The one thing every serious undergraduate looks forward to is the end of their stay in school when they are finally rewarded with a certificate (or a statement of result in schools that are resistant to development). However, they will soon realise that as a typical university graduate in Nigeria, the pursuit of certificates is far from over. The next one in line is the passport to enter the corporate labour market in Nigeria; the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate.
If you are lucky you will probably spend only a few months waiting for your NYSC posting. However a large pool of graduates spend a significant amount of time waiting to be posted. Typically, this time is spent doing nothing particularly useful which is sad because time lost can never be regained.
As a recent graduate, you can work and earn real money while at it during this period of waiting. We have compiled a list of some jobs you can engage in while you await your NYSC posting. You can also fall back on some of these jobs if you happen to find yourself back to the waiting line even after your service year.
If you have a good command of English and you don't suck at putting your thoughts on paper, you should consider becoming an online freelance writer. Even without any real writing experience, there are many jobs available for amateur writers online and you can make reasonable income from your home while on them too.
However these jobs won’t come knocking on your door, for a chance to nail a freelance writing gig, you should;
- Research about online writing or talk to people that are already involved in the business. Looking up job offers on freelancing sites will help
- Determine the kind of content you are interested in working on, you may opt for rewriting articles or writing new content about a particular subject such as science or fashion.
- Advertise your business; you can start by advertising on Nairaland. You should also register on free platforms like Asuqu or Fiverr that facilitate online buying and selling of services
- Be good at what you do
Web development/ web designing
Regardless of your course of study as an undergraduate, you can venture into web design or development if you haven’t already.
You can utilise the free time before your NYSC posting to take free courses in coding. W3schools, Codecademy and freeCodeCamp are great online resources to help you get acquainted with codes. If you have at least 3 months of waiting to do, you should consider joining the Switch Fellowship. They are based in Lagos and will teach you coding for free.
Be the smartest in the room
Do your research, start from the basics and you can go on to choose a programming language to start with. With a little bit of coding skill, you may find a team of developers that will be willing to allow you, work, learn and earn at the same time. Even if you don't, coding is an interesting way to keep yourself engaged and it is one skill you can always fall back on in the future. If you have sufficient skills in coding, you should register on platforms like Fiverr or Asuqu to source for jobs.
You have probably never considered lecturing online. Well if you are going to be stuck in the house for months waiting for your NYSC posting and you are a guru in any academic area, you should probably give this a thought.
There are people online who are ready to share your knowledge for a price and online platforms like TotalPrep are on ground to connect you to them. You can also source for jobs on free freelance websites. So you can start a science class or an algebra class or even move away from academics and do something more creative like giving lessons on a skill.
If you are bilingual or fluent in more than one foreign language then working as an online translator may be the best way to pass time and earn cash too as you wait for your NYSC posting. With increasing number of businesses trying to reach more customers around the world, translation services are increasingly being sought after too
Take advantage of other platforms too; advertise your new business on social media, Nairaland etc. You never know where your potential customers are hiding.
As a digital marketer you can market services on the internet from the comfort of your home and get paid , this makes it another interesting job you can do while you are chilling for the clarion call.
If you have no experience in digital marketing, Google’s free digital skill training is a good place to start. You can become a good digital marketer if you are willing to spend time learning the required skills and you have the resources to help you. Upwork, Fiverr and Asuqu are platforms where you can source for jobs. There are different areas of digital marketing;
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of optimising a client's website to rank as highly as possible in Google and other search engines for keywords that are related to the content on the website. Discover useful tips on how to get started with SEO.
Social media marketing involves advertising and promoting brands on social media platforms usually with a clear target. You can choose a particular social media platform to focus on. For example, you can decide to promote a YouTube video or promote a brand on Instagram. Catch a grasp of what social media marketing entails
Have you considered making money from typing out audio files? If you have good typing skills and you are stuck at home waiting for the NYSC posting, you should give this a thought. Starting a transcription business is not so hard and you can make good money from it too.
Before you start, do your research, practice and decide if you want to provide general transcription services or focus on a particular area e.g medical or legal. Go on to advertise your business and source for jobs, Upwork and social media are good places to source for freelance transcription jobs
Graphic design is a skill that can be learnt by anyone and contrary to what a lot of people think, you don’t need to be good at drawing to be a good designer. You can make money from designing logos, flyers, book covers, business cards e.t.c. If you have sufficient skills in graphics design, head on to freelancing platforms to source for jobs, you should also market your skills offline too.
If you know nothing about it, you don't need any formal education to be a good graphic designer. You can learn on your own and this is a good way to invest the time you will spend waiting for your NYSC posting. You can start by taking free online graphic design courses and reading relevant books. Check out Shaw Academy, Alison and other online resources for free courses
Singer and songwriter
If you have a good voice and can gain access to a music studio, then you may have customers waiting. Online platforms like Fiverr and Asuqu can connect you to people in need of your vocal powers.
You don't have to do the singing if you can't, you can simply stick to songwriting instead if you can handle it. You can also specialise in providing DJ drops, or commercial jingles. Just head on to freelancing sites like Fiverr to source for jobs.
Sales consultant for an online store
If you have good negotiation and persuasion skills, then this one is for you. Large online stores like Jumia and Konga sell through sales consultants.
Jumia runs a sales consultant scheme that pays consultants commissions when they sell items supplied by the store. There are no special qualifications for this role and all you will need to get started is a phone or laptop connected to the internet.
Time and tide wait for no man!
You may not be able to control the arrival of your NYSC call-up letter, but it is up to you to decide what goes down while you wait. Don't lose precious time waiting idly for your NYSC posting. Take charge and get productive!