Thursday, August 7, 2008

Getting a Job in Nigeria

Question: How do I get a good-paying job in Nigeria?
Reply: The unemployment situation in Nigeria can be scary. A single vacancy announcement can attract thousands of applicants. Just reading some of the comments below job posts on CareersNigeria will give you a taste of the desperate situation that our citizens are facing. However in response to the criticism that they receive, employers say that most applicants are not employable. Not because they aren’t bright or educated but because they lack employable skills. Obviously this is a touchy subject. Read more here.

But contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to have a grandaddy in the system before you get a good job in Nigeria. What is probably more true (and this is true anywhere in the world) is that networking will more likely get you an interview than just submitting an application cold.

The way I like to think about it is this: If a manager has to choose between several top notch candidates with similar qualifications, most likely, she will hire the applicant who came referred by an acquaintance. So like the career experts tell us—networking is very important. All but one of the job interviews I’ve ever been on (both in the States and Nigeria) came through my personal contacts—professors, old friends, even an HR manager who once interviewed me for a job I didn’t get. She had moved to another company and when I bumped into her again, she remembered me and eventually scheduled me for an interview in her new company—this time I got the job.

Most job ads (print or online) in naija ask seekers to put in applications online or email CVs (aka resumes) to the relevant department, but I think it's a good idea to find out if any of your family, friend or acquaintainces have contacts within the company you're eyeing.

If you are a well experienced expatriate, you can hope to be wooed by one of the Nigerian financial institutions, who will be willing to compensate you nicely. Check out Jobs in Nigeria Exhibition (JINE), it's a career fair for professionals living in North America who want to find jobs in Nigeria. The big spenders will be there. It has started already and will run until August 31 in different cities. Perhaps this is a good starting point if you want to get on a headhunter's list? Heh heh, sorry I couldn't resist that one.

See me spillng out advice like I have one ghen ghen job right? Well, I'll have you all know that my situation is by choice and not by condition. Don't mind the corper boots and N9, 000 ($76) monthly stipend. It's all a facade--my blogger alter-ego. I really earn N1 million a month as a...

Yes! that reminds me of the gist I wanted to give you people. I didn't know that there are actually folks in Nigeria who make N1million a month--paid employment. Ehn ehn? In this same Nigeria, where people corner me in the church parking lot to ask for N100 to go home!

But you know, I shouldn't be shocked. That's about 9,000 dollars a month and doctors and engineers in the west earn that easy-peasy. I guess it's the "million" that makes it sound very big...but N1 million paid employment is still shocking. In my mind, that kind of monthly salary is for the CEOs. But come to think of it, if I were working for one these longer throat banks as a marketer and bringing in 3 billion Naira a month as my target, they had better be paying me in millions! What do I look like, a mu mu?

So in answer to this question of getting fabulous jobs in Nigeria, I think it is very possible to secure a nice well-paying job in Nigeria (without connections). Jidaw.com is a good site with links to Nigerian-based jobs. If you are in the country this summer and scoping out the job market, buy The Guardian on Tuesdays and Thursdays--that's when they runs job ads. If you're considering a career change or an entrepreneurial opportunity, I recommend reading ""What Color is Your Parachute?" by Richard Bolles. It was one of the 7 books that I acquired at the NuMetro Media Stores. It has really helped me put things into perspective as I make decisions.

34 comments:

Simi Speaks said...

thx for shedding light on this. great stuff! love ur blog.

isha said...

youve really been a great help. am enjoying your blog. thanks a lot!

AlooFar said...

Thanks for sharing this.

Ha! You earn N1million!

Some people have kitchen-mates, some flat-mates... I think you need a spending mate. I volunteer to be one ;)

BacktoNaija said...

@simispeaks, babes, you're most welcome...btw update please ;)
@isha, hey thanks,glad to be of help.
@aloofar, ha,that's ok by me, but you know mates always bring something to the table. What exactly would be your contribution?

Parakeet said...

Been a while I read your blog and I think I've been missing. Thanks for the info. It comes in very handy

Rita Esuru Okoroafor said...

My first time here and i am totally impressed. Your blog should be a link to http://naijahotjobs.blogspot.com/

I particularly like the statement "...employers say that most applicants are not employable. Not because they aren’t bright or educated but because they lack employable skills..." This is a general perception. What I think are missing are interpersonal skills (where networking comes in) and self-confidence.

