Monday, 13 May 2013


This is life in the new workplace. As a kid you wanted to be a baseball player, a ballerina, a fireman, or maybe an musician. Later on your dream changed to being a lawyer, an investment banker, a doctor, or an entrepreneur. But now Nigerians share a different dream—to do work they love, to do work that matters. I know those jobs are hard to find, but you may not know they are also hard to fill. Now, technology manages things that repeat and humans manage things that change. So what do employers want now? That’s just it: with everything in tupsy turvy, they think they don’t know yet. They may need the sort of people who can reach the big goals while the big goals change. That’s why college degrees do not come with job offers attached—your education does not reliably help an employer predict whether you can be a high performer in a fast-paced, changing environment. Why? Students are graded on certainty and schools unwittingly train people to need it. But employers do not need more people with certain answers to discrete problems. Employers need people who are unafraid to apply limited knowledge to the new and complex problems at hand. Experience does not necessarily teach you how to face the unpredictable, nor does it always predict high performance. Experience used to prepare you for leadership roles because you’d “seen it all before,” but nowadays leadership means being ready for things you’ve never seen before. Businesses are teaching their old dogs new leadership tricks: how to give up ‘control’ and how to ‘conduct’ chaos instead. Businesses invest big money and time on helping their best and brightest unlearn what they know. So, if neither education nor experience makes you a shoe-in for a job, what does? Employers care first whether you can reach big goals even as the big goals change. Now for the good news: in a world with more madness than method, employers still know what they want when they see it. You know that employers want mathematicians, scientists, coders, and engineers. But you might not know that some employers aren’t hiring because they can’t find enough people with adequate “soft skills,” like empathy, attitude and critical thinking to put on payroll. Growing organizations have a big, latent disaggregated demand for employees that can adapt to and drive change. If you’re that sort of person, landing a dream job may be easier than you—and labor force analysts—think. There is more good news: This shift in business produces the sorts of challenging, high-impact jobs you will love. So how do you show an employer you’ve got what it takes? Start by making sure that you actually do and pay attention to developing the softer side of your personality

Adapted from the original source article:


Almost every university graduate faces the same issues when searching for a first job: How do you demonstrate you possess the necessary qualifications for a job when you haven't had a "real job" before? With more and more people returning from overseas with both foreign degrees AND work experience, coming into an interview and announcing you are a fresh inexperienced graduate is no longer acceptable. In fact, stating you have no real skills and training in this age of more people than jobs is no longer acceptable or pleasing to most employees. As unfair as this sounds, it is our present reality. However like everything else in life there is a way round this situation and here's how you do it:
·         Drop the ridiculous email address: having the email address might work in uni or high school but not in the job market. If you have to, open a new email address and keep it simple. For example my first out of school email address was (combination of my first name and first letter of my surname) it looked professional then and it still looks professional now.
·         Drop the objective statement: Most objective statements ("Go-getter seeking sales position") say more about what a job seeker hopes for in a job than why that person would be a good fit for the position. So ditch the objective statement and create a summary section instead. It's a brief rundown of your skills and qualifications, targeted to the company and opening. For example: "Economics graduate with experience gained through internship with a reputable PR firm. Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office applications, including expertise in Excel."
·         Create a combination CV: Instead of submitting a traditional chronological CV, consider a combination CV. This format allows you to place more focus on your professional skills by grouping them near the top of your document. You might, for example, have a section titled "Computer Skills" or one called "Supervisory Experience." Don't limit yourself to abilities you've honed through full- or part-time jobs. Skills you've gained through internships, volunteer work, or even clubs or social committees can be just as relevant.
·         Focus on transferable skills: Think the years you spent waiting tables, helping in your mother’s company, working in your dad’s firm, or volunteering in an uncle’s ICT firm won't help you land a job? Think again. This experience may have prepared you for your career better than you realize. If you supervised some other staff members, for example, you have managerial experience to add to your CV. You could also highlight your strong customer service and communication skills. Almost every employer values these abilities. #freetip: provided you are not losing money, take advantage of each and every volunteer and paid work experiences that come your way. HR and Management are always on the lookout for value adders not value reducers. A fresh graduate with relevant skills will almost always get a job over someone with more years of “irrelevant” work experience.
·         Include keywords: You can increase your chances of getting an interview if you look at the job listing and use words or phrases from it in your own CV. Use these keywords to describe skills you possess -- as long as they are accurate, of course.
·         Create a LinkedIn profile: creating a profile on LinkedIn or a similar professional networking site may help in your search for employment. Many hiring managers and recruiters search sites such as LinkedIn to find job candidates -- and the trend is growing.

