Sometimes graduates are proud that they studied at a Nigerian University, Polytechnic, etc and at other times, they wonder what they benefited from years of hard work with the strikes and student protests amongst other things that characterize the Nigerian education system. Basically, they feel inadequate and incompetent to thrive in the business and corporate world because they were not taught certain career secrets at school.
After graduation, many feel that they can’t fit into the corporate and business world. Each year, corporate organisations such as PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Accenture, Philips Consulting, etc as well as Banks and telecom companies recruit fresh graduates from Nigerian Universities who they believe have been taught the trends in the corporate and business world in Nigeria.
Most of these companies have recognised the fact that they must run training programmes on specific career-related aspects of their business to equip these graduates with the right skills needed in today’s highly corporate and competitive driven world.
As a graduate, you need these skills to get the right jobs, climb the corporate ladder, and/or eventually build a successful career.
1. Job Interview Skills
There’s no doubt that every jobseeker needs the right job interview skills to be able to at least get a job. As important as this skill is, it is not considered as a necessary course module to be included in the curricula of Nigerian schools. As an undergraduate or graduate who is looking forward to a finding career or job in the corporate and business world, you may soon realise that your school did not prepare you well for the job market.
What you should do: Educate yourself. Attend job interview skills training/seminars. Read tips on job interview skills. Find out likely job interview questions and practice answering them, but avoid cramming:-)
Job Interview skills: personal branding/selling, negotiation, amongst others.
2. Information Technology Skills
Most graduates leave the University each year with little or no knowledge about information technology and computing. Even some computer science graduates are not well equipped with the right IT skills they need to find the right jobs. Whatever course you studied or are studying currently, you may need certain IT skills to get a job or progress in your career.
What you should do: Get an IT training or certification. Buy IT books and teach yourself certain IT skills. Learn some IT skills from a friend or colleague and continue practicing.
IT skills: programming, networking, software developing, amongst others.
3. Presentation Skills
It’s not a new thing to see people shy away when asked to make a presentation at school. Most people due to their nature are not bold enough to stand before people to make a speech or presentation. Since there are no course programmes in the University that train students on how to make an effective presentation, many people find this aspect of their future career life difficult to get through. As a result, they are not equipped to handle meetings, make a project presentation, or even deliver a good presentation during a job interview. This skill has been described as the most-priced skill of the 21st century.
What you should do: Read books on how to make effective presentations such as Dale Carnegie’s. Practice writing a short presentation and make a presentation in front of a friend or family. Enroll in speech training classes or sessions. Be serious and focus on your goal to improve your self-esteem and confidence.
Presentation skills: writing and delivering speeches, effective communication, amongst others.
4. Leadership Skills
This is one of the greatest skills needed to go up the corporate ladder. Even though certain courses in management teach theories and methods, the practical aspects of management and leadership are left out. Even the simplest concepts of management – planning and organizing – are not practiced. As a result, we see examples of poor management and leadership in several aspects of our career lives.
What you should do: Read the book – Winning by Jack Welch. Practice management. Start by planning and organizing your day, week, months, and years if possible. Take management courses in Business schools. Find a job as a management trainee. Start a project or initiative and find people who you can lead. Work as a team.
Leadership skills: team building, persuasion, motivational, time management, amongst others.
5. Networking Skills
In more recent times, networking skills have become an important key to establishing the right contacts, finding the right jobs and building the right relationships in your career life. This valuable tool of the 21st Century has helped millions of people move forward in their careers. Networking is all about meeting new and old people who might help you get a job or change careers.
What you should do: Read books on how to use networking to power your careers. Attend networking events. Start business and professional networking online to find people in your career, build your connections and make career progression.
Networking skills: communication and inter-personal relationship, amongst others.
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