Thanks for this motivating post.

Ore said...

Great post. One book I'm reading at the moment, which I think might help some people pondering what they want to do for the rest of their life is "What Do I Do When I Want to Do Everything?" by Barbara Sher.

the_black_one said...

Great Blog...think every Nigerian youth must go thru this before concluding on any job. U've given much insight to "common sense thats not so common". thank you!

the_black_one said...

Great Blog...think every Nigerian youth must go thru this before concluding on any job. U've given much insight to "common sense thats not so common". thank you!

BacktoNaija said...

@parakeet, mmh, yes O, you've been missing! glad you found it useful.
@rita, yes I concure. I also think that a lot of applicants aren't current in terms of current events, technology and trends. All of which can thankfully be acquired.
@ore, thanks hon, where did you get your book. I checked NuMetro they didn't have it
@d black one, I'm blushing, well, like you, am too dark to blush but you get me ;)

Femi B said...

wow, i am so bookmarking, i am in the process of moving back to look for that job. I am really planning it to the t ..its taking me years to plan but your info is very helpful.

musco said...

u earn 1million as a corp member?

it's a pity dat networking has become a serious criteria 4 getting jobs in nigeria.

nice blog & u re a doing a great job!

wendie said...

Girl, you need to see what people are earning in the oil industry..its shocking..
And why do companies ask for so much working experience from fresh graduates..how will you get working experience when people insist on having work experience..only few people are actually giving fresh graduates a chance

tobenna said...

Posted on this a while back:
http://eyemuse.blogspot.com/2008/07/i-am-nigerian.html

@ Wendie, I work in the oil industry and it is my personal experience that bankers earn more than oil workers. At least, at the middle mgt level.

Excellent blog too...
Welcome back home!

Ladi said...

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!!! I CAN RELATE MY FUTURE PLANS TO YOUR CURRENT ONE SOOO MUCH!

THANKS FOR THE INFO...AS IN SERIOUSLY KEEP BLOGGING.

XO

Chris said...

Good blog, if you had just one Ibun on this site, you for no see me again (or my IP address).

Great stuff, but not so fast, what do u do to earn 1 million a month.

Marcus said...

I particularly like the statement "...employers say that most applicants are not employable. Not because they aren’t bright or educated but because they lack employable skills..." This is a general perception. What I think are missing are interpersonal skills (where networking comes in) and self-confidence.

And for people looking for jobs in Nigeria I'm sure they'll find Latest NigerianJobs.com to be an excellent site to get jobs

HIGH PAYING NAIJA JOB SEEKER said...

nice blog you should check out the latest blog listing HIGH PAYING JOBS IN NIGERIA SAW ONE FOR $300K

Here is the address
www.workforcenigeria.com

Lobebe said...

Good work,
It is really fun when people their time to add value to peoples' life.
My blog address is http://najiajobs.blogspot.com

Jobs in Pakistan said...

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This blogs is also very helpful for the users i like it.

Anonymous said...

I am very grateful for the info on your blog. I am a project manager just made redundant from a company in the uk. i am considering going back to nigeria or anywhere in africa thaat will have me. it's difficult to gain access to job vacancies in Nigeria but a friend suggested this site www.expertjobsnigeria.com. i will appreciate any further suggestions

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Anonymous said...

www.nigerianbestforum.com is a good nigerian website to get job vacancies published in tuesday and thursday guardian newspaper job ads.

and other job opportunities not published in nigerian papers.

Vacancies in Nigeria said...

People still get jobs in Nigeria, It's just a matter of making the necessary preparations, there are skills different companies are looking for, and I believe that with the right skills, you will be the one to be sought for and not the other way round

Good blog by the way

Jobsfornaija said...

www.jobsfornaija.com also publishes the latest vacancies, and they are delivered to your mailbox

Nigeriabestjobs said...

Visit http://www.nigeriabestjobs.com for Jobs in Nigeria

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Tony said...

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macaronni said...

this may be forward, but i noticed you had only a bsc at the tme of posting this, one million a month is on the high end for graduates with no masters/mba in nigeria. which company is it and what role. how much are your bosses set to earn? just curious. i am also looking to move back home

BacktoNaija said...

Hiyas! I know I wrote this post several years ago, but I just wanted to clarify, I didn't earn N1m a month. Hehehe, I was trying poking fun at myself. But not to worry, I'm on my way there! hehehe

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