Let’s take a moment to discuss a list of businesses you can go for after NYSC. Let’s be mindful of the economic situation in this country. What type of businesses can a graduate venture into after the service year? This and many related concerns will be covered in this piece.
I shared my experience after NYSC and how I eventually became an education consultant and a computer specialist after about 5 wasted years off the NYSC year. I don’t want you or anybody else to make the same mistakes. Experience had equipped me with what I ought to have gone for immediately after NYSC. The same time has exposed me to a series of business ideas and profitable projects any graduate can consider while still being able to nurse job search and if possible, pursue postgraduate studies.
Below is the list of 4 businesses you can turn to as soon as you’re done with NYSC.
1. Go for Blogging – Contents Creation
This is not new in Nigeria. Most graduates have heard about blogging while in universities. Some had even taken steps to start one while on campus. People got frustrated to pursue this dream when it got tough to keep going. And that’s the difference between those who make it at blogging and those who lose out.
Blogging is a form of freelance service or internet/information marketing. With blogging, you start online writing and publications of resourceful articles (like this you’re reading). You teach people about things, guide them on some courses, update them about ongoing activities/events around you or them. The list is endless. That’s why you can’t run out of choices.
It’s easy to believe that, this is not for you, especially if you’re not good at writing or typing. To be sincere, learn it! There are free courses available online to teach you how to write or blog like a pro.
People search for anything online – anything at all. It’s your job to feed them with the information and turn that to money.
I had a friend who told me someone couldn’t feed a family with that. He might be right if he was a quitter. And remember, quitters never win. But if you’re like the top ten bloggers in Nigeria, you can be the next number 11 or 12.
My Experience with Blogging
When I was done with NYSC in 2007, I returned home to hear about blogging as a means to make cool, continual, and passive income online. I was quick to try my luck. Creating a blog is free on the Google platform and it costs me nothing more than getting connected to the internet.
In fact, within a couple of weeks, I ran out of information to share. Then, I started copying and pasting some uncommon business news elsewhere to my blog for a few readers I had. Please, note that you can’t copy and paste to succeed in blogging. Don’t do that. In no time, I quit and that was the end of my dream to make money blogging.
Then, I started looking for jobs that I got and changed three times. One day at Lahaola Computers (my last place of work), I received a mail. When I opened the envelope, guess what? It was a check of $100 from Google.
Let me take you back a bit. I had signed up for Google AdSense earlier in my time of blogging. My application was approved, and at that time, we didn’t receive our earnings through banks, it’s was through cheque.
Finally, I got my first $100 after quitting blogging for more than 3 years.
Do you see that? How I wished I didn’t quit then. I did nothing more than a few posts – in fact not more than 15 posts in all and I earned 100 dollars.
Needless to say, I will never quit this work again for the rest of my days on earth.
This is the power of blogging. You work hard for a few months and you keep getting alerts. I knew of people who created blogs and posted about 100 unique pieces, then move to another blog. By now, many are controlling a dozen blogs, and each paying a thousand dollars in AdSense income, direct adverts, and affiliate earnings. A few you might have come across include the Nairaland (started 2005), Legit.ng (formerly Naij.com), etc.
I’ve personally started a blog to guide you on your way up if you will consider blogging as the next thing. My post, “Before You Start Blogging: 5 Things First” can be the right place to start.
2. Self Employment – Usually Service-Based Businesses
I would have used the word “entrepreneurship” instead but I understand what it means to be an entrepreneur. Capital is one, the flow of ideas is another. Where is that capital? And with your brain coming out of two exams, a series of tests and assignments per session, the space for ideas in your head is still shallow.
Starting out to be self-employed means to start a profession, venture, or business you or with a few people, can manage. In fact, being able to handle things on your own from the start is, in my opinion, the difference between self-employment and entrepreneurship.
You’ve been trained in schools to be fit for this if you look in-depth. As an accountant, you can add computer knowledge, especially programming. With this, your firm can design and market accounting software that schools, churches, businesses, etc. will pay for.
As a graduate of Business Administration, you can start out with business consulting – giving supports in the form of one-on-one coaching, seminars, workshops, etc. to people who want to run their businesses professionally and profitably.
As a marketing graduate, your services are needed by any firm out there.
The list is endless.
But there is a problem, of course. People complain of capital to start their own businesses. This is where Nigerian graduates have more problems to start with.
See, a million people are making it on their own starting with just their well-founded idea. A friend will say if you don’t have money, use time. If you don’t have time, spend energy. Don’t tell me you lack all!
Before I got my first job, I returned from the service to start teaching people the basics of computers. And in fact, with no physical shop or office. Here is how I did that.
I spent a few bucks making posters and designing forms. My students were taken to a nearby school for theoretical classes. This was what we did for five days a week and on Saturday, I took them to a public internet cafe in my town where I bought the session of about 3 hours to show them what we have been learning over the week.
Do you get the idea of how things work? You won’t have everything to start – not all the experiences, time, money, supports, etc.
A friend started small-electronics products merchandising business a year after NYSC. He would go to a market in Ibadan, got some household, and commonly used electronics for offices. He had employed a few secondary school leavers around him. He consigned for them to sell at nearby shops, sawmills, schools, offices, and towns. These guys got commissions for their sales. He never rented an additional apartment other than his room and parlor until recently he moved to an office at a popular junction in his town.
3. JAMB/SSCE Coaching Centre
This is hot in town. Even though people are coming out of schools with a few having things to show for it. Yet, thousands of incoming generations are striving to enter any higher institution possible. This trend will continue forever. Then, why not take advantage of this?
You can rent an apartment to start with. Public schools around may allow you to use a few classes on application. Starting this shouldn’t be capital intensive. All you need is time and effort. You need to look for competent teachers. These people can be a few graduates who are yet to know what to do after service too. I know this because I did the same for a coaching center after NYSC as well.
If you know what this can bring or where it can take you to in life, you may prefer this over other available options. Names of the most popular JAMB/WAEC tutorial centers in Ife, Ibadan, Lagos, etc still ring a bell. Even though I’ve not been there, I’d seen their products and regularly hear about them.
4. Learn and Start a Vocation
NYSC itself is doing its best to encourage corps to take advantage of several youth empowerment programmes being brought to camps and conducted during the service year. I hope you’d taken advantage of any. And if you haven’t, that’s not a problem, of course. You’re still in shape to do that right now.
The silliest mistake several graduates make is believing they shouldn’t go for vocational training after spending all the years in classrooms. Don’t be like that. You may be right but in the long run, you’re wrong.
Lateefah learnt tailoring during her service year. As soon as she got home, she was not only searching for jobs but started her own shop. The last time I spoke to her, she couldn’t remember the last time she dropped her CV for any company. TeefahCoutures is the hottest fashion designing shop in town. I’m not into fashion but I can’t hide recognizing the beauty of her crafts and designs.
You see. That’s like my own story too with a few differences. Before you know it, you will be surprised if you find out that a graduate tailor has just bought a car and got a 4-bedroom flat.
Corper Donald learnt computer at Techie Konsult, and that’s just for 6 months. While he was leaving, he said something I wouldn’t forget, “Boss, you’d just given me something to eat”. I was happy to know that he was convinced that the knowledge he got here could help him faster, if not better than the one acquired for the past 18 years schooling.
Donald is, as well, into computer services and education consulting in Lagos, right now.
Even though we can’t all be self-reliant after NYSC, yet it will be good to find out earlier if this is the right take for us. Some of us will end up at banks, some at companies, some in government offices, yet a few will be watched making things happen. Can you be one of those who are making things to happen?
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