Don’t Let Your Qualifications Limit You

Is your qualification making you richer or broke?

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A few years ago, I applied to be a grass cutter in Unizik, a federal university, and my alma mater.

The logic was that if I get the job, it will mean I am already in the system, and with that, I can switch to becoming maybe a graduate assistant, or at least, get an administrative job.

My application was rejected because according to them, I was over qualified for the position. They needed someone with a First School Leaving Certificate, and I had a Bachelor’s degree with some other certifications.

And that was how I went from being broke, to being damn broke. My small hope of making at least twenty thousand naira every month just got dashed without apology. Kai, poverty is a devil, I swear.

Fast forward to a few months, I equally applied to be a mathematics teacher in a secondary school in Awka. They were supposed to pay me fifteen thousand naira a month, and at that point, I needed all the money I could get.

Somehow, I didn’t get that job either. And my relationship with poverty continued. Obviously, my qualifications were making me broke.

However, while doing a Leadership Diploma Course in Canaanland Ota, a year later, one of the facilitators, Pastor Abraham Ojeme, said, “if you have to sell puff-puff and zobo, sell it. Your certificate should not stop you from making money.”

Those words really entered my spirit and sunk deep. I had just gotten a job with a bank in Lagos at the time. But something in me was yearning for more.

Okay, this post is not designed to make you quit your job. We all have different paths in destiny. And we must not all be entrepreneurs.

I needed to say that!

And that was how I quit my job and relocated to the east. Of course, I did that because I was not married and I really had no responsibilities, so it was easy for me to make such drastic moves: yeah, it was a drastic move. But I was just 24 at the time, with no cares or worries.

The major reason I quit was the dangerous conviction I had that I could make more than 40,000 naira or $250 (at the time) a month selling puff-puff and zobo. That, to me, was a last card. In other words, if nothing happened, I can start selling puff-puff.

(puff-puff is a form of buns, and zobo is a regular Nigerian drink, locally made and best served cold)

I didn’t sell puff-puff finally. I started an FMCG business, which is just a fancy way of saying that I started selling Rice, and all the things used to cook rice.

I guess you are wondering why I am telling you all these.

It’s because you are probably a graduate and maybe you have seen one successful business person like that, and you want to be like them(just like that). Or maybe there is someone out there working in a nice fancy office and earning six figures, also driving an official car who you see and wish to be like too.

That’s not a bad thing at all! It’s very good to have desires, because that is the first step to success.

However, the problem, my sister, begins when you refuse to get your hands dirty because you feel you are over qualified for certain things (jobs). Kai my sister, poverty will ‘barb’ your hair for you oh.

Bros the problem is when you turn down that job that promised to pay you forrty thousand naira a month for a start, because you are a COREN registered engineer, and you have ISPN, OSHA, or NEBOSH certifications. Kai. My brother, you see that your shoe eh, poverty has not started bending it oh.

The problem is that you see young children who you could possibly tutor for a fee, or you see an opportunity to learn how to tile houses, or how to do POP, and you over look it because you are waiting for who will give you 20-million-naira capital to start a mega business.

Bros, bros, bros wait naa. Did mosquito bite you? As in, do you have malaria? Wait first, wait naa let me ask you a question. As in, if pesin call you now, give you 20 million naira to start a business just like that, fear no go catch you to collect?

Friends, don’t let your qualifications limit you. If you have a masters degree and no job for instance, and a negative bank account balance, keep that certificate aside and start doing something immediately. See as things dey now eh, it may not get better next year oh. This country kporo akpo ka chin-chin (is hard like chin-chin), so better wise up now.

Two examples.

I have a lot of friends that bake. But I have never really seen anyone of them at work. Earlier this month, I was privileged to see one of them. The guy in question is a graduate, and I am pretty sure he didn’t study baking in school. But right now, he makes a living baking. And you need to see his products: awesome.

When I saw him at work, I was wowed. I mean, this dude “justu gbasaa ngada, manye aka ya na pan, were nwayo n’aturnu the something with ofu nnukwu aka odo like that, and with reckless abandon.” (He spread his legs, put his hands in the pan and was turning his stuff with a pestle and with reckless abandon).

I was amazed. He was getting his hands dirty, doing his thing, not minding what people would say about him. The good news is that presently, poverty is not dealing with him. His certificate is not preventing him from making money.

Next are these two lovelies: Agu Imelda Ifeoma and Agu Yvonne Obioma.

These ladies are both graduates too. But while serving, they learned how to make hair using YouTube videos. Subsequently, they also learned make-up and costuming too.

Presently, these two ladies now get called to movie locations here in Nigeria to work in the make-up/special effects department. They have ‘blown’. In fact, last time I heard, they were the ones that made-up the contestants for the Miss Anambra beauty pageant.

Did they study hair making or make-up in school? No. Are they graduates? Yes. Is their certificate stopping them from making money? Hell no!

So, bros, are those your qualifications really helping you, or are they the reason poverty is shaving your bia-bia?

La-baby La-hawt; the slay queen of the universe, I greet you oh. But as you are slaying on Facebook, I hope poverty is not disgracing your account balance oh.

If you don’t have a job, keep your certificate aside, and create one yourself. Get your hands dirty if you must. Poverty is not a respecter of phonetics oh, it has no regard for fine faces either.

If you have a fine face, use it to your advantage. It means people will patronize you easily, unless they are following you from the village.

If you sabi speak phonetics, use it to your advantage. People will love to listen to you and easily buy into what you are selling too. Unless your village people are doing you strong thing.

Jokes apart, did you get the message? If you did, please say so in the comment section, and feel free to share the message, someone on your friend list may need it.

And if you believe next year is your year, say #ThunderFirePoverty

P.S: This is not a way to encourage you to sell yourself short, but to have something doing for a start, by all means. It’s just like my boss, Dr Obiekwe Okoye told me once, “Toby it’s good to pursue vision, but make sure that money doesn’t finish in your hand as you do so, else, both you and your vision will die.”

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