Being a youth corper is one of the highlights of the average Nigerian graduate, it is a time to experience freedom, have a little taste of living by yourself, taking responsibility and having the chance to actually work for the money entering your account at the end of the month.
Despite the fact that it is a time to enjoy yourself, it also a time for you to think about the next phases of your life and start planning towards it. Most youth corpers make lots of mistakes that they come to regret after they pass out at the end of the service year.
Here are some common mistakes youth corpers make. The list is going to cover some of the mistakes corpers make from the beginning of the service year.
- Not reading your call up letter
Being a part of this generation I can safely say that the reading culture is dying away. At the beginning of the service every corper is given a letter which summarizes what is expected of you during the service year and the three weeks orientation camp. More often than not when you do not thoroughly read that letter you end up falling into one trouble or the other. It is better and easy to avoid that by simply reading it.
- Not reading your posting letter
After the 3 weeks orientation camp all corpers are posted to their places of primary assignment; they are also given letters showing this. The posting letter tells you what you are entitled to as a corper working for that company/school. Your entitlements basically include accommodation and a stipend at the end of the month.
Any corper who has read his/her posting letter will know that it is his/her right to request for these things.
- Not saving
For some the thought of having some money in their account at the end of every month is exciting despite the fact that it is a relatively small amount of money. Most youth corpers do not bother to save because they feel that the allowance is too small to save anything from but you can actually save. Saving helps you cushion your fall from “employed” to unemployed at the end of the service year. Some might say when I get to that bridge I will cross it but it is better to be safe than sorry.
- Not working for a company
After the camping experience, every corper is given a place of primary assignment; almost everybody is posted to schools or ministries. This might be an exciting experience for some but in the long run it doesn’t really pay off. Working for a private company gives you the chance to prove your worth to that company and get retained after the service year, that way you don’t have to be unemployed after youth service.
- Not building a network
One of the way to get a job quickly and easily is to network; as a youth corper it is expedient that you go out and meet new people every chance you get, your ability to network can improve your chances of getting a job after the service year as you can never tell who you may have the opportunity of meeting. So, instead of being a loner or snob who doesn’t want to have any fun, put yourself out there and build quality relationships
- Not taking advantage of skill acquisition classes (SAED)
NYSC has a body called SAED that teaches/trains youth corpers vocational skills they can use in their life after service. Not everybody gets a job immediately after their service year and being unemployed is not a state that anybody wants to be in. The programme teaches skills like: cake making, bead making, and wire craft, soap making, makeup training e.t.c.
These are skills you can use to make some money for yourself during and after NYSC.
- Not taking a professional course
Professional courses are a great way to boost your CV and your chances of getting employed. Most of the agencies that offer these courses give discounts to corpers. These courses cost more for regular individuals. It is an opportunity to get the certificate at a much discounted rate.
- Not learning a new skill
During the service year chances are you get a lot of free time, instead of whiling it away you could use that time to acquire a new skill either soft skill or hard skill; take computer training, learn a new language, just strive to utilize your time.
- Not gaining work experience
Try as much as possible to have work experience working somewhere asides your PPA (Place of Primary Assignment) it could either be voluntary or paid. It doesn’t really matter as it is an opportunity for you to add something to the experience segment of your CV.
- Not exploring
The service year is a time for you to have some fun, go out and explore the state you are posted to, get to know the people and embrace their culture.