Tuesday 10 November 2009

Our Parents Lied to Us......

Heyy blogsville,

I know I have been m.i.a but I have been busy because I recently started a job in a market research company. It is easy, I'm quite good at it and my supervisor seems to like me, but it is not a graduate postion, monotonous and is completely unfufilling. I am still searching for a better position, but I know the stress I went through before I got this one, so I am not planning on leaving until I get a better role.

But everyday as I watch the clock at work, hoping 5 comes faster and scribbling on my note-pad, its really got me thinking......damn our parents lied to us!

They told us that all you have to do work hard, and everything will work out as you hope. NA LIE OH! Hardwork seldom leads to success, infact they are usually unrelated. We all know loads of people that work thier ass off or are mega-talented but are stuck in a dead-end job, or are going no where fast, just look at the typical hardworking driver, carpenter, labourer or etc stuck in thier dead end job just to eat and to pay the bills. Infact in reality, i would estimate that 70% people are unhappy with thier job. Does anyone really dream as a child of working in Mcdonalds, Greggs, KFC or Primark frying chips or stacking clothes all day? I think not.

You see, as a child, I was made to believe that hardwork in school was somehow related to success in real life, so my parents encouraging me to work hard in school was supposed to be grooming me for success in real life. As I was going through university as well, I never once thought about my career or where I wanted to work. If I had, in retrospect, I would have applied for summer placements and internships in big law firms as they tend to retain trainees for graduate applications. Although I did several internships in uni, they were with small and medium sized law firms who are too poor to retain graduates. I would encourage anyone who is still in uni to do as many internships in large law firms as possible. I also wish they were more readily available like in the U.S but that is another story for another day.

Anyway, the workload at university is so much that you are just trying to get from one year to another and pass the million one assesments and essays that you are given, that career planning only starts to cross you mind in final year, by which time you are stressing about final exams and trying to decide which direction you are going, or for us international students, whether you are relocating back home.

By the tine you have sorted all this out, its wayyyy too late to be getting into any career as most big companies usually recruit a year in advance, and usually recruit their interns. This may also not be as easy as it looks, as I have two friends who interned and did not get one retained, one at Deutshe Bank in New York but unfortunately for him he was there at the start of the recession and they were "downsizing"-whatever that means, hence the role of LUCK again.

I wish my parents had been more realistic with me about the reality of working life, as it has hit me like cold water on a winter day. Damn it is hard. The older I get, the younger I want to be, as no one can prepare you for the reality of leaving school!

In Nigeria, you hear of people graduating for years without jobs, but I never imagined it could be the case here as well. Maybe because in Nig, you know that alot of jobs are not based on merits so maybe you can take consolation in the fact that everything is based on connection. This is another example of something whose importance is not stressed. A number of my friends have moved back home and they keep re-enforcing the need to make connections and network with people that will take you places.

So my rationale is that if you are unemployed back home, it could be purely due to the fact that you dont know the right people, not that you unqualifies. In contrast, here, if you are unemployed, it is usually due to the fact that you are not good enough, full stop. And damn it hurts! Everytime you open that rejection e-mail, it makes it so much harder to do another application. After a while, it really starts to knock you down, but you just have to get right back up and apply again, and again, and again.

You see, alot of us leave uni, completely clueless as to what direction we want to go in life, at least most of my friends did. As Nigerians, our parents are so caught up instilling the importance and value of education in us, that we loose sight of the possiblilty of exploring any other options. I know so many people that studied degrees that they have absolutely no interest in, and thereby stifile any interests or talents they have in other fields, and end up being stuck in dead-end jobs they hate. Looking at some of the most successful people in the world, Bill Gates, Mark Zukerberg, Richard Branson, Donald Trump, and even Dangote, it is clear that success does not necessarily need education.

I guess the point of this very long post is that I , like most of the young people around me feel very disillusioned with life after uni. I just wish our parents hadn't made us believe that success in life after university was dependent on hardwork.............


Miss B


  1. Wow tis is so true..
    And ur scaring me, because i've been thinkin about that to.. It's been killing me, so what are we going to do? There is no sure guarantee..

  2. you know, i'm not even in university yet, and the thought of life after scares the shit outta me! I don't even wanna think about it 'cuz it depresses me! Oh God! however will I survive??!!!!!

  3. Nice post. I think our parents did the best they could. They thought that their words of wisdom would truly prepare us for the world. Personally, I am glad for the lessons. But, I cannot lie, like you, there are days I think they set us up. =) lol!

    Success in life requires a lot of things, hardwork included but some serious conny conny (I hope I don't have to translate that) is also key, I think.

    Anyway, sorry you are feeling disillusioned. Trust me when I say that my friends and I graduated from law school feeling the same way. Many still feel the same way many years after. Wondering whether this is all its going to be or if there's more. Just keep your head on your shoulders sis. Take advantage of the opportunities that come your way and never sell yourself short. You will come through ahead of everyone else in the end. You'll see =)

  4. so so true b! but don't give up tho...who knows u mite b d next bellanaija!
    here's d link to my blog!


  5. I'm not even in uni yet and the thought of going into that job market to live an 'adult' life is scarin' the shit outta me already... *shivers*...

  6. I partially agree with you because there are many people in Nigeria without jobs because they don't qualify. There was a tech-related job vacancy (this summer when I was interning in Nigeria) that hundred applied but none was picked because NOBODY qualified. Thats why nigerian companies are recruiting abroad.

    I am in college in America and the job ish is happening to me. I go to one of the top colleges which happens to be in a rural-ish town so very few companies recruit so I have to make connections with Alumni to hook me up and most of them say got their jobs (mgmt consultant) through connections/ networking.

    The advice I get at every American career fair is 'Is WHO you know not just WHAT you know.'

    In Nigeria, we say connections but isn't 'networking' the same thing? SAME frigging thing, different wording.

    How did Goerge Bush become president again?

    My dear, thats the world oh. Why don't you relocate to Nigeria, you have the degree (janded one) and foreign exposure, plus 'connections.' What are you waiting for?

  7. thanks 4 all ur comments y'alll. its defo not been easy lol
    @ladi yea i defo gt wt u mean abt connections, dt happens everywhere, but my point wz that people never stressed how important how all these other factors are in success in life, and also how imp LUCK is! infact i think my nxt post will be about the role of LUCK in life lool
    @solomon thanks so much oh, defo nd sme motivation atm!!

  8. Nice post. Its worse that the educational system in Nigeria is more theoretical than practical. Nowadays, in Nigeroa, job focus has shifted from merit to actual qualifications.

  9. Nice write-up. It was when I went for my masters I realized how disadvantaged education in naija is. My department back then was even supposed to be one of the best but seriously deprived nonetheless.

    But I don't blame our parents sha, it's the whole system