Let me begin by congratulating all of you that just graduated. You have done well for yourself, your family – and our nation. The future offers promise and abundance. But you need a real strategy to unlock that future, sustainably.
Depending on your grade, jobs will possibly line up: consulting firms like EY, KPMG, Accenture, Deloitte and PwC always discover great graduates. Those jobs happen for most that finished top of their classes. I had the same challenges many years ago: offer letters on great jobs you did not even interview for.
But let me tell you something about Nigeria: we have extremely limited opportunities after seven years of job experience. So, there is a pyramid and most professionals peak very early on earnings here.
Yes, many enter with bang, but within seven years, companies cannot find where to promote them into, and because you need fewer at the top, many have to be cut. If you check, post-cut, most will never earn the level of income they earned four years after graduation because there is nothing else to work into.
So, out of the possible 1,000 that joined the banking sector, less than 100 may be around after 10 years. Most of the other 900 may never recover because getting an industry with mid-management space to pay for their experiences remains hard in Nigeria.
With Nigeria’s economy not expanding, fast enough, extremely brilliant people cannot transition from one sector to another. It creates career paralysis.
So, on this day, I want to drop some insights to make sure that after the celebrations, you have a game plan. Read this my piece and plan that career and quickly develop a career roadmap.
As the wise man Solomon wrote many years ago, there is time for everything. You must know when to invest in your career and when to monetize your skills. Getting an extra degree is not a distraction. Getting a certification is not a distraction. Learning something new should never be a distraction. Always make sure you have a strategy with resilience to decouple your future from the decision of any man/woman.
Fresh graduates, planning for the deep future may make you look stupid before peers who may not see beyond tomorrow. That first job is not for buying cars and expensive jewelry. It is to re-invest and INSURE your career with skills.