Now who says you can’t get a job because of the personal CDS project you did in NYSC? Who says that proper documentation of the good work you did online can’t get you a job? Well, am a living testimony.. This is my story…
I served in a small community in Akwa Ibom state. And my place of primary assignment was a small community secondary school with a population of 30.
In 2014, 3 months before my NYSC passing out parade (POP). I was thinking what I would do for my community. I had spent 8 months there. At first when I came into the community, there was no electricity power, no constant browsing network. So I thought of what to do that will be less expensive since I can’t give them power. I finally settled on giving text books to my school and notebooks, writing materials to the students. I spent about N12,000 of my money to buy the books and other things. The day I donated the materials to the school and students, one of my colleague and fellow corper took pictures. I didn’t really see it as a big deal with the photos because we call him “blogger.” He has a website. He said in some big communities and PPAs, what I did, some big media houses would have carried it on their stations and print media. Me sef I no even send. I just saw it as normal thing. “And why should I go to the media because I want to donate some things, charity work.” So blogger said he would upload the story and photos of what I did on his website. Other corpers laughed. Some were like “who will see those photos,” considering that it was still a young and not even popular website. It was only corpers in that small community that know he has a website and calls him blogger. I felt nobody again knows his website. Some even call him “Fake blogger.”
So blogger convinced me to allow him post my story and the photos of what I did on his website. Some of my colleagues felt maybe he would use it to make money on his website. He said it would boost my moral and for proper documentation. For me, I didn’t really make any real deal about what he wants to do. Maybe because I never knew how far that story could go. Na so I tell him to “go ahead” and use the story. Me sef no put importance on the thing sef. Because I ask myself, “who know me?” He finally posted the story and all the photos on his website. I saw it and it would have been vanguard, punch and other big news media. But I encouraged him. He encouraged other corpers to do the same thing I did, document photos of what they did for their community and put them online, we never can tell who will see it. Some of us corpers then didn’t see anything in it.
After passing out, all of us went to our different ways. I searched for a good job but couldn’t get one. I had to settle for a teaching job in a local school in Lagos where I was paid N15,000. I thought 3 classes and 4 subjects. It was stressful.
In late 2015, a friend of mine told me that an international NGO affiliated to United nation was recruiting. When I saw the requirements for the job, I was discouraged because they were much. Though my friend told me that if I get the job the pay is so good that one month salary can even change my life. The incentives and traveling to countries was part of the job. Part of the job requirements was that applicant would have 3 years’ experience in humanitarian work. That one I never get. I told my friend that I couldn’t meet up to most of the requirements. She encouraged me to apply atleast I still have nothing to lose. I applied and continued with my teaching job.
0ne month I was surprised when I got a call from the organization to come for oral interview in Abuja. I went for the interview. When one of the staffs of the organization addressed us, he said we were 500 people that applied for the job but they scaled it down to 25 of us. And the interview started. When it got to my turn, I entered and I saw it was two white men were in charge. The first question one of them asked me was why I didn’t add the personal community development service (CDS) I did during my service year as an experience. Na so I begin look the man. I was confused and couldn’t recollect or remember what he was talking about. There was a laptop in front of him. He saw I was confused so he turned the laptop to me to see. He showed me the news, photos of what I did in my PPA over a year ago, were I gave text book, notebooks and writing materials to students. The webpage was my former colleague, blogger’s website. I had even forgotten about all those things. He (interviewer) apparently Googled it out. immediately I saw it, I didn’t know what to reply him why I didn’t add it to my work experience. “Or are you not the person?” he asked. Because it was my name and photos that was there on the website. I smiled and told him I was the one though forgot to add it. He seemed disappointed. He said that kind of thing does not need to be forgotten easily to be added to my CV. “This is actually a great work that must be added to your CV regularly.” He said. He said next time I should be adding it to my CV. The other interviewer said “Would there be even next time? There won’t be any next time because you will work for us. You won’t look for another job.” Apparently I had been hired. I was so happy as I was told to stand and go to the HR department. As I stood up and was leaving, one of the interviewer called me back. He said if they were to go through my qualifications and requirements for the job, I didn’t even meet up to some of them. But it was what I did during my service year, from what they saw on the photos stood me out. The little I had, I was able to give back to my PPA. “Keep it up. It will be great working with you,” one of them said. I was happy as I left there. I received my appointment and began my job. That was how I got the job ooo and since then my life had not remain the same. Getting any country visa is not even a problem to me. Me that was even thinking if I will even travel out Nigeria in my life time. Infact na people, organizations for outside country dey ask when my organization will come for a project in their Countries.
So my advice to people, most especially corp members, no matter where you are serving, please give back to your community genuinely and make sure you document and share it online. The internet is a big place where many organizations, companies come to get information about applicants. So you never can tell who will see it and you receive reward for your hardwork. I know corpers are complaining that it’s not worth giving back because the Government is not paying much. But God will surely reward you.
For Christian the Blogger, he’s doing great and I have now come to appreciate what he did in 2014. I didn’t appreciate it then. But now I really do and eating from it.