Thousands of young Nigerians are unemployed. After the grandeur of graduation ceremonies, the bachelors and masters degrees, and the troublesome NYSC, nothing turns out as expected. It could be a while before one secures a job. Until it comes, how does one survive?
Here are a few survival tips to keep you going while unemployed:

Calculate Your Income
Do you have any savings? How much do you spend every month on necessities? Divide that total into several months of “income,” that is the amount you need to live on each month. Of course, you don’t know for how long you will be without a job, so create income for about a year.

Create a Budget
When you have a reliable source of income, it is easy to ignore where all your money goes; another pay cheque will be in soon. Knowing what your money is being spent on, is the first step to cutting back on non-essentials without a drastic loss in your quality of life.

Review your Debt
Just because you aren’t earning doesn’t mean you should ignore your obligations. Prioritize what needs to be paid first. Try to pay a little something on each bill. Don’t avoid creditors; it’s the worst thing to do. Approach them and tell them your challenges; they may be prepared to reschedule payments or even write some of it off if you are lucky.

Network, Network, Network!
“Your network is your net-worth.” This is not the time to withdraw from your circles. Your network, including your immediate family, relatives, friends, colleagues, former clients, and business contacts, matter now more than ever. Everyone needs to know that you are in the job market. If you don’t have a profile on LinkedIn, create one and start networking on this powerful platform.Don’t cut off. Continue to socialize. Too much time alone can be isolating and lead to depression. Look for cheaper ways to socialise.

Develop Yourself
Are there some important skills you need in order to improve your prospects? Do you have the skills to get you to where you want to be? Now, don’t rush off to do the first Masters or PhD program you get admission for; I mean practical skills that all companies need such as IT or digital marketing skills. Consider doing it now and you will be better equipped with a skill set for your next job.

Volunteering can have a positive impact on your job search. It may not always lead to paid work, but it certainly does come with benefits. Volunteering will give you a sense of fulfilment. It will also enhance your personal skill set, introduce new knowledge and keep you in contact with people.

Perfect your CV
There is nothing more exasperating for a prospective employer than to have the misfortune of reading a CV full of grammatical and typographical errors. Prepare your CV and proofread it very carefully; there are many good online samples and tips to guide you. Do not pretend to be what you are not; you will be caught out. Your online presence matters; potential employees will look you up. It is so easy to jeopardise your prospects with inappropriate language, messaging or imagery.

Be Prepared
If you are one of the tiny percentage of those who get to secure an interview, you owe it to yourself to be prepared. If you don’t know anything about the company you are interviewing with, it could be embarrassing. Do your research. What value can you add? Look for problems to solve. Prepare questions that you wish to ask. There are literally thousands of people looking for work. What makes you unique?

Be Flexible
Don’t be too fixated on getting your dream job. Be prepared to accept a role that may not necessarily meet your expectations when you consider your qualifications, expertise, or your experience; this will tide you over while you continue the search.
Part-time, temporary, or contract work are ways of getting you employed. Some employers are looking for someone to work for just a few weeks or months; others may have part-time opportunities; such offers may eventually turn to actual long-term contracts or indeed full-time employment. You may also offer any special skills on a consultancy basis, whilst you scout for a more permanent role.
Earning as much as you can now will help you get through this period with fewer financial scars. You will also be gaining new skills and experience and preventing gaps in your CV which employers tend to frown at. But don’t neglect the job search or preparation for some challenging interviews.

Health is Wealth
Stressful life events can overwhelm a person’s ability to cope; this can lead to depression. Particularly if you are stressed or anxious, your health can be badly affected; a healthy diet and exercise is important for a sound mind and body. Use this time to put a proper regimen in place. It will put you in a much better frame of mind.

What Can You Do to Earn Extra Income?
This is the time to search inwards at your skills, talents, those things that you do effortlessly but have never leveraged on or thought of monetizing. Can you teach, can you bake, sew, take photographs, put your car on the road, rent out a room if you have space? Do you find it easy to fix things? Are you a social media expert? Everyone needs someone with tech skills. Many people are trying to bring a small business idea to life; can you assist with writing business plans? What solutions can you provide? People pay for solutions.

Unemployment is one scenario that makes the need for emergency savings, glaring. If you have no savings, make this a priority once you’re back on your feet, immediately start preparing for the next possible emergency. Try to save up three to six months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund.
Even if it takes you more than six months to find another job, you can often stretch that savings and a part-time job to a year or more. As soon as you can, start saving money again for the next emergency.

