But I never thought my life would go this way.
In the last four years, a lot of things have happened. Yesterday was also the end of the service year for many erstwhile corpers, so I took the pain to write this down and share my story, hoping that everyone, especially those seeking for job opportunities will learn a thing or two.
As a young graduate in 2012 and 13, there were many challenges I faced and Some of them were even more serious sometimes because of my Christian faith
I graduated at the age of 26 and when i write application for jobs, some employers ask for long years of experience and age restrictions. Notable among these is the KPMG which I applied for but they didn’t accept application from those over the age of 25. I was tempted severely and severally to swear affidavit in a court of law so I could adjust my age and be able to get these jobs.
A friend who was 27 when we applied did the same and got called for interview within months, when he told me about it that evening, it was just God that held me back from calling his runs guy to help me arrange mine.
I remember one of those days during NYSC when a sudden fear came upon me and I became sad within just because of the realization that some good and reputable companies place age restrictions on their recruitment processes.
I prayed and wept that day and also made a vow never to lie about my age for any reason.
Fastforward to after NYSC- February 2014
I submitted applications in numerous places and in some instances invited for interviews. In a particular case, I lost the opportunity because I couldn’t drive.
Two weeks after that one, there was a particular job opportunity I missed that brought tears to my eyes and pained my family members also.
It was a teaching job in one of those first-class sixth form Colleges in Lekki, Lagos.
Though they asked for experience, because of my passion for academics and also because the job was more or less a lecturing job considering the role, I decided to try my luck. The very idea of teaching excited me so much.
I applied and fortunately I was shortlisted for an interview.
Getting to the venue, I found out it was a very corporate school, they even had white students. The school had connection with some universities abroad.
The interview included some international exams including Cambridge exams for me. The exam was very hard and some questions were strange but I just tried my best.
After the written test, I was orally interviewed.
I told them the amount expected as salary, issue bothering around experience and so on.
About a week later, I got a message that I passed the first stage of the interview and I was invited for a final selection chat in Eko hotel and suites in Lagos.
Before that day, I had only seen Eko hotel on pages on newspapers and on the TV.
I didn’t even know what to wear. I had no suit nor jacket. The shoe I wore for the interview was my grandad’s.
On getting to the venue of the interview with my well-ironed shirt, tie and trousers, it turned out I was the only person not wearing suit,
We were shown to the office of a white man and soon, we started.
I need to state here that the institution hired a consultant to handle this recruitment for them, not all these agents.
When it got to my turn, I was right before the main man from the school and the consultant. The issue of experience came up again, but the consultant excused me and said I had no problem since I was personally recommended by the man teaching the subject because of the way I answered the question when he interviewed me in the written test.
The main man said since everyone one was okay with me. I was offered a congratulatory handshake and that was it. Even though I’d told them I would accept anything higher than 60k, they told me they would do better than that.
I was told I would be invited for a class practice just for formality since it was already concluded I’ve got for the job.
I left the place full of joy. I was so very glad. I couldn’t wait to get home and inform my people. I even called them on my way home and they rejoiced with me.
Everyone was happy.
It was less than 2 months after NYSC- April 2014.
I started expecting to hear from these people but I didn’t hear anything.
I was just sitting at home, expecting to resume my wonderful job. I even stopped applying for other jobs.
After about two weeks or thereabout, I decided to go to the school and find out the state of things.
I received a very sad news.
I was told the people they employed had resumed two weeks before that day.
I was also informed that nobody was employed for the subject I applied to teach. They said the person occupying the position who planned to leave the country changed his mind.
I stood there looking at the man like a ghost. I was devastated.
That was how the dream of working in such a nice environment was cut short.
When I got home and told my people, eyes were red but they tried their best to comfort me.
I had to settle for a teaching job of 25k per month I got through an advert on Guardian newspaper.
One thing about this particular teaching job was that I was told from onset that they assist their students during external exams. I also made it clear I would never be involved but would teach the students very well
For one reason or the other I was employed.
