“Should NYSC be scrapped?” is a question that has become popular recently amongst both serving and non-serving corps members. Many feel the scheme should be scrapped because of the way it’s being run currently. This however undermines the great benefits embedded in the programme.
The 1 year used for serving the nation also provides an opportunity for serving corps members to prepare themselves for the challenges of life after school. It also gives an opportunity for them to impact their environment and provides stipends which could even be the first salary income for some of them.
However, some of the serving corps members do not recognize the amazing benefits in this scheme because they feel they were not posted to the place they desired; the place where they can serve in big organizations and get a job immediately after service. They are however, doing themselves a great dis-service as that’s not the right approach.
Below are five (5) things every corps member should do during their service year regardless of where they are posted to serve:
- Start saving– Saving is the first habit every corps member should form during their service year. You must learn to commit certain portion of your monthly allowance to savings and you must start as early as possible. Don’t wait till the service year is almost over before you start saving. Some would complain and say “how much is the allowance sef that I’m required to save?” The truth is your allowance is by far more than the salaries of some graduates who are already working. According to stutern.com, 1 in 4 new graduates earn less than N20,000 monthly as starting salary. You need to start saving because after service year, you will need some money to go for interviews, buy some new suits and shoes, progress in your academics and/or start-up a small business while waiting for your dream job.
- Acquire new skills– During NYSC, there are numerous skill acquisition opportunities for corps members. You need to maximize every of such opportunities. However, do not fall for the usual “talk-and-certificates” skills programmes. Such programmes where they just talk and give you certificates at a fee. Nigeria is tired of certificates, people who can do what they say are in great demand. So go for programmes that will teach you how to do things. Especially programmes where you can learn something you can start with after service in the event your dream job does not come as fast you expect. Click here to see skills every fresh graduate should have.
- Start preparation– Don’t wait till after service before practicing job tests and attempting common interview questions, start now! Read as wide as you can, and practice as much as you can. The job market is greatly competitive especially for fresh graduates, so you really need to prepare beforehand. Start learning how to write your CV and cover letters. Start sharing them with your friends and elder ones. Start now!
- Execute projects– I’m not going against my first rule, so don’t even think about it. Save a portion and commit another portion to executing projects. Your service year is a great opportunity for you to show your problem solving skills. This skill is what every organization will look out for in fresh graduates. Identify problems in your environment and provide innovative way of solving them. Don’t engage in “talk show” rather take action for every problem identified and solve them. That may get you your first job and/or get you funds to start your own company.
- Turn on your “Torchlight”– Start hunting! Don’t wait till the end of your service year. Go on to job sites and check job opportunities you feel you’re qualified for. Some new internship jobs are even available with some firms (click here to view some of them), apply for them. Start your job hunting now.