Remain Positive
Yes, you have already sent your CV to over 100 companies and interviewed with 22. Many will not even acknowledge your CV; it’s nothing personal. They’ve simply had so many to go through. Dust off the disappointment as quickly as you can and stay focused on the next opportunity. If you are down and dejected, it shows; employers are attracted to upbeat, enthusiastic, positive people.
Unemployment is one of life’s most challenging events, but it can also come with opportunities if you remain calm, proactive, focused and prepared to seize opportunities. This may just be the impetus you need to follow your passion; that dream and bring it to life. Who knows? You may soon be walking through the door of your own business and creating jobs.

About Nimi Akinkugbe
Nimi Akinkugbe has extensive experience in private wealth management. She seeks to empower people regarding their finances and offers frank, practical insights to create a greater awareness and understanding of personal finance. You can reach Nimi via the following: Email; info@moneymatterswithnimi | Website: www.moneymatterswithnimi.com | Twitter: @MMWITHNIMI | Instagram: @MMWITHNIMI | Facebook: MoneyMatterswithNimi



Says “I believe women are more disadvantaged when it gets to career growth”

In 2017, Nigeria ranked 122th out of 144 countries in the Global Gender Gap report. Women are more adversely affected by economic and educational challenges compared to the average Nigerian. Despite the progress over the past few decades, gender equality in employment remains an elusive goal in Nigeria. Women still face disadvantage and discrimination in all areas of socioeconomic life. Yewande Jinadu is trying to bridge that Gap and solve the problem through her Careerlife Nigeria platform, an initiative aimed at reducing unemployment by providing people with the right career related information and coaching.

Yewande is a certified HR Professional and an Employability coach. She is passionate about People Development, Employability, Career Coaching and Human Resources. Through personal coaching, published articles and speaking engagements, she has helped hundreds of young professionals become more employable and gain employment. To further address the issue, She recently launched the Employability Fitness Program, an initiative aimed at helping young graduates (0-3 years’ experience) overcome interview Phobia and the barriers in Recruitment process through mentoring. It has had measurable impact in the lives of over 100 participants in few months.

She shares her inspiring story with me in this interview.

Childhood Influence

Let me start with the No part. I didn’t always know or plan or prepare for what I currently do right from when I was a child. I grew up with parents who were exposed and always supported their children in whatever they wanted to do. I grew up as a Mathematician and Analytical person. I was wired to think Maths was my only Super Power. It was later in life I realized, I had other superpowers.

YES because I grew up with a deflated self-esteem. Over time, I became better and began to appreciate and love myself more. This always made me want to give back to others. I remember starting Y-Trust Foundation immediately after NYSC with no job going for outreaches in secondary school and talking to students about the menace of low self-esteem. I was VERY passionate about giving back and helping people.

My ‘eureka’ moment was when I realized that I didn’t need to ‘have it all’ to make an impact. All I needed to do was start small and never stop fueling my passion.

Inspiration behind CareerLife Nigeria

CareerLife Nigeria was inspired by my personal struggle to get a job after NYSC. I did an internship in the HR department while in 400level and I was privileged to sit in a few interviews so I had learned a lot. After NYSC, I felt that exposure would make it easier for me to succeed with multiple offers but I struggled. I hated interviews because I always messed up. I knew I had a LOT to offer but felt so bad because I was always portraying the opposite. I overcame it after a while and moved from Chemical Engineering to HR.

This made me participate in numerous interviews and I saw other graduates struggle with making it past the rigorous recruitment process we have set just to get talents.

I realized it would take me a long time to be able to wield the power to change the face of recruitment in Nigeria so I decided to take baby steps.

I’ve always been interested in people’s Career Development. I had SO much information through the experience and exposure I got and the few people that have interacted with me in a short while always came back to thank me for the amount of impact I’ve had in their lives. I decided that rather than help just a few people, I would put the information out there for thousands of other people through writing and coaching.

My blog contains a LOT of information that would help the average young graduate who may not be able to afford Employability Training. The mission is to help young graduates and professionals attain measurable career growth, I’m fulfilling that mission daily through various platforms.

Employability fitness coaching

The Employability Fitness Program(EFP) was birthed to solve the personal issues people have with un-employment. The first edition was launched in July with a live mock interview with HR Professionals and Subject Matter Experts. Here, participants had the opportunity to get interviewed by professionals and given direct feedback that addresses their personal deficiency during interviews.