Take the time to create a quality document that shines a light on your most marketable skills and experience, and you'll give yourself the best shot at landing an interview and, ultimately, your dream job.

Have a great week everyone!!


Rebuilding your confidence after a job loss can be difficult especially in Nigeria where most of who you are is tied into the job you do. It's easy to fall into the trap of feeling sorry for yourself, which can cause you to doubt your ability to land a new position. If that happens, make bouncing back your top priority. Here are nine ways to regain confidence after a job loss:

·         Do a self audit: when the dust has settled and cursing out your “incompetent” former bosses/colleagues is no longer a source of comfort, its time to do a self audit. Was there anything you could have done to prevent your job loss? Was there a skill you lacked or a part of your duties you neglected? Was there a difficult team lead, customer, or boss you could have handled better if you just knew how? You cant know any of this without a self audit!!! Read more about this topic here
·         Develop a routine: Not having control of your job search can have a negative effect on your self-esteem. Instead of wallowing, treat the job search process like a full-time job and be thorough and deliberate in your search. "Develop a routine each day to regain control," says Jayne Mattson, senior vice president of Keystone Associates, a New England-based career management firm. "There are so many activities of a search that will keep you busy and that you have control over, so use your time wisely."
·         Find a supportive network: Being surrounded by supportive circle can help rebuild your confidence. Anyone from former colleagues or acquaintances to family members can help boost your self-esteem after a layoff. Do not under any circumstances surround yourself with negative people or enablers. Be wary of someone who is glad to sit and have a daily pity party but will not send you encouraging tweets, vacancies, or invitations to training programs.
·          Help others: Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, use your new free time to help others. Establishing new connections and applying your skills to other areas like volunteering can help you to bounce back. I personally recommend taking advantage of every single training opportunity available to you and getting online (even if it is just your BB internet) and read, read, read. For those who have Ipads, download e-books and make a commitment to read at least one new book a month.
·         Use positive affirmation: While getting support from others is key, it's also important that you believe in your own skills. Use each day to verbalize a positive affirmation and remind yourself that you possess valuable skills.
·          Take time to do something you love: It can be as simple as reading a book or listening to your favorite song, but make sure it's a part of your day that you can look forward to.
·         Exercise: Exercise is a natural endorphin booster, so you're bound to be in a much better mood post-workout. If paying for a gym membership is prohibitive, keep costs low by walking/jogging outdoors and doing an at-home aerobic routine. Since you're no longer tied to your desk for hours each day, use the new flexibility to get back into shape and feel better about yourself.
·         Allow time to heal: Especially in a tough economy like Nigeria-- when job interviews are harder to come by -- it can take time to regain confidence and no one expects you to recover right away. Going through a job loss is never easy, and there's nothing wrong with allowing some time to heal. The key is not to wallow in misery or surround yourself with constant negativity. You can even give yourself a daily one hour whining limit and then when the time ends – stop!! We are fond of Nigeria of using the phrase “it is well” to cover up emotions but if you do that, you fool everyone but yourself. Balance positive talk with time to grieve/pray so you can move on to something better.
·         Meet other job seekers: Knowing that you're not alone can go a long way in helping boost your mood. Seek out networking events in your industry or attend job search lectures to get out and mingle with other job seekers.
On a final note, the road to bouncing back after a job loss can be tough but it can also be an exciting time, if you choose to see it from a different perspective. All across the country, people are taking advantage of free training, networking, learning, and interactions so instead of wallowing in pity at home, why not try to attend one in your area? Maybe it’s time to explore that business idea you have been wandering about. Remember to keep reading, keep praying, keep dressing well, speaking confidently, and taking chances in your future job search.

Have a great week everyone!