How to plan for Life after NYSC (learn from experience)

How to plan for Life after NYSC (learning from experience)

Life after NYSC, getting  a job, a scholarship or settling down are the most important moments of a person in Nigeria. It is so much important due to the situation of the country. 

According to Robin Sieger, ‘Planning is as natural to the process of success as its absence is to the process of failure.’ Life has been known to be unfair with time; truly, some find life quite easy and some find it hard, however, the major difference between the two is how strategic and how much you plan. ‘The way you lay your bed, is the way you lie on it’, so they say; you can’t give what you don’t have.

You find some people make it so fast in life, just after NYSC, they started balling, and you start to wonder how they did it. Nothing much to worry about, the difference between you struggling after NYSC to find your feet and them making it fast is ‘planning’. According to Alvin Toffler, ‘A corporation without a strategy is like an airplane weaving through stormy skies, hurled up and down, slammed by the wind, lost in the thunderheads. If lightning or crushing winds don't destroy it, it will simply run out of gas’.
Planning makes you see the future and live the future without seeing it. It makes you see and gets you prepared for the future ahead. And this would make us learn from the story of Abal, so we can as well learn together on how he was able to prepare well for life after NYSC.

Motivate: We are from motivate.com.ng; A motivational blog and we will like to know you.
Abal: I am Adom, Abal Eggba, a graduate of Oceanography, from one of the best federal universities in Nigeria with a first class.

Motivate: How was life in the university?
Abal: Well, my life in the university was quite challenging, little to no fun, I was dedicated to my book, and only had little time for myself but my book. My social life in the university was close to zero, I was such a boring guy, but my academic standing was impressive, and if people didn’t know me for social life then, they knew me for academics.
I was much dictated in school because I was so much in love with education and I try my best to understand very difficult methods, topics, principles in school so I could help others.

Motivate: let us go to the business of the day. We want to know what you are doing now.
Abal: I am currently on scholarship in one of the best universities in the world. I am having my Masters in one of the best disciplines in engineering.
Motivate: How long was this after your NYSC?
Abal: It was just six months after my NYSC; just as I planned it and told them at home how it will be.

Motivate: Can you in full give us the details of how you prepared for life after NYSC right after university?
Abal: Well, I started planning before I finished from the university. I have studied the academic status and economic status of Nigeria, and I knew it wasn’t promising. Not that it can’t get better, but with the leadership and the type of people running things, they are just shaping it for their own children and people. And then, I have bigger aspirations. I never planned studying in Nigeria after the first degree, I was seeing bigger things, hoping for bigger things, and planning for bigger things.

The first thing is the mindset. Since I knew I wanted to study abroad, I managed to have a good result. Then I was saving financially for whatever my plans will cost me. Immediately I finished from school and was waiting for NYSC call up, I was preparing for Graduate Record Exam (GRE) with the support of my sister; despite just leaving school, I used my savings to acquire International Passport. These savings came from the allowances I was given from home while in school. I didn’t spend all; I always saved for the rainy days.
Then when it was time for camp, I had to go for medical, and I as well used my savings for the medical.

While in camp, I wrote the GRE, got the result and the next thing was to start applying to schools. Fortunately or unfortunately, I was posted to a private secondary school even as a first class graduate was paid a paltry sum not even up to #10,000, and then, my monthly income with the government allowance was not even up to #30,000. Though small, I still managed to save through those times.

I served through the one year, however, I applied for so many scholarships, I got offers in some schools but without scholarship and I bunked them. I was still hopeful while applying. Just at January of the year to end the service, I went to collect all my original certificates, WAEC, degree, every other credential necessary for job as well as admission. Though it cost me a lot, my savings were enough to carry it all. And at the point of service, I wasn’t collecting from home.
Need I say, while serving, I was doing home lesson as well to support my income and raise it to about #45,000. Then finishing service in February, the school requested me to stay and I accepted while they increased my pay. I was also offering my service adequately, and mixing well with the children. I knew the importance of doing my best for them so I can also get the best.

