|I am a living testimony of the popular saying “Heaven helps those who help themselves”. In helping oneself in life, you have to be strategically intentional about it.|
Job-hunting in a nation like Nigeria as they say is “a job in itself”. The rejections and disappointments are inseparable duo one has to deal with. But I tell you that with God and a change of strategy and patience you’ll land that job sooner than you think.
I’ll share my story and I hope it inspires us
I started work with one of the bank’s in Nigeria as a contract staff back in 2015. As a fresh graduate, it felt huge for me with salary of 100k till I was deep into it and the many frustrations started to unfold. Fast forward to 2017, I started applying for jobs again. It was a weekly ritual for me. The deafening silence from not being called for aptitude test/interview, & the numerous rejection mails heightened my frustrations. 2018, it dawned on me that something has to be done about the document representing me -MY CV.
I paid for rewrite but was never satisfied.
Then I decided to dedicate myself to rewriting and updating my CV/Resume from time to time.It was at that point I realized I needed to be intentional about what I do at work,how I do it and the results I achieved. You know why? It’s simply cos everything I do including the results I achieved must go down into my CV. I took my frustrating job more seriously and responsibly, I volunteered when there is need to, I was more involved in team building. Guess what, these eventually eventually brought me some positive recognition and promotion to a leadership role(which never reflected in my salary since I was just a contract staff). But I took it anyways. You know why ? MY C.V!… to be continued
… While I kept updating my CV, the difference became clear compared to what it used to look like. I felt more confident and I kept applying for as many job openings I laid my hands on. I was so addicted to job sites.
While I was applying, there was a bit of difference in the results of my application. The rejections increased, but I had a few call for aptitude tests and some interviews too. Infact , in 2020, I landed a new job but I declined. The salary was 10k below what I was earning then and chances of promotion in the organization was like a camel passing through the eye of a needle. I can’t go from frying pan to fire, I whispered to myself and I let go. Hunting continued.
I continued to apply myself well to my frustrating job at the bank(remember I was a contract staff) and of course, I was relentlessly still reviewing my CV, I kept ensuring my CV is a verb(action word/a doing word) and was spicing it with the corresponding results I was achieving then.
This did not stop the rejections. I could remember a week I got rejection mails back to back from Monday to Friday. That same week was the week I started deleting rejection mails from my email. I was so frustrated and felt like giving up. Thank God it stopped as just a feeling.
The frustration sparked something in Me again. Guess what ? Another change in strategy…..Watch out for Episode 3
….. thinking out loud, I spoke to myself, there has to be another way. Thankfully with the help of God, I dived into what I call the unsolicited job zone. This became a serious work for me. I sat down on several occasions to itemize the organizations I will like to work where my current experience in the bank is of relevance.
Oh goodness, you would think this was a school project for me.
Once I pick a particular organization, I would visit their website to check for their career /hr email. if I can’t find that, I would send my CV to any email I find on their website. There are times I would also do a few permutations to guess the official email address of their head of HR and copy whoever it is. Let me add that I also supplement my unsolicited application with a brief cover letter on the body of the mail.
Yes there were no openings and there were no advertisements of any form requesting for people with my experience in those organizations, but I kept on sending in my applications. I call that blind firing as the used in the military. While doing this I was addicted to reviewing my CV. I would always tell myself, my life is my project and I can’t give up. This new strategy started midway into year 2020 and at the end of 2020 December precisely, guess what?
Watch out for Episode 4.
… December 2020, I got a call from one of those companies I had sent my CV to for unsolicited jobs. The first thing the lady (who is currently my boss) told me was, I saw your CV and I like it. It sounded like I heard Joe Biden telling me to pack my luggage and come to the United States.
she wasn’t the HR but somehow my CV got to her and my experience was relevant to the department she’s heading, she did a mini interview for me to feel my weight right on the phone. She asked how much I was willing to take as salary I mentioned but her response to me suggested I fumbled on that part. so I took my mind of it and continued with my blind firing.
My people , May 2021, I received an email from the organization’s HR for a virtual 45 min interview. I had 3-4 days to prepare. I prepared like it was an interview to enter Heaven. I have never prepared for interview like that in my life. The d-day came, 45mins of virtual interview was like 5mins. Adequate preparation paid off really well. And of course God was 100% in control. I was asked how much I’m willing to take. I mentioned and there was no arguments/negotiations. 3weeks after the interview, I got an offer beyond my surprise. This included a very comprehensive HMO for wife and four kids.
I resumed the job July 2021 with probationary period of 6 months. The 6 months will be ticked this January 2022. Guess what? Another surprise that happened.
December 31st 2021, I received a promotion letter while still on probation. I am dazed till now.
Let me also add that it’s a remote job. I work right from inside my house with my boxers.Lol
My fellow Nigerians job hunting, I understand the pains you’re going through. The pains of rejections, the pains of failing that interview, The pains of joblessness itself. The pains of being broke. I have been through it. Please don’t give up, Don’t relent. Trust the process, and carry God along. Change strategies, take certifications, do volunteer jobs, you can as well take unpaid internship jobs and be intentional about making the best of the experience. And don’t forget, let your CV be a verb and express quantifiable results you achieved.
This year, you’ll get your Congratulation letter for that job.