As narrated to Stanley G. Jack, by Chijioke Onyemjoro Patrick
Life is not always what it seems. While depending on your certificate/degree is sheer waste of your time, it is advisable for you to work hard and strive to add value, first to yourself and then to any organization within which you manage to find yourself in. After graduation from the University of Port Harcourt in 2009/2010 I served (National Youth Service Corps) in Osun state and passed out in October, 2011. I was unemployed for the whole of 2012. Then in 2013, I got a job in a logistic company. I worked for two months and left because my boss was usually so abusive it would have been a disaster to continue to work for him. You can imagine a fresh graduate who expected to be in an ‘ideal work’ environment with a certificate but secured the opposite instead.
So, I got another job in a dredging company at Etche in Rivers state. All through the time I was at the dredging company, I began to re-orientate my mind and purge all those pride and lofty expectations I had as an undergraduate. My expectation was that all I needed was just a certificate to land a job and live the good life.
At the dredging company, the job demanded that I worked in a rough environment (that is, to wear shorts and canvas to site just to sell sand to clients who were mainly road construction companies), everyday. I was humbled, I decided to see it all as the ultimate learning process because I had to do away with my pride of being a graduate and deal with the reality of working to earn a living.
As a graduate, you must expunge pride as reality takes the stage once you enter the labour market. Interestingly, in 2014, February, the dredging company I was working with packed up and the owners travelled abroad. I was forced back into unemployment, again.
At that time I was staying with my aunt, and then all of a sudden, she asked me to leave her house!!! I had to move in with a friend; suddenly, my friend’s house rent expired and I had to move to another friend’s place in Port Harcourt since I had no place of my own – I was jobless, broke and homeless. I was there from February to August 2014 with no work. I was almost beginning to sort of lose my mind; depression was beginning to set in. I was always thinking (how did I get here?).
Then like a twist of fate I was inspired by God. Instead of thinking and feeling sorry for myself I began to look up to God, hoping that he would bless me and change my story. I had to start going to church. I knew I was late when it came to my ambition, or life goals. It was in my church that the pastor talked about not being idle, encouraging us to find something to do no matter how small. That struck me. After hearing that I sought a teaching job just to help my life!
I began the teaching job with a goal of adding value to my pupils. While doing this, I suddenly became restless and saw that teaching was just a means and not an end to me. So, I prayerfully began to seek God’s face, hoping for another and better job.
On January 2015 at my church, there was a prophesy from an invited man of God that someone in the meeting was going to get a new job and he was going to be a manager. I claimed the word and I knew I was the one. I ran out and dropped a small monetary seed.
There was a company I had applied to in 2014 but was given no response.
On my 2nd attempt however, God favoured me through someone who worked at the company and for the first time my CV was taken and placed in a desk where it would be seen and responded to.
Now you see that many people do not get called up for interviews because their CVs may have been thrown carelessly into one bin or the other and forgotten. To get your CV seen is a struggle on its own. A few days later, I was called for a written interview. After one month’s time, there was an oral interview which by God’s grace I passed and I was given the job as a graduate supervisor. As I write this I currently work with the Genesis group (owners of the Genesis fast food and cinemas) at Trans-Amadi, Port Harcourt.
By and large, I cannot say that I did it alone; God was in it. But as young people who want to live better lives, we have to learn to never despise anyone or any position. It is better to be humble, start small and learn how to depend on God for the things that we cannot do for ourselves.
While working small, however, we should not lose sight of our ambition. Your experience or story may be different from mine, but in all nothing beats putting in work and gaining experience – which always pays off later. Or don’t you think so?
Excerpted from the forthcoming book, GOOD TO GO by Stanley G. Jack; coming out in March, 2016 in Port Harcourt.
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