NYSC experience has been what so many gradutes in Nigeria are scared off. That feel of opening a new leaf. As some pick courage to expore, many needs hints from various sources in getting prepared their minds.
The three weeks in the NYSC regimented orientation camp is perhaps one of the hardest times in the life of a Youth Corper. Now that you’re free from the early morning bigle, meditation, strenuous drills and harassment from soldiers, you are on to another phase of the service.
This time it’s not about drills and bigles but about responsibility and the next lines of action for your own future. Here are some things you should do after the orientation camp.
Find a place to settle down, and fast
Your posting letter must have indicated your Place of Primary Assignment and you must have been conveyed by representatives of the different Local Government Areas where you’re posted to the area. The next thing is to settle down.
There are provisions for temporary and permanent accommodation by religious bodies such as NCCF, NACC, MCAN and the likes. Some local governments also have Corpers’ Lodge which you can make use of before you proceed to your PPA. For some, these places eventually become there permanent residence for the service year.
Proceed to your PPA and then NYSC Area or Local Office
Let it not happen that you carry your bags and travel home after the NYSC orientation camp without reporting at your PPA and NYSC area office for your registration except you have been redeployed.
The fact is, you’re not yet a full corper until you’ve reported in those two places. Tender your posting letter at your PPA and collect and acceptance letter which you’ll use for your registration at the NYSC area office. If you’re rejected by your PPA, it’s not a problem, just make sure the same PPA gives you a rejection letter. You’ll take the letter to the NYSC area office and they know what to do.
Your PPA is expected to offer you accommodation and in some cases some monthly remuneration. Sort this out with your boss after you might have been accepted. You can also apply to travel for two weeks after your acceptance through your PPA to the NYSC office.
Make sure you complete your registration before you travel, else allowee will hang. After settling with your PPA and registration and accomodation, the next thing is to plan how the service year would look like and even life after service.
Plan your Post-NYSC Life
Ideally, you should have had this planned out even before your final exams at school. It isn’t late yet anyway. Perhaps this is going to be your first time being alone without any disturbance from home or academics. You have to find time to plan your life.
Go to service with a life journal; something like a big diary or writing material and not just a sheet of paper. What kind of life do you want to live? What kind of job do you want? Do you want to be an entrepreneur? Where do you want to settle down? Where do you want to be five, twenty, forty years from now?
Determining what you want to do after your youth service will help shape the kind of activities you get involved in and how you actually spend your service year”. This is the time to start planning your life and career moves with God’s guidance.
Acquire some professional skills
Since you’ll have more time during your service year, plan to use them to your advantage by enrolling for professional exams and acquiring skills that will give you an edge over others in the labor market.
Almost every profession has an IT inclination now, so find out which IT training and certifications are relevant to your career and go for it. There are many of them online. For finance professionals, you can also use the time to prepare for your ICAN exams. Other professional courses like NIM, ISMI, HSE and the likes are also available during the service year at a subsidized rate for corpers.
Start the Job hunt
Don’t wait till the end of your service year before you start looking for job. Prepare your Curriculum Vitae (CV), apply for jobs and attend interviews. You can get a job while you’re still serving and even if you don’t get a job, you’ll gain a lot of experience by writing applications to different companies and attending interviews. “It is always great stepping from the khaki straight into a job instead of packing back to your parents.
Look for internship opportunities
Internships are a great way to work your way into a full-time job and you should seek to seize any internship opportunity you find in the line of your career as a ‘youth corper.’ The good news about this is that companies don’t even need to advertise a vacancy before you can apply. In about three months before the end of your service, apply to as many companies as you can, you could be opening doors for a permanent employment.
Identify business opportunities
If you have an inclination for business, there is nothing stopping you from making as much money as possible during NYSC. Identifying business opportunities is not really a difficult task; you only need to be sensitive to the needs around you.
The fact is, the employment market is already saturated and you can create a means of survival for yourself by doing business. It can open more doors for you or at least keep you busy till you get a good job.
Plan for further studies
Your first degree is no longer enough in the already competitive employment market so you have to plan to go for further studies. For some, it may be immediately after service year while it may be much later for others. Whichever way, use your service year to find out the best available postgraduate studies in your line of career and get information on scholarships both in local and foreign institutions.
Make the best of every good opportunity that comes your way during NYSC. Network and meet new friends. Visit new places and be security conscious. Find enough time to get a definite direction for your life so that you’ll come out a better person, ready to change your world positively.