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5 Reasons Chasing Self-employment Beats Job Hunting In Nigeria


This post will be controversial but my assurance is that I am merely sharing facts with you. This post is not for everybody but for those who are not desperate to settle for less by becoming underemployed in a job they will resent, otherwise my apologies if you find this post offensive. You shouldn't read any more.

I do realize everybody's circumstance is different and so I am willing to say for those who are destined to work under a boss, don't see this as me trying to discourage you from searching, it is more of a wake up call than a grim reminder of what the job search and employment in Nigeria really entails. Here are 5 reasons why I believe the self-employment path is a better option than the job search/paid employment.

1. High Competition for few Job Slots
This is for freshers in the job market or recently laid off former employees. Even a Master's degree cannot guarantee an entry level position these days. The labour market is just too saturated and competitive. Last year nearly 1 million Nigerians entered the labour market (900,000+). Here is statistics from NBS 21 million Nigerians were unemployed as at July 2018. The economy grew by less than 3% last year and will not likely fair better which means much less than 400,000 jobs will be created this year by government and companies. This means that the jobs are just not there and even when you find them they aren't anything near a decent working experience. It will be like trying to push your way through a stampede just to grab a paltry prize that anyone close to it can snatch at anytime.

2. Low Return on Time and Effort Invested
If you start your job search today, how long will it take you to get a job and start earning a salary? Let me help you out with your guess, more than 2 years. That is the mean time the average employable job seeker takes to secure employment. But if you were to commit 6 months to learn a marketable skill, you could become self-employed almost immediately (I have been making a decent income for 5 years now going to 6 years after quitting my job thanks to a marketable skill I acquired prior to my employment and in fact it was what earned me my job in the first place, not my computer science HND).

3. Most Meaningful Job Vacancies are already taken
Can someone please remind me the last time they saw mass recruitment into CBN or heard of FIRS job vacancies posted in national dailies? Well chances are that a lot of newly employed persons in these very high paying organisations have been called privately and recruited. The less prestigious employers are inundated anyways with too much applications that they have their own databases of candidates who they will readily contact by email, sms or phone calls when there are any openings.

4. Most Employers use networks and recommendations
Employers are becoming weary of employing people they will still need to train after employing and so they opt for those who have proven work experience and skills, because it saves them costs. What are the chances that you fall into their network or may be recommended to the them by someone in a respectable position you know?

5. Career Advancement and Prospects
Let's say you get employed eventually, what are the prospects on the job 5 years down the line compared to a self-starter that aggressively improves his productivity, constantly seeks self improvement and has bagged considerable productive habits that have shaped his work ethic?

Those are my 5 reasons and I am so eager to hear objections and contributions. Waiting on you Pals!
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