“Welcome to the real world!”
Oh my God! So wait o! Have I been living in Pluto for the past twenty years of my life? The first few hours of my life as a Nigerian graduate were the most exciting hours I could think of. No more 7 am lectures, no more assignments. In fact, on the very last day of our final exams I joined the entire body of final year students to celebrate our annual festival of ‘Water Pouring Day.’ But beyond the pouring of water, after all that excitement fades away and you begin to think of life after school, what comes next for the new graduate in his new crazy world and what can he do? Here are my top 2 beautifully unusual pieces of advice for every new graduate!
Don’t forget to develop yourself, it is way too important
A few months ago I spoke at the Impact! Africa Social Entrepreneurship Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. My interactive session was about the Educational System in Africa and its Effects on Youth Employment. During this session, one particularly striking reflection which a top executive from an international organization mentioned about young graduate employees – in Nigeria to be specific –was that many young people lack proper attitude and do not show the aptitude and willingness to learn. Let’s confess, many of our Nigerian universities don’t equip us for the real world with relevant skills such as communication skills, emotional intelligence, leadership abilities, innovative and designed thinking, etc.
As a young graduate, invest your time wisely in reading amazing self-help books, travel and experience the diversity of your society if you can, read up autobiographies of great men, learn a skill, take courses on social entrepreneurship while learning to creatively think like an entrepreneur, listen to speeches on YouTube, volunteer and get some experience. Just make sure you are improving yourself daily.
Learn about the power of networking and building relationships with key people
Have you ever heard the saying that you can’t walk with five wise men and be the sixth fool? Of course not! I bet you’ll be the sixth wise man. Your network is your net worth. Always work towards being associated with the best five people in any group, team or field, and out of the five, stand next to the best one. But what’s even better? Up your game and be the best one whom many others want to be associated with.
BONUS: Never be afraid to try new positive things and never be afraid to make mistakes! Only remember to rise again. And finally build your character, ethics and integrity.
So dear graduate, as you thread excitedly out of the safe spaces of the university into the real world, I sure am saying to you, welcome to the real world! Please build yourself and never forget that the sky can be your foundation – only if you want it to.
This article was written by Mirabelle Morah; connect with her on IG here