Things You Must Know and Do Before, During and After NYSC
There is no sooner time than now! If there is anything you must know right now as a student who is still in school, before his NYSC, or as young graduate who is currently enjoying his National Youth Service year or as a fellow fresh graduate who has just finished his NYSC. Believe me, those things are the things you must know and do before, during and after your NYSC. I will list them after the other for your better understanding. Also put to mind, that for every article you read, what matters most is the actions you take afterward as a result of your understanding from that article. So let’s begin!
First and foremost, let us talk as brothers, you can refer to me as your fellow and paddy who has passed through the university and served his fatherland before wasting another five years before he found an article like this which helped him unlocked his potentials and changed him to a better and more successful man. Now I am here to talk to you and guide you as my one and only beloved brother or sister who is still in school and who will be going soon for his NYSC.
I want to do my best to make sure that you make the best of every moment and scale through more smoothly and successfully than I did. To get it right without a waste of time simply because you have the privilege of reading this. I will try and analyze the things you must know and do as an undergraduate while you are still in school just before your NYSC.
As a student Before NYSC: Sometimes you will feel you are not lucky enough not to have been given the course of your choice because you think that some courses of study are far better than some others. But trust me, your success does not depend on what course you are studying. It rather depends on who you are and the possibilities in you that you explore. It depends on your ability to offer your environment what it demands. Let me tell you this quickly, she’s got endless demands.
If only you can offer what your environment demands, there is no limit to how successful you can be. This is the reason why you should become an excellent student; a great observer, one who has keen interest in his/her surrounding. It is from knowing what your people need that you can go ahead to offer them values that they are willing to exchange for money. School is not a place where you just come to pick certificate. Remember the old saying, “What’s worth doing at all is worth doing well.”
As a student, you have made it this far but yet your focus must not be shaken. Let me list some few points you must take to heart. Firstly, rediscover yourself, you must be aware of what potentials and possibilities you have. You have to maximize your time in school, you are not here only to pass through the school, you should allow the school to pass through you as well. Do not be like the proverbial ‘triangular student’. A student that only goes to the class, library and hostel. Add more values to yourself by discussing whatever you have learned in class with your colleagues, share knowledge and respect other peoples’ thoughts and plans. Read ahead of the class to enable understand the lecturer better.
The best method to lead others is to read more than them. Do not limit yourself to class alone, attend seminars, symposia, etc. to widen your knowledge in your area of studies and beyond. Be an obedient student, in class and to your lecturers. I’ve found out that in school the easiest way to pass excellently well is to be obey all instructions. Respect your time table and do not take for granted your practical, attendance and assignments. More importantly, learn business skills while still in school. That is one place where a lot of present day graduate cum ex-corp members got it wrong while we were in school. Being a student does not stop you from running a small scale business. There are countless examples of successful multi-millionaire business men today who started as undergraduates. Enough said on that!
Now a Corp Member: Corper shun! Are you happy? Are we good to go??? It is not easy to have come out that pretty well from university. A journey of four years or so. You are now a graduate! Congratulations! I quite understand the many thoughts, expectations, plans, perceptions, etc. that will be in you right time. But I make bold to tell you; NYSC is never meant to suffer you or aimed to take you this farther from your family and friends. I know very well that there are challenges and that there are fears, but in the midst of it all, I can assure you of victory. All you need is to follow the footstep of those who have gone ahead of you. Like they say, ‘fake it till you make it.’ So here are some of the most important things you must know and do during your NYSC. Firstly, you should see your placement as an opportunity to know more people and learn from them. Learn their culture and values, it is an opportunity you may never find again. Create more friends and gain more connections, you will never know who you might need tomorrow or who might need you or your services in the nearest future. This is also the best time to apply for jobs, attend business conferences and groom yourself. If youll allow me to advise you, don’t streamline yourself to just one option.
While you are applying to this opportunity or the other, also run businesses concurrently. Never wait for one big break or windfall before you take actions. It is commonly said that ‘action is the bloodline of any vision.’ Take actions towards your life after service. You cannot wait until your POP/COC before you take action. Lastly, you can learn valuable skills that are localized to your place of primary assignment. Some years back, during my NYSC in the north, I learned how to preserve beans for long period of time. I never wished to do my NYSC in the north but today I appreciate it than any other person. Beans is the most consumed grains in Nigeria after rice. Now, in the southwest Nigeria, the beans taken is majorly supplied by northerners. So I saw the half-filled bottle from a positive perspective. I learned from the northerners how to preserve beans which became very useful for me down south.
I was able to solve a major problem for the bulk of southwestern farmers and I get paid for it. Don’t ask me how much? (winks). So I learnt a valuable skill there just by serving in the north. Who knows you might be finally based here? But here is another chance, think of something people around you need. You can begin to buy it and exchange it for money. Who told you that you cannot make it outside your field? Who told you that you have no experience to start a business? Who told you that you have to finish your NYSC before you could prepare for the future which is already here.
After NYSC (Hotcake graduate): Now, my dear fresh graduate, NYSC is over! What’s next? Job or Business? (That’s if you are still in the valley of decision)! Let me give you two stark after NYSC reality; Firstly, I congratulate you for scaling through your childhood into manhood. From someone who has been collecting from parents, family and friends into someone who will be henceforth giving out to parents, family and friends. Are you shocked? Don’t be, that’s the reality. You should be ready for that time; that time where salary is shared before you are paid, that time where siblings and junior colleagues are looking up to uncle. But here you are still searching for a job. It is high time you realized that time waits for no one. Sit down and go through your mind, we have over 180 millions of people in this country, 180 millions of people need more than 180 million goods and services. Offer Nigerian something.
After NYSC (Entry-level job owner): To God be the glory, just after your NYSC, the dream job is here; a job you never wish to loose, a job with a reasonable salary and amazing package. Congratulations once again. But, to be candid, can you answer the following questions? How secured is your job? At the end of the day, how much can you save from this job to ensure you have a stable future? Do you think your current job will earn you enough money to feed yourself and families till the next generation? Dear friend, please diversify. Get yourself another means of getting money aside your job. Do business, invest, turn yourself to a job creator instead of remaining a job owner. Who knows what the company will turn out to be tomorrow. You can start the plan your retirement before your company retrenches you. Seek investment opportunities and small entreprises you can run by the side.
In conclusion, Nigeria needs you to get out of poverty, to get out unemployment, to get out of recession, to get out of hunger, to produce good and qualities for us, to take us the dream land. Activate your potentials, create jobs!
Written by Nurudeen Olaide Binuomote
Serial Entrepreneur - International Business Planning Consultant - Speaker - Trainer - Author - Blogger - Network Marketing professional.
- 2018 SME Business Trainer and Coaching Advisor at GIZ for SME Loop.
- 2018 YALI RLC Online Cohort 9
- 2017 Fellow, Inspire Africa Train-the-Trainer Entrepreneurship programme sponsored by US Consulate Lagos and the Dickey Center, U.S.A.
- 2016 Fellow, Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme
- 2015 Top 50 Innovative Entrepreneurs, BET5 by Diamond Bank and EDC, PAU.
He is an alumnus of Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Lagos Business School (LBS), Pan-Atlantic University (PAU). Through his training, mentoring, speaking and coaching programmes, he has empowered many young people over the years to start and grow their own business, build wealth, create multiple streams of income and achieve financial independence.
- He is a Certified Trainer in Design Thinking by the U.S Consulate, Lagos and the inspire Africa Entrepreneurship Institute.
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