We want to help people overcome interview phobia (a problem a LOT of graduates have but is currently not being addressed). After the live mock session, it follows with a 3 months post-coaching which is aimed at handholding them till they finally get an offer. In the post-coaching group, we have HR professionals who have volunteered their time to coach and mentor the young graduates. We have weekly knowledge sharing session on topics the participants chose themselves.

We also post exclusive job openings that are seen through high-level referrals and we prepare participants for prospective interviews on the group. The group is FREE and open to fresh and young graduates.


Recently a lot of testimonies have come from the point of appreciating us for providing support when they needed it.Currently, we have recorded 11 testimonies from the coaching group when it started mid-July.

Others have recorded more interview invites because they have access to information that allows them review their CV’s themselves. Jobseekers now have the necessary support they need to thrive. A lot of graduates who have lost hope in getting a job now see the light at the end of the tunnel because of the support. We have 17 HR Professionals who have volunteered their time to support jobseekers 24/7 for the period of 3months.

The Monthly Twitter Mentoring Session has had impact in the lives of graduates as people reach out to us thanking us for saving them and help open their eyes from problems they have had.

 If I had the opportunity to speak with the President on lack Employment

I’ll tell him to provide a favourable economy for businesses to thrive, for startups to grow, for young entrepreneurs to thrive, for jobs to be created and for graduates to be trained. I believe that THERE ARE JOBS. The educational system hasn’t just prepared the graduates well enough to be able to occupy them. I would advise the government to boost our educational system by including Employability in their course curriculum and employ professional career coaches in each university to help prepare them for the world ahead. CareerLife Nigeria and other organizations are working hard to build that gap but we can’t do it alone without help from the government.


Majorly Funds to run these programs and initiatives. SO far, I’ve received support and accolades but funds are required to make more impact. Because it’s not a registered company YET. Most funds are gotten from personal purse and few friends who are passionate about the same thing.

On giving up

YES! Numerous Times! I can’t count the times I’ve felt like quitting. What I do with CareerLife Nigeria and other initiatives is a personal CSR and a future social enterprise. I have a full time job that can be demanding. I also have to juggle with wifely and motherly responsibilities too.

I practically spend my personal funds to run some initiatives. For the Employability Fitness Program (EFP), after the publicity was out, I wanted to cancel it or postpone it. I didn’t have the funds to do major things and I didn’t know how to ask people. I felt people would naturally support but only very few supported financially.

A lot of times I help people get good jobs with a good pay but personally I have a lot of unmet needs in my career. Having to sacrifice my time and juggle a lot of things hasn’t been easy but PASSION keeps me going.

Whenever I want to give up and I see the problems waiting to be solved, I remind myself that the more I delay this, the more people that need this initiative remain jobless and depressed. Whenever people reach out to me to thank me for helping them when they have lost hope, I get motivated

My self-worth is no longer how much is in my bank account but how much impact I’m able to make in the lives of others. I feel fulfilled when I see others happy in their career and I know that with time, it will get better for me.

Being a Woman of Rubies

I’m a woman of ruby because I’m selfless. All I do is think of how I can help young graduates with their career struggles.

My purpose in life is centered on giving back to others. I genuinely find JOY (not happiness) in helping people.


I love to mentor people, I love to coach people, I love to see people succeed in their career. My mission is to change the face of recruitment in Nigeria and then, in the world.


Unemployment in Nigeria

A lot needs to be done. Unemployment is VERY HIGH. But in the midst of lack, a lot of experienced hands are changing jobs and fresh graduates are getting new ones.

To young women who are finding it hard to get a job


I believe women are more disadvantaged when it gets to career growth, unlike men. Things like Pregnancy, Child Birth and Marriage sometimes slows us down so we need to work even much harder than men to thrive.

My advice for women (especially young and fresh graduates) is to believe in themselves and not feel they are not good enough for a job just because they don’t have the wealth of experience.

I know it can be difficult to get the first job and find their feet in the labor market but they should go with an open mind and ensure they communicate their values clearly. Don’t take little experiences for granted because that may be your UNIQUE SELLING POINT (USP).

Package your CV well and put in the effort(Read www.CareerLife.com.ng to get more insight). Most times, laziness to read and follow instructions hinders chances. Make an effort to write a good cover letter for each job you apply for. Put in the effort to get a job through unconventional means like networking with stakeholders on LinkedIn. Leverage on LinkedIn to sell yourself.

Don’t allow any employer demand money or sex from you to give you a job. Use your soft skills and transferrable skills to get a job. While waiting, learn a trade. Be open to starting from the bottom (unpaid internship). Above all, pray to God and Never Give Up.