Hope for Fresh Graduate Engineers

On the of 22nd of August 2017, I woke up by 5:00am with the inspiration that there is hope for everybody, irrespective of life situation and circumstances. I started writing this post on my way to work that morning, and I feel like sharing this on this special day to my colleagues in the engineering profession. Irrespective of what you believe in and what you are passing through right now, I want you to share in the same inspiration, and be convinced that there is hope in that career situation.

Some established professionals are already living their dream lives. Some are very hopeful that they are not so far away from their desired life, while some are just comfortable with their lives and their job – living it as it comes.

On the other hand, there are a good number of people living in despair due to the current state of their career. They wake up in the morning without really knowing what to do with their day. They have tried a lot of things: applying for jobs and not getting called for interview, attending interviews and immediately knowing that the opportunity has been screwed, being hopeful after an interview and getting nothing afterwards etc.

You may have taken the bold step into self employment, business, entrepreneurship etc but without any successful outcome. You may have  also had doors banged on your face by relatives, big uncles, companies, and firms, and it appears to you like you are the most unfortunate and incompetent person on earth. Do not give up or cast blames yet, because there is hope!!

Prior to my graduation, a lot of people promised to help me get a nice job but till this date, none of such promise has been fulfilled. However, I harbour no bitterness and anger towards such people (in fact I am not even disappointed) because such promises gave me hope when I needed something to look forward to. You can verify you actually feel better when you have something you are looking forward to; it relieves despair.

There are millions of fresh engineering graduates all over the world each year, with fewer getting hired. This situation is actually worse in developing countries. I attended a job examination by Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Nigeria, who was trying to recruit for various positions in the month of July, 2017. Instead of trying to focus on the ‘competitiveness’ of the situation, I was filled with wonder when I saw the number of youths who turned out for the test despite the fact that I wrote the exam on the last day (the exam was held for one week across three different locations in the country). But then, I knew right within me that despite the very limited positions available, there is hope for all the ambitious youths who turned out for the test. A lot of them will succeed somewhere else that is not DPR.

A lot of people will talk about ’employability issues’ of fresh graduates, but the honest truth is that there is so much crowd in the labour market, which makes it appear like basic qualifications ‘do not really count’ anymore, especially for  fresh graduates. When I was an undergraduate, I equipped myself with knowledge of many civil engineering softwares (StaadPro, Orion, Prokon etc) with a view of having an outstanding CV. But guess what, those skills are the most common thing in every civil engineering graduate’s CV today. It no longer counts in a special way!!

Sometime ago, I attended an interview and by chance, I met another candidate, who had a Master’s Degree from a high ranking foreign university, competing for the same position with me. Immediately, I was seriously thinking that he was the most likely candidate for the job. But on the other hand, I was unmoved because I knew even if the opportunity passes by, there is something more beautiful that lies ahead of me. I am so confident of being destined for greatness. So I answered the interview questions honestly, and was called back the next day.

Sometimes, I forget my class of degree because I am currently focusing on who I really am, and on how I am improving as the day goes by. I can remember that at the same interview, the interviewer told me that I only made the interview because of my class of degree and creativity (a proof that academic credentials count), and that he loved my CV, even though they were hiring experienced engineers.

But then, believe me that I am no longer focusing on my class of degree, or the name attached to any qualification. I am now focusing on myself – who I really am. Your life will turn out to be beautiful when you realise who you are, and this begins when your interest shifts from mediocrity to adding value.

All I want to say is this, there is hope, especially when you believe and focus on yourself and in your dreams. The competition out there can be overwhelming, and it is not your fault – the crowd is too much. Some people are just lucky because they come from very wealthy families or are highly connected, while some get rewarded for their hard work. Possibly, you could not afford to study or advance your degree in developed countries, or scholarship opportunities may have eluded you severally, do not worry – completely focus on who you really are. Start from thinking in a productive and creative way!

Have you felt that you did not work hard enough during your undergraduate days, in that you are not really proud of your credentials? Do not worry, look deep within you and realise that there is hope for big success, based on your real content, and not what some piece of paper or a HR manager’s feedback says about you.

Your success can only come from who you truly are, and that is your source of hope. The question is this, do you know who are? Are you confident in what you can do? Once these questions are answered correctly, sit up and follow that dream of yours without giving up when it gets tough.

My declaration often goes this way,

“I know who I am
Made in the image of God
Crafted for greatness
I rule and reign in the midst of adversity
I know I am not ordinary
And so I triumph”

Happy new month of November to you!!

Love from,
Ranks Ubani



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