I got about two families I was teaching their kids and this raised my monthly income to about #60,000 and my savings increased as well. At the end of NYSC, my savings was about #150,000. Just in August, I got a scholarship opportunity, exactly six months after service. My savings then was about #200,000. It could have been more, but I as well helped people that needed it, most especially family members.

It was time to apply for visa, and every document I needed to pay for, every expense gulped my savings. The stress was much, the hustle was tight but dreams were being fulfilled. Stress was all written over me but I was never giving up till I get what I wanted. With the help of God and proper planning, I was able to secure visa. I resigned after getting the visa and not before, the school felt bad but it was expected. And I moved on with my life to better things.

Need to know, I was applying for jobs while applying for scholarships. This is very important. It boosts your chances and your confidence. Don’t rely on applying for one and leaving the other. You might be lucky the two come at the same time. Then you can pick which is better. But applying for one and ignoring the other is like putting all your eggs in one basket. When applying for scholarships, apply for as many as possible. Similarly, apply for as many jobs as possible. No crime in that.

Infact, I applied to an oil company before I left, was called for the test, which I passed. I was also called for interview and was waiting for the company to release the list of those employed. I had a strong feeling I would be picked and a thought had me to bunk the scholarship and admission letter I got, but no, I still worked through for the visa. If the two were successful, it is a blessing. If I now left the one my hand already got for the one I am still dreaming off, then that would be foolish of me. It is quite funny actually that the company has not released any list till now. So in all of these, apply wisdom and don't put all your eggs in one basket. Then ask God to lead and guide you.

Motivate: Hmmm, that is interesting and inspiring, but how did you cope with a teaching job despite being a first class graduate.
Abal: Well, the first class I had wasn’t a certificate thing alone, it was a mindset thing. I always made sure whatever I do has a first class touch. You can easily decode it before I tell you. My principal then couldn’t believe I graduated with a first class because he never saw my certificate until it was time to retain me. He was surprised I wasn’t making noise about it and teachers were not even aware. He just knew I did things with class.
I had no need to feel ashamed because people around me didn’t know but people far away that knew ask me what I do, and I tell them I am still teaching for now. ‘There is dignity in labour’. No need to be ashamed of what you do; you don’t climb the ladder from the top, but from the base’. I was always proud of what I was doing.
Motivate: What were the things you felt were very important in this journey?
Abal: The first thing is mindset. You first have to define what you want, what you need and what you want to become. Always look beyond. You have to have big and realistic dreams. Never ever think or believe you have arrived, there is always a room for improvement. Set up your life as if it is a business you are asked to manage and must not crash.

The second is savings. You can either want to work or want to further your education. Both are very good but you have to plan well. If I will advise, plan for both, at the end, the chances you get one out of the two is very high, and you can even get the two. The money currently in your hand is not for now, but the future. Investment is very important. During NYSC, save as much as you can no matter the income, you won’t die doing that.

Finally, be ready to sacrifice. Nothing good in life comes easy. If people will at least help you, they will first like to see your effort. They will like to see how much you have done. But with you doing nothing, chances of getting help will be very slim. I was able to secure the visa with my savings, and I had about #80,000 left. The flight ticket was costly and I was able to get support when helpers sighted the visa. Don’t complain about the money to go through it, start first. All what you need through it will actually come. According to Bertolt Brecht, The finest plans have always been spoiled by the littleness of those that should carry them out. Even emperors can't do it all by themselves’.

Motivate: Thanks so much for your time. We hope we can always reach you anytime we need it.
Abal: Why not, I will be available. It is my pleasure to interact with you as well. Note: ‘An entrepreneur, if there is such a thing, is a born schemer and thinker up of things’ - Alan Sugar

We hope you have learnt one or two things; you can please leave a comment.

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