As undergraduates we all had big dreams of what we wanted to become in life, where we wanted to work, what businesses we wanted to be involved in; some even went as far as draw up a step by step career plan for themselves. As time progresses, we come to find that not everything goes the way we want it to. That is why there is always need for a contingency plan.
During NYSC, some people enrolled for skill acquisition classes and learned useful skills, some did not, not because we were not interested but because we had a bigger plan in mind, we wanted to follow our carefully planned career chart. The thing most people do not realize is that the Nigerian labour market is a tough place to be in.
After NYSC some people are lucky enough to get their dream jobs as their first jobs but not everybody is that lucky.
Most times after you come out and enter into the market, you are excited that it is time to start actualizing your plans but you get a tough blow when you don’t get your dream job even after applying and applying, you might have even gotten up to the interview stage but you don’t get a call back. This can be very disappointing. Along the line you get a job that pays far less than your dream job would have and you start to ask yourself should I settle for this one and forget my aspirations?
I mentioned earlier that there is always a need for a contingency plan. Make your first job your contingency plan. It might seem like a longer route to your dream job but it can still take you there.
Settling for your first job is not all bad, it could be beneficial to you especially if you work for a target driven company. In these companies, it is relatively easy to move up through the ranks. You just have to keep meeting up with their targets which is usually given on a monthly/yearly basis.
Instead of settling, you could use that job as a launching pad for your career aspirations. Everybody has to start somewhere, you might start out as a customer care representative at a telecommunications firm and in a matter of time you could become manager of said company.
If you are one of those graduates that doesn’t have so much work experience you could use that first job as a means to get some all the while preparing yourself for the peak of your career.
The key to doing this effectively is to not get too comfortable with the job. You have to keep reminding yourself that there is a better job than the one you are currently doing.
Look around you there are endless possibilities that you can tap into. Even if you don’t get your dream job at first you can do other things while you work your way towards it.
Your first job is an opportunity to better yourself sharpen your skills, learn more about your field, test new waters and challenge yourself.
It is an opportunity to become a better you.
Remember that it is a stepping stone in your climb to the peak of your career aspirations.