At a time in this school, I was the only teacher not assisting during external exams. I was overloaded with work. Sometimes I had no free period throughout the day. And the proprietress was not helping matters. She could humiliate anybody.
I felt like I was in a prison. To attend interview elsewhere na big wahala if she found out.
A time came I attended an interview with an insurance company. I was later invited for a four or three days training which did not connote automatic employment.
This school will never give me such time. NEVER.
I had only one option, take the risk and resign or forfeit this new opportunity.
I sought counsel from my Pastor who advised me and asked me to pray and take a final decision.
Eventually, I resigned.
My resignation led to war with the proprietress. She cursed and humiliated me that day when I asked for the previous month salary because it was a new month. I was so humiliated that I wept that day.
She rained abuses on me but I didn’t reply her, not one word.
All I kept saying was ‘I reject it in Jesus name’.
That was how I forfeited a full month salary and lesson fee for both Neco and WAEC for SSCE and also for junior WAEC.
I attended the training in the Insurance company only to find out that the job was a form of ADVANCED SLAVERY worse than the previous teaching job which I left behind.
So I was jobless once again.
This was May 2015 and I was staying with my Grandparents all this time.
I started struggling to get something doing
I attended some sham job interviews that the offer was nothing to write home about at all.
I was very desperate to get a job, but I couldn’t put up with what was coming my way- they were not just worth it at all. Many employers are out to take advantage of the teeming unemployed youth in this country and I was not ready to be a slave.
One day, I stumbled on a post for employment on nairaland for the post of a Personal Assistant, PA.
I called the number and was asked to come for interview the following day.
I was selected for the job among the people that came for the interview.
It was a 50k starting job but I opted for it all the same.
That was how I was employed as PA to the Managing Director.
The first time I met the MD, he wasn’t sure I was the type he really wanted. I guess it was due to the way I dressed.
He gave me few assignments which I did very well.
Before long, he complained about my dressing. He said I was not dressing up to his standard.
But he didn’t just complain about it.
Some days later, he called me and took me to shoprite building.
He was just picking the clothes himself while I watch. Both shirts and trousers, all for me, without me paying a dime.
The one that surprised me was a belt he bought for me for 7k, till today, the belt is still as new.
The following day, he added sets of shoes from his personal closet. One of the shoes was even brand new. He did all these without deducting a penny from my salary.
The change around me was obvious to people, even in church. I tried my best to work very hard and my salary was reviewed upward in less than 6 months.
I didnt even know how to thank God for everything.
Despite the recession, this year in particular has been so wonderful in our company.
We went outside the state for a job together, and he left me behind to complete the assignments in those places.
When I returned, I was promoted from PA to Operation officer.
God has really been so faithful to me.
In spite of my age and lack of experiences, I have been promoted yet again in just over a year in the company. I am currently the company’s Head of Operations.
I currently earn a six figure income to God’s glory.
Apart from the money, I have learnt a lot on this job, my level of exposure on the job has been superb.
I, who was rotting away last year in a secondary school now fly in aeroplane here and there as If I am boarding bus.
I really bless God, because no matter the situation, he cannot forget his own.
I am not alone in this.
I also have other brethren who God has placed in good places today.
Some are running Masters abroad, some already lecturing, some on wonderful teaching jobs and other good places. I even jam one of my University fellowship brothers on a flight to Abuja the other day. He works in a very good company too.
I want you to share this anonymously.
I want to encourage the new graduates just released from NYSC that God will take care of them if they trust him.
The old graduates who are also still looking for better opportunities will surely be remembered. Let them continue to trust in God.
God owes no man.
It is not the time to start compromising by reducing age or lieing about experience. I lost many opportunities because of my age, but I bless God for today and what he still has in store.
It is time to trust God fully without hanky panky. THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSINGS, IF WE LET GOD HAVE HIS WAY.
The experience was not that easy. There were times I made my mistakes in the course of the struggles. One has to settle things with God quickly and move on, learning to trust him more.
My conclusion is just that anytime we allow God to have his way. Things works fine though it may not be easy. The grace of God is what keeps us all going. There is no superman anywhere.
We are all what we are by the grace of God.