For people who completed Nigeria’s National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), here are some thoughts I believe you can relate to regarding life after NYSC. Feel free to let me know your thoughts too.
After you finish NYSC, the usual first reaction is that of excitement…
Finally Moving On from That Corper Life
My first reaction after I completed NYSC was gratitude and mostly relief. I was really happy that I was done with it because I wanted to move past it. I wouldn’t have to go through long lines each month waiting for thumb printing for Biometrics. I was happy that I could walk without someone grinning and saying “Corper Shun.”
What To Do with Free Time After Nigeria’s NYSC?
After NYSC is done, you’re no longer confined to the routine. Initially, the freedom feels wonderful but after, it’s easy to get bored. That’s part of the cons for life after NYSC. That’s why making use of your time is necessary. It helps you to be active. It makes you less prone to stressing out and worrying about the job search 24/7. It’s really important to find something to do.
How I make use of my free time is through my hobby and side hustle such as blogging and freelance writing. I attend events and conferences out of interest and for networking opportunities. I’m also a volunteer which helps me to be of service and have a sense of community.
Here are some suggestions on what you can do while searching for a job…
Volunteer for a cause that you care about
Take an educational course or training
Take a fun class like cooking
Travel if you have the funds
Meet up with mentors or peers to discuss your next step
What Happened to the NYSC Allowance?
During NYSC, the allowance you receive seems little. However, when you exit, you start to miss what seemed to be a little amount. That’s why it’s best to try to manage the two-months pay you’ll receive when you’re done. Don’t spend it all at once. Save some because there’s no guarantee you’ll get a job immediately. It might take a few months or longer.
Should I Go Back to School After Nigeria’s Youth Service Year?
If you want to go back to school, that sounds like a great and smart plan to get an advanced degree. As for me, I want more work experience. I want to be very certain of the field I’m pursuing. Then, possibly after, I’ll get my Masters.
The going back to school question depends on where you see your career going. It also depends on whether or not you have the funds to invest in the advanced degree. These things factor into the equation.
Should I Start My Own Business after Nigeria’s NYSC?
Entrepreneurship seems to be on everyone’s mouth. I’m an aspiring entrepreneur so I’m about that life too. However, I prefer to have a stable position for a couple of years to make enough money and learn from the experience and develop my skills. Then, I hope to be able to venture out on my own.
You might be different and feel that you want to start working on your own now. I think that’s a big decision to make. Some people have been able to get success in a short time. Others are still pushing through after a couple of years. If you’re thinking about having your own business, I hope you’ve spoken to established professionals who are doing what you aspire to do. It might be best to seek their advice on how they got there. I hope you’ve also considered the funds and resources it takes to run your own business.
Are You on the Right Track after NYSC?
I remember that during the CDS days for NYSC, people would come and speak about employment. A lady in HR said that if you’re not able to obtain a job six-months after NYSC, it will be difficult for employers to consider you after that timeline. I’ve been advised through networking events and conferences that if a position aligns with where you want to go and is a decent salary, give it a chance.
Some people will go on many interviews and be waiting until they find that perfect job and salary. Some people will take what they can get from the get-go. Others have a hard time finding anything. The rest are relaxing and traveling to see their uncles and aunties in Europe and America. So it’s not for me to say what is the best decision for you. Everyone’s story and their situation is different. However, the true reality is that life in Nigeria is not easy. Based on what your situation is, you should consider whether it’s best to use your time volunteering or interning. You can consider whether you’d have to take a position not in your field to make ends meet. You can consider traveling and exploring a different environment.
If you completed NYSC, let me know how the experience after/is for you?