Building formidable networks, a key to grappling youth unemployment

Stephen Enoch - Kano

Recently pegged at 33.3% by the National Bureau of statistics, Nigeria’s unemployment rate continues to rise even as more Nigerians are put below the poverty line. With the youths taking a majority percentage in the country’s population, they consistently face the heat of unemployment, even as thousands of graduates are pushed into the labour market yearly. Overtime, networking has proven to be efficacious when seeking opportunities to actualize individuals’ ambitions.

It was against this backdrop, that the youth wing of The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Region 9 Kano, organized a Youth Hangout yesterday, to give youths insights on maximizing opportunities and building strong networks, going by the challenges Nigerian youths face in unemployment.

Speaking to DN24, Pastor Jide Akiode, the Regional Pastor of RCCG Region 9 (Royal Palace Parish) explained that a key step youths could leverage on to build strong networks which would consequently enable them achieve successes in their career path, was to observe individuals within their sphere of influence and network with people with the right values as it was instrumental to shaping their future.

While urging the youths to develop self-belief and social intelligence, he also cautioned against ‘quick gains’. “Rome wasn’t built in a day so youths have to shun acts such as Yahoo Yahoo (Internet fraud) and also avoid laziness. Don’t be the weakest link in a network and ensure to contribute a quota that is commensurate to the goals in your network.

”The youths should remain focused and also appreciate values because it would pay off, in the journey of life.” He said.

Also speaking during the Hangout, Mr Ola Barnabas, a renowned public speaker and life coach strategy expert based in Kano, said the closest persons in an individual’s circle would determine that individual’s future, and consequently have a major contribution in shaping the future of such person.

Citing the Pareto principle which specifies that 80% of results are produced from 20% of the causes, Mr Barnabas encouraged the youths to develop networks with meaningful people who would add value to them and will consequently, be instrumental to their foresighted achievements. “Desist from people who know a lot about things that matter less and at the same time know a little about things that matter much. Those kind of individuals are unnecessary ” He said.

Mr Barnabas further encouraged the youths to equip themselves with values needed by organizations they seek to get opportunities in, as employers avoid liabilities. “When looking for opportunities, it is imperative to be fully prepared with values needed and also have proof to show that you are qualified for the position you seek because the era of ‘I have great and innovative ideas’ is long gone. You have to show what you have done previously to have an edge over others.

“When looking for opportunities, it is essential to do meaningful things that would draw the attention of those whom you seek to get those opportunities from. Unlike what some individuals do when the promise of an opportunity is being given, avoid disturbing or pestering those who promise an opportunity because you may end up infuriating the individual and in the long run, lose that opportunity” Mr Barnabas stressed.

Note that as Nigeria’s unemployment rate has risen to 33%, it makes it the second-highest country in the world, with that level of unemployment.

A cross section of youths engaging in a team task during the hangout

Pastor Sunday Olaosebikan, the North-West regional sales manager for Promasidor Nig. Ltd. While speaking to the youths advised them to cut themselves off, from activities that could thwart their chances of getting good opportunities, as they build formidable networks. He said laziness was a factor that destroys chances of getting quality opportunities.

He also reiterated that constant upgrade of one’s skills puts an individual at a cutting edge. “Just as Lagos moved from Molue (public transport) to Uber, the world only has opportunities for people who reinvent and upgrade themselves in the 21st century.

“In the process of upgrading your career path, beware of the risk of complacency and never underestimate your competitor, because the moment you relax, you might get thrown off the track by your rivals and might take a long time to get back on track.” He said.

Pst. Sunday further advised the youths to define their goals and work towards achieving those set goals, as distraction could change a person’s focus and ultimately result in a poor outcome. He also enjoined the youths not to rely on past success and stay humble in the journey of building a formidable network. He also said lack of humility just like pride, comes before a fall.

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