The Attitude Deficit in Nigeria’s Fresh Graduates

by Dupe Ogunyemi

August 17, 2017 | 12:02 pm
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Helping young graduates find their feet is something I like to do, probably because it took me quite a while to find mine. We do not have functional career counselling in most of our schools so a lot of people graduate without any clear understanding of what they want to do in life. So they apply to every job vacancy, from farm manager to customer service rep, anything and everything, any way na way make money just dey enter. So I write, I talk, I advise, I share personal experiences and lately, I tire!

Why am I getting tired? The attitude of many young, fresh graduates that I come across is stupefying me into tiredness. Azzin, it is starting to feel like I’m either old or from another planet. Maybe I’m from Pluto, lol.


Many young graduates whine all day about the paucity of jobs in the country. Yet, many HR people will tell you how they struggle to fill roles in different companies. The owner of Nairabet, Akin Alabi’s tweet (image in header) says it all; companies are struggling to find quality people.


Noun – Quality

Definition – the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something.

So it appears there is a scarcity of quality Nigerian graduates. Why? I can’t answer that question but I can share a personal experience. I had 3 people waiting to see me for a job interview a while back. Their timings got mixed up and I had to keep one of them, a lady, waiting for 2 hours. I was full of apologies when she came in and launched into the interview hoping she would get the job. A few short sentences in, I realised she didn’t know what the heck she was interviewing for. I was so shocked, I had to call the person who shortlisted her into the session. He too was speechless. More so because he had interviewed her on an earlier day and explained the role to her before scheduling her to see me.


So, how do you sit for 2 hours in an office lobby waiting to interview for a role without bothering to even research the role, much less the company? But this same person would have ‘Instagrammed’, ‘Facebooked’, ‘Snapchatted’ in those 2 hours. Maybe not but most likely. Attitude Deficit.


A young guy came for a meeting cum sales pitch for an app marketing platform. Smart, good looking dude. Okay sir, tell us about your company… we got the projector ready for him. He proceeded to take us through slide after slide of balderdash. The slides’ content wasn’t bad, his explanation of it was. We knew what was on that deck better than him. No, that is saying it nicely. He didn’t have a clue what he was selling, what services his company provides or what industry partnerships they have. He had a shiny slide that paraded the names of prominent companies as their ‘partners’. Great, so why should I advertise on Facebook through you and not directly? Answer: BS. Okay, let’s move on; what do you do with Criteo? Answer: BS. Do you even know what Criteo does? Answer: BS.


So, you join a company and do not bother to learn what the company does? You schedule a client meeting and do not bother to revise or understand your own company’s profile and services, talk less of the client’s? But this same person would know the name of Davido’s latest song and baby mama. Maybe not but most likely. Attitude Deficit.


Don’t get me wrong, I love social media and yes I know the name of Davido’s song and baby mama. Yes ke, I love music too. But I also use the internet for other things like educational courses, research and stuff that will help me do my job well. And so do other people from the same Pluto planet as myself. The more I interact with today’s young grads, the more I feel like an alien.


What is wrong with y’all??? Let me say that again, wetin dey worry una??? How do you expect to get from life what you don’t put into it? I don’t understand. If there is a shortcut in life that y’all know, please share. Trust me, I have searched for that shortcut and I don’t think it exists. The only way to the top of a palm tree is to climb the damn thing. If you attempt to jump up, you will very likely crash back to the ground. The only way to the top is to put the time and effort into it. You can’t know something unless you learn it. And until they invent the technology that automatically transfers knowledge to the brain, you have to actually put the work in.


The difference between the young engineer and the senior engineer is usually the time put in and the volume of experience acquired. But many fresh school leavers nowadays want to fly before they have even started walking. It’s okay to fly. Infact, it is fantastic. But have you learnt to navigate the skies? Have you learnt how to use the parachute incase of emergencies? Have you learnt how to land so you don’t crash and burn?

Or maybe you don’t need to. Perhaps there’s an app that transmits all these into the medulla oblongata in 30 minutes max.


No, this one go pass technology sef. It must be jazz. Please send me the jazzman’s number biko, make me sef re-align. Why should somebody be spending 15 years garnering experience. For what na? Who experience epp?

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by Dupe Ogunyemi

August 17, 2017 | 12:02 pm
  |     |     |   Start Conversation

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