Editors Note: Today’s was a guest post written for Chika Uwazie in 2011 on her Naija Careerist blog (seems offline now). The wisdom contained in this post is too insightful to be ignored and I had to re-publish the post ‘as-is’ again. Remember to leave your comments after reading. Happy reading 🙂
Hello everyone, it’s a great privilege to share the following words with you on this platform. I must commend Chika for the Naija Careerist blogging initiative. Since, the opening phrase is out of the way, let’s get to business with today’s post. Today, I want to share how I secured my first job, barely 2-month fresh from NYSC, by a clear out-of-the-box-thinking-idea.
My Background: In 2007, I graduated from the Department of Chemical Engineering, OAU, Ile-Ife with a Second Class Upper (2.1) and ready for the Nigerian job market with the well thought out mind-set that the Nigerian employment market is very crowded and I must stand myself out of the crowd. Fortunately for me, I had made a few tough career decision while I was in the University – one of such decision made me to be where I am today in the ‘human-rig’ of human resources and not the oil-rig! Why you would ask? Please read on…
The Discovery: I am not saying my decision to study Chemical Engineering was a wrong one – No, far from it. I enjoyed the course and my grades showed for it… 🙂 But, there was a much deeper longing for fulfilment, of where my passion lies. There is a big difference between excelling in a thing and finding fulfilment in that same thing. I actually did a real assessment of what I’m passionate about and which career path would be suited for me, more like a personality test, to arrive at the human resources career path. I hope my point is clearer now?
The Preparation: After, my decision to follow the path of passion/fulfilment, the next hurdle is how would I get my foot in the door of a human resources job? Who will give a Chemical Engineering graduate a human resources job? That question was answered by the words of Detoun Ogwo, ED AGDC, “Employers don’t make house calls. Define your career and job search objective. What is your personal value proposition? What value do you have to offer your employer? Package yourself and put yourself in front of the employers”.
The plan: I followed the above advice by packaging myself and presenting myself before the employers without them calling for me. That’s what we call unsolicited application in recruitment. Good for me, I had a career/job objective defined already and so the next stage was to craft an entry level human resources focused resume/cover letter, followed by a search for potential employers – for me, I picked HR consulting firms (not to worry, in the days ahead, I would try to share how I did so with you).
The result: So I delivered my career suited resume to the MD’s of three (3) HR firms in Lagos (how I did that, is another post entirely). Unknown to me, two of the HR firms actually had openings which was NOT made public. I got two interview invitations; I was available for ONLY ONE which resulted into a job offer while the second came after I had started working in the first HR firm. It was so magical for me that in Nigeria this could still be happening. It happens! That’s how I got my foot in the door of my dream job in Human Resources.
Now, you can leave your comments/questions in the section provided for it below. Thanks for reading 🙂