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Last month I had a session with a youth group where I treated the issue of poor self-image and its implications on leadership. I’ve realized that low self-esteem is an insidious yet rarely talked about issue that cripples young people and their ability to find and maximize their abilities.
My session was supposed to last for 45 minutes. I spent about 2 hours; then spent another 30 minutes taking questions and about 1 hour more addressing issues some couldn’t talk about publicly. It was this session that inspired my blog post ‘On Low Self Esteem’
I got a couple of messages from people who read that post basically saying, “Naomi, I have this problem and I don’t know what to do.” One of those who sent me a message was an acquaintance. She wanted to see me; she wanted to talk. I agreed to a meeting even though I kept wondering what I wasgoing to say to her.
Just listening to her broke my heart. She was okay, sort of, until she graduated with a Third Class.  While she could find a way to deal with it, her family couldn’t. From parents to siblings, she’s been made and is still being made to feel stupid. Four years after, she remembers vividly the hurtful things they said to her; that grade has and is still defining the way she feels about herself.
I was planning a retreat-type event for youths when we spoke and knowing it was a topic I intended to treat exhaustively at the retreat, I told her she could be my assistant if she wanted. That way, she couldbenefit from the process as well. I made her a promise that if the retreat didn’t hold as planned, I would treat the issue on my blog.
It didn’t, so in the coming days, I’ll be posting a series of write-ups on the topic; even if you don’t fit the profile, you probably will know someone who does. Be kind enough to share, let’s all start the New Year with a fresh dose of confidence :D

©Naomi Lucas

At a recently organized town-hall meeting for unemployed graduates, