11 THINGS Every Smart Corp Member Must During 11 MONTHS OF NYSC.
Like a wind, your 11 months of national service would sweep away across your face, and before you know what’s happening it is all over. You do not want to see it sweep over you like a hurricane because that would be dangerous. You can make your service year look like sitting and relaxing in the pleasant breeze from a gentle current, of sweet smelling flowers in a garden surrounding.
I don’t want to begin to sound poetic but here I am going to list out 11 things you need to do during your 11 months that can keep your national service year a memorable one and cut out the regrets that most ex-corpers have.
TAKE UP PROFESSIONAL COURSES
Spare some of your allowances and study a professional course. You would have plenty of free time during your service year that sometimes you wonder what you want to do with all that time which can become a bore if time is not taken.
You might never have this free time again considering that getting a job after the service year can be stressful and may not give you the needed time to learn anything. Even if you do not have a job you do not want to expend the time you want to use to search for job to start bending your head on books to read.
There are a lot of professional courses available. Some of them have their price subsidized by NYSC under the SAED program. Get to know of them and enroll. Examples of professional courses you might want to consider include Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), Institute of Strategic Management of Nigeria (ISMN), Project Management (PM), Institute of Customer Relationship Management (ICRM), Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigerie (ICAN), Web Design, Statistical Analysis Softwares and a host of others.
DO A PART TIME JOB
I bet you can always get a part time job no matter where you find yourself – rural, urban or sub-urban. There are lots of different jobs you can take up if you take your time to look out for jobs in your community. There are also a lot of companies who are looking for fresh graduates or corp members to work with. They believe it is relatively cheaper to use them as work force as compared to the cost of paying graduates.
Some of the part time jobs you can be looking out for include: starting a private tutorial with school going kids; marketing some of your own skills and products such as music, dancing, beads making, bags, packaged fries, etc; blogging; doing project and research work for students; doing retail business; freelancing for companies and a lot of them.
BUILD YOUR CV
It is time to get to do some work on your Curriculum Vitae (CV). Writing your resume, a cover letter, and maybe a proposal are skills that need to teach and learned. You do not depend on the common secondary school CV’s you are used to seeing around you or you do not want to rush in a computer café one day just to ask them to put together a CV for you.
There are professional ways to write a CV and you need to begin to learn them if you want to make a successful move in clinching a job..
Your service year gives you ample time to learn and get used to them because there would lot of jobs you need to submit your CV to and all of your submission to them has to be quite different from each other.
BE ACTIVE IN THE ORIENTATION CAMP
Your chances of getting posted to a good PPA could open doors for you to start from the orientation camp.
Play an active role in the activities going on in the camp. You don’t need to be shy. You are getting too old to be shy and in the competitive world of today, boldness is everything.
Some activities you could participate in include joining the orientation broadcasting service (OBS), becoming a platoon leader or official, joining the drama and dance crew, joining in the beauty contest, participating in the sports activities, joining the band and in the marching parade.
If you want to hide something from an African man put it in a book, I think there is a saying like that. You do not want that to be true of you just because you have finish school or university. To be able to make it and progress in this age you need to be abreast with a lot of knowledge.
You need to constantly read news magazines, news sites, personal development books, and anything that would expand your horizon of the world around you.
Some of the ideas, skills, creativity, opportunities, and personal advancement you would need in life would be hidden away in these books if you do not read them.
BUILD YOUR BUSINESS NETWORK
The larger your business network the larger your chances of getting a job or getting more opportunities. You do not want to trust only your certificate or what you can do. People like to work with people they know and feel comfortable with. You can build these business contacts by going on seminars, offering to help some businesses for free, building good reputation, interacting in matured forums, and always keeping in touch with you contacts, and many other ways.
Building a business network doesn’t happen all at once, it would take a while and it may continue throughout your business years.
The Skill and Acquisition and Entrepreneurship (SAED) program of the NYSC orientation camp is one program that every aspiring and ambitious youth has to take seriously in the camp. This is an opportunity to build skills with the vast array of skills available in this program. Getting involved can help get you a mentor that might surprisingly help you in standing up in the business world.
I met one like that in my time and he has taught me many things I would not forget in a hurry and his association has made it easier to start an idea I have been working on for a long while without much lead. So make the best use of this opportunity.
MAKE LOT OF FRIENDS
NYSC could be your last chance on meeting a crowd of people who could be your friends. Apart from the company and enlightenment that they can bring with them they can be your source of getting a better job or hitting a better opportunity. Recognize that these set of people are in the same level of struggle just as you are and keeping in touch with them would help you to keep along with available job offers they may know about and would likely share with you.
My cousin’s brother got his first job at an oil company through a guy he met at NYSC who referred him to his boss and before you know it he submitted one quick resume and he was picked for the job.
GET CLOSER TO GOD
If you have been slacking in this area in the past then you must start making changes. You have reached an important crossroad in your life where any little decision you make could make a difference in your life in 10 years or more. Soon you have to decide who would be your life partner, where you want to work, where you want to settle, where you want to make your investments and things like that.
Praying and getting closer to God can give you the wisdom and courage to surmount any challenges you would face. Standing alone is like building a straw house on sandy foundation.
FULLY SUPPORT YOUR PPA
Your place of primary assignment needs you, that is why they have sent for you. Fully supporting in them in their activity can prove to be a beneficial source of help to them and a source of experience for you too. Give out your talent, your devotion and dedication in whatever work that is required of you. I believe you would expect the same kind of treatment from another corp member in the future if you have your own establishment and employ one.
You do not want them reporting you to your local government inspector or treating you coldly, so please cooperate with them and save yourself much disturbance and reprimand.
LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE
In most communities that corp members find themselves there is usually a new and different language in the community that they can learn. It won’t kill a fly to learn them and you have more chances of better relating with the host community and also picking up a language that would could open doors of opportunity for you in the future.
When you speak to people in their mother tongue they feel at home with you and make you family, and in a modern Nigeria where connections is everything then you should endeavor to learn this new language.
You might not be able to learn everything in a less than a year but it would make it easier for you to grab the language if you wish to study or use it in the future.
11 things you need to do in the 11 months in your service year is an essential read. It would do well if you will reread it after the first read. The advice herein can prove to a blessing to you during your short service year. There are more like it in www.awajis.com/nysc We might also consider this interesting article on 20 costly mistakes to avoid during National Service