Start Your Career in School.
Career development in Nigeria starts primarily when and individual is in university or any tertiary institution, the person could have been taking baby steps prior but gets serious in university. It can be quite difficult managing a business or preparing for a professional exam or learning one skill or the other and managing your academic life, which is the primary reason for you being in school. The thing is the earlier the better, as a freelancer in say web designing for example if you start getting jobs in school, chances are by the time you’re done with school you’d have a robust portfolio that would be very useful for employment. Perhaps you are the book type, library person that can read for Africa and you don’t want to be distracted doing the academic year, how about Holidays? What do you do with them? You can use this free time to learn one skill or the other just for fun really because you can never tell when it would be useful. A number of students bag the professional certificates while in school, they prepare during the holiday take their exams when they can and by the time they’re done with school they have more than just a B.sc certificate they have a couple of professional certificates to go.
But I don’t know what I want to become? Well don’t feel bad you’re not alone there, trust me a number of students don’t actually take time to decide their career path till after NYSC. You could speak to your lecturers of persons who have gone before you in a course to identify different careers and what they are about, we also have career profiles that can give you that information. If you want to be an entrepreneur you need to decide what field you want to go into, what problem you want to solve. If you notice the solution of any problem more often creates another problem, which you could also solve. Bottom line is you need to know what you want whether its entrepreneurship or a career and begin to do your homework. Get every relevant information or skill you need to become a professional in that field and begin to learn them, If its certifications start preparing, it it’s entrepreneurship register your company or begin to draw a business model to get customers. Readers are leaders and sometimes in career development what separates people sometime is who has more information better still who can create the impression that he has more information.
You’re not the first person to get on this path, get yourself a mentor; an uncle, an aunt, a lecturer and interact with them. Go to as many seminars as possible relating to your career interest and begin to interact with people. If you’re a shy person, well you need to get rid of shyness. Like I said earlier on; Freelance, by freelancing you begin to build a customer base and from having a good customer base comes referrals which leads to more customers and would eventually lead to you setting up a business or getting enough to be employed.
When push comes to shove you need to come to terms with the fact that nobody is going to build your career for you and the earlier you start the better, The skills a number of Nigerians had that got them employed or were used to start a business where acquired in school.