How To Get A New Job In Nigeria; Part 1: Situation Assessment

Situation Assessment

Most job seekers live in denial, it is important to note when looking for a job you must embark on a sincere reflection of your present state and the options available to you. This reflection process will help provide answers and directions to what you hope to achieve in your quest to starting a fulfilling career.

I will suggest you begin by asking yourself the following questions;

  1. What will my dream job be like?
  2. What is my current status?
  3. What is the present situation around me?
  4. Where am I headed and how do I get there?

I have provided some insights on how to answer these questions, remember you must provide honest and sincere responses.

Visualizing your dream job

My favourite quote in life says “Everything is created twice, first in the mind then in the physical”. Most of the great accomplishments and inventions you and I know started as thoughts. The first step to getting your dream job is to conceive and visualize what your dream job should be like.

This process will require you build castles on air, picture yourself in that perfect job scenario. The following tips can help you define what your dream job should be. I will advise you write down these thoughts.

  • Visualize the Job Role

Think about the job title, the prestige that comes with handing out your business card.

When I graduated from the mandatory NYSC scheme I had two job offers, one as a ‘Customer Service Representative’ the other a ‘Junior, Project Consultant’ I opted for the Jnr. Project Consultant role because it sounded really cool to tell my family I am Jnr. Project Consultant with a baritone voice

  • Visualize the Industry

Think about the industry, imagine yourself in a specific job situation for example; being on an oil rig wearing a hard hat and steel toe boots, in a presentation  with top level managements, behind a laptop programming applications, on a farm coordinating a production process.

  • Visualize the Company

Make a list of top 5 companies you would want to work in, develop your list based on your preferences; the company’s name, brand perception, travel options, international recognition etc.

  • Visualize the Pay & Perks

Imagine its pay day, salaries have just been paid and you are holding a printed copy of your pay slip in one hand and your ATM card in the other hand. In BLOCK LETTERS slowly write down your monthly NET pay after tax. What fringe benefits will the job offer training options, official car, accommodation allowances, health care schemes etc.?

The list you have put together will become the target; it will serve as a guide.

Dream Chart

 Criteria Description
Job Role/Title  
Company 1.





Pay per month

(Fringe Benefits)



Assessing your current state

It can be challenging assessing ones current state; the process can become emotional, you might experience mixed feelings. A sincere and open approach will be required. Your mission is to make a list of your assets; these are the things you have that are relevant to the pursuit of your dream job.

I will suggest you begin by asking yourself the following questions;

  1. What are my skills?
  2. What am I knowledgeable about?
  3. What trainings and certifications do I have?
  4. Who do I know?
  5. Where am I presently operating from?

I have provided some insights on how to answer these questions, remember you must provide honest and sincere responses.


  • Skills

What talents or abilities do you have that you think an employer is willing to pay for? For example, you can develop a project plan, you can deliver training sessions, you can create financial reports, you can repair a broken valve, you can design and develop a website etc. Please beware of what I call ‘false skills’, for example, I am highly analytical or I am committed and dedicated. Do not include ‘false skills’ in your list of skill sets. Your ability to use a particular software or tool should also be included in this list.

  • Knowledge

What knowledge or information do you have that can be of use to an employer? These knowledge or information could have been gotten from reading books, trainings or seminars you attended, from previous works, or a research you conducted etc. For example, you might be knowledgeable in project management, safety, programming, poultry management, marketing, accounting practice etc.

  • Credentials

What are the degrees and certifications you currently hold, these credentials can include; degrees and grades obtained, professional certifications, international and local certifications, certifications obtained from seminars or in-house training. For example, project management professional (P.M.P.) certification, B.SC Business Administration, certificate of completion in business process design etc.

  • Networks

Who are those that make up the networks of people you know or associate with it? Do you belong to any professional association, industry association, or group etc.

Who are the influential people you know that can provide leverage in getting you a job, for example HR managers, CEO’s, commissioners, ministers, governors etc.

  • Location

Where are you staying now, and what are the accommodation options available to you? This list should be developed with a mindset that you might have to scout for jobs or take up employment in a particular location other than where you stay now.

Current status inventory form

Criteria Inventory
Location options  


Environmental Analysis

The dream job you seek can only be gotten in an environment that provides such opportunities.   I was in Ilesha, Osun State a few years back to deliver a seminar, and I decided to conduct a survey during my visit. I interviewed a young graduate who just completed his NYSC scheme about his aspirations. He told me he graduated as a civil engineer and hopes to get a job in the oil and gas sector. The dream is right but the environment does not have the potential to offer such opportunities.

I will suggest you begin by asking yourself the following questions;

  1. What are the employment opportunities available
  2. How do people get jobs in my environment
  3. What vacancies or openings are mostly advertised or published

I have provided some insights on how to answer these questions, remember you must provide honest and sincere responses.

  • Opportunities

Are there employment opportunities in the environment where you seek your dream job? For example you aspire to work as a safety officer in an oil and gas company, focus your job search on regions with a high number of companies in that sector. The more options you have the higher your chances.

  • Trends

How do people get jobs in the industry you aspire to work in; interview friends, families, ex-school mates, research online, and conduct surveys e.g Blackberry broadcast or Facebook opinion polls?

  • Vacancies

Check newspaper (Tuesday Guardian), job sites, blogs etc. for vacancies  related to your dream job, make a list of requirements, companies that often recruit, recruitment styles, roles with more vacancies etc.

Gap Analysis

With the findings from your environmental analysis, you can develop a table to help you assess the following in relation to your dream job;

  • Where I am now
  • Where I want to be
  • Gaps to fill to get to where I want to be
  What I have What is required What I need to get to meet up with the requirements
Location options      


3 thoughts on “How To Get A New Job In Nigeria; Part 1: Situation Assessment

  1. Ayorinde Aduroja (PMP)

    Good stuff, an addition is much as you build your castles in the air while daydreaming about your job prospects, let the foundation be deeply rooted in earth. Be realistic, and do not shy away from “seemingly below standard” positions to enable you build a career profile and eliminate gaps that will give potential employers “raised eyebrows” while going through your resume.
    Wish you the very best in your search.


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