remaining companies by the end of the week.


Chuks

I’m out of a job, and it actually hasn’t been easy. Although, I haven’t really been applying for long. Let’s say from the beginning of the year I’ve sent over 20 applications and I haven’t gotten any invites yet. Even when I managed to get invited to one, it sounded like a fraud. I was so tired because it was evident that the guy who put out the advert meant to defraud job seekers.
In addition to this, my mum feels like I don’t want to go get a job, and I’m comfortable staying at home which sucks.
I think it’s due to the fact that I started my own brand and she wants immediate monetary results. I keep telling her that it’s a whole different process, and doesn’t just happen like magic. Parents just see ‘pressing of phone and laptop’ as a waste of time. In my opinion, they need to change their mentality, lol.


Ije

I freelance in Digital Marketing and Brand Strategy. Sometimes, I pitch to brands or wait for them to approach me. I’ve not been on a campaign for like 6 months now, so it’s been really difficult trying to lay my hands-on jobs. The ones I get, sometimes when I reach out to them, they always promise to get back to me but don’t.

Omo. The financial strain has been really terrible, I won’t lie. I don’t get funds from home like that and most times, the only thing I depend on to sustain myself are funds I get from jobs. People hit me up for Social Media Management once in a while, but sometimes something comes up and they’re not able to complete the deal. It has made my finances terrible. Right now, I don’t even think I want to go through the stress of looking for jobs again, I am tired. It’s draining and exhausting. If the jobs come, good because at this point I just feel like all my efforts are fruitless. I don’t know what else to do. In as much as that’s a mood, I can’t just dey. I’ll still pitch to brands and companies even if I said I won’t. It’s just generally discouraging.





Employers or even employees themselves invested in insuring their income hasn’t been normalised in Nigeria. It is this vacuum Casava is trying to fill with its Income Protection Insurance. Casava’s motivation stems from the ever-rising unemployment rate in Nigeria and the fact that this has plunged many people into financial distress.

In a nutshell, Casava helps you earn after losing your job, save money on healthcare and insure every other thing you care about. Get early access.



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