…under the sun, and in the rain…Nigeria is ours, Nigeria we serve.NYSC Anthem
It is often said that whatever has a beginning will one day have an end. And this is true of many things, including the compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) year. But while the completion of the NYSC year is an end in and of itself, the memories you build and what you could achieve within this period will remain with you forever.
Although one year is a long time, it can pass by very quickly. People have different opinions about the compulsory NYSC year. While some believe that this year is a complete waste of time, others look forward to it for many reasons. For most people, it is time to relax, meet new people, and have some fun. For some others, it is a time to plan for the future – what life holds after NYSC. And for a few others, it is a complex back and forth combination for some other people.
Transitioning from the four walls of a higher institute of learning to the labor market comes with its joy and uncertainties. When people get a full taste of freedom, they want to relish every moment. While many funfairs surround the NYSC year, one should never forget that it is a time teeming with opportunities.
Speaking of opportunities, this is a period when you can add value to yourself like no other. It doesn’t get better than this. Therefore, it would be quite a shame to let the youth service year pass by without bringing you closer to your goals. Here is a list of 5 things to accomplish during NYSC.
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Here are 5 Things to Accomplish During NYSC
- Save Up and Invest
“Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.”Warren Buffett
The NYSC year is a time where you have something to look forward to at the end of every month. For some people, this is the first time they would have such an experience. The NYSC stipend is only a few pennies that you can probably blow in one night. Even though the latter statement is very true for you, you must learn to cultivate the habit of saving and investing.
But should you save only when you have plenty? Well, in our mind’s eye, we never really do “have enough money.” While your monthly allowance may seem small and not sufficient for specific personal needs, you can take the initiative of saving and investing a certain percentage of your income. This single habit would prove useful when you start to earn a lot more.
How does cultivating a healthy saving habit impact you in the long term? It would do you well to remember that there’s still life after NYSC. And your savings can go a long way in helping you make headway in the race of life. While some may be penniless during their Passing Out Parade (popularly known as POP), others have a few thousand and millions to their name. Some have to start their financial life from scratch after they leave. But for you, it’s a continuum.
The service year affords you the time to learn how to create a budget and adhere strictly to it. Learn about savings and investment and act on things you’ve learned. Don’t be that person that still has to beg for money to survive after your service year.
- Prepare your CV
People should only prepare their CVs when they are actively seeking jobs. Discard the previous statement. Such statements only manage to escape from the lips of the ill-informed. And that cannot be you after reading this piece.
If you don’t already have a CV or know how to prepare one, your service year allows you to do so. There’re lots of jobs out there for grabs. But if you don’t craft the perfect CV, your hands might not be able to reach these jobs. Crafting your CV even before there is a job opening preps your brain and opens your eyes to opportunities. You would know how much weight your CV carries and start thinking of improving your skill sets ASAP.
You don’t want to wait until a CV is demanded of you before you have them ready – neither do you have to. Preparing your CV without much pressure on the inside and outside gives you ample time to craft something tangible. You can start scouting for jobs even before you complete your NYSC year. It is a no-brainer that immediately after the service year, there will be a flood of applicants seeking to get a spot – any spot, in fact.
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- Network! Network!! Network!!!
Need I tell you that meeting different people from all walks of life in a single place offers you a great networking opportunity? Network with your fellow corps members and with people in the community as well. It is no news that corps members are usually loved and respected in most communities where they serve. During your service year, you may get the chance to access some top community leaders you ordinarily would not have had access to.
Leverage past connections and meet new people in your place of primary assignment as well. This is not just the time to get new drinking buddies or what have you. Now is the time to consciously form networks and plan the course of your life.
While doing physical networking, never forget the power of online networking. Your LinkedIn profile remains one of your greatest assets – brush it up and connect with those in industries you have your eyes on. You never know who could help you get your foot in the right door.
You can network online via social media by constantly posting updates about what you’re up to. This can make you become popular even before the service year is complete.
- Become a LinkedIn Thought Leader
You gave me the ability and capacity to transform countless lives when you communicate a powerful idea. When you can scale up these powerful ideas and motivate many people to achieve a common goal, you’re a thought leader. Creating so much inspirational influence should be your goal before, during, and after your service year. And LinkedIn is an excellent channel to pour out your thoughts and gather an army of like-minded people.
You can amplify information and help people avoid pitfalls by sharing your life lessons and others’ experiences. You can become a LinkedIn thought leader by:
- Letting your LinkedIn profile tell the story. Whatever it is you want to talk about, talk real hard. Be it sales conversion, recruiting, networking, etc. Let your LinkedIn profile engage people in a conversation before you converse with them!
- Adding value and perspective to anything you post. What was your inspiration to post, and what unique insights do you offer?
- Sharing your thoughts and feelings every day. When you show up in an authentic way, you’re able to resonate with others’ feelings. Let them know that you’re ready to show up for them and learn.
- Collaborating with your network in the LinkedIn community to share your insights or solve problems.
Do all you do passionately, and you’ll be surprised at how far you can go.
- Accept Leadership Responsibilities and Make Impact
The NYSC year is a great time to develop your leadership skills. If you want to develop and show whatever leadership skills you have, now is the ideal time to raise those hands and lead. When you accept leadership positions, do your best to deliver superior performance. No matter what the position is or how small it is perceived to be, do your best in that position. You can create a strong track record to leverage later!
Also, you must inspire others to take action and collaborate, as well. Don’t just meet expectations – exceed them! You must also be self-aware, knowing your strengths and weaknesses. Think strategically and attract mentors! Form a strong group that would one day hold significant positions and profits the country and world at large!
You may find yourself posted to states with worse HDI metrics than Chad and Afghanistan, but don’t let that discourage you. Use the most of what you have to improve the state you find yourself in. Register for professional exams, learn a skill, try out an idea, read wild and wide, stay relevant, HAVE A PLAN, and finally, find that boo or bae! In all, make sure you get clarity on what you want. Let’s meet at the top!
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