Over time, students have often been advised and encouraged to further their education beyond secondary school and most importantly graduate with good grades so as to get gainful employment after graduation and in turn impact their lives and that of others positively. Now, it is widely known that in Nigeria, most firms always place a benchmark of Second class upper degree from the University or its equivalent in the Polytechnic in their vacancies for applicants. Many a times, individuals who graduated with a second class lower aren’t given the opportunity to apply let alone get interviewed for the job. This remains a source of worry for individuals who graduate with grades that are not so good and this bane is compounded by the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria.
Truth be told, students will always, definitely and still will graduate with low grades. Sometimes this could be as a result of unseriousness or reasons beyond their control. Still, these people also deserve to live a comfortable life. I’ve seen graduates of such grades thrown into despair, hopelessness, focus and seem not to understand life anymore. Yet, there are some graduates of these grades who still land themselves “top-notch” jobs, have lucrative businesses and sometimes are employers of those with First class degree.
Without much ado, let me share with you all some tips that could be of help to those with a second class lower or grades lower than that. They are steps that have been proven to be helpful and also observations from me and people around. Now, the tips are:
1. IMPROVE AND CHANGE YOUR VIEW ABOUT THINGS: Most people who graduate with low grades and are finding it a bit difficult to get a job might have the notion that it is over for them, there’s no hope and all sorts of depressing thoughts. The earlier that mentality is changed, the better. Accept what’s happened as a challenge and brace yourself up to face it. Realize the fact that you now have to work extra compared to those with better grades. This is the first step to becoming a better person in this situation.
2. GET CERTIFIED PROFESSIONALLY: Best bet after graduating with a low grade from the university is to get a Professional Certificate. Even though it might not totally blot out the effect of the low grade, it will go a long way in increasing one’s chances of getting employed. For example, a second class lower graduate in Computer Engineering with a CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) certificate definitely has a better chance at being employed than someone with the second class lower without any certification.
3. DEVELOP GOOD COMMUNICATION SKILLS: Like I said in my previous article, Writing and Speaking- The two most essential parts and forms of communication. This constitutes the difference between two people of equal academic capabilities- The ability to express one’s self. Communication goes hand in hand with confidence and is majorly needed most times during interviews. People who graduated with low grades need to develop this skill in order to stand out when articulation ability is what’s in play to put then on a higher ledge.
4. NETWORKING: As I’ve said earlier, getting a job with a second class lower or a lower grade could seem pretty tough. All the same, the ability to network, form relationships, gather valuable contacts could go a long way in ruling out the issue of joblessness in time. Best thing, during one-on-one conversations with people who you feel could assist in any way, try as much as possible to prove your worth so that in times when they need someone to fill a vacancy that matches your profession, they wouldn’t have to think twice before contacting you.
5. DEVELOP NEW SKILLS: Developing new skills not only keeps you from being idle, it also adds to your resume. Most graduates tend to delve into web design, programming, etc but its advisable to go learn a skill pertaining to your course of study. These skills could end up becoming very large sources of income and there wouldn’t be any need to apply for jobs anymore.
6. START SMALL: As the saying goes, “…little drops of water make an ocean.” Whether it’s a small business or a small job like teaching, start something small. Do not just stay idle doing nothing. In doing this, you can meet someone by chance, who likes what you do and decides to give you a boost. Apart from that, the little jobs you engage in add to your resume and gives you some work experience which is also a crucial criteria in getting a job.
7. DISTRIBUTE YOUR CV PERSONALLY: Now’s the time for the real big job. Grab that CV of yours, dust it, get in your shoes and distribute your CVs to companies even when they aren’t having vacancies. You never can tell, you might just get lucky one day and get invited for an interview..! Don’t mess it up from there.
8. GET YOURSELF A MENTOR: Best bet for getting a mentor in this situation is to get someone who has once passed through your situation and knows how best to help you get through it. Follow his/her advice and watch yourself land yourself a good job just like that person in no time.
9. TIME TO CONSIDER OTHER OPTIONS: At some point in life, change is needed and maybe that time is now. The reason for some graduating with low grades might be because they did not study the course of their choice and their mind was never into it. Try something new. Invest in your hobby. If you like writing, put it to good use. If its talking, do same. You could venture into new career paths like IT, Marketing, PR, etc. Find something new, develop a flair for it and make it bring in some cool cash for you.
10. PRAYER AND PATIENCE: As they say, “…good things come to those who wait.” Do not expect an overnight breakthrough or a sudden miracle. Always remember your God, pray to him and be patient in faith that things would fall right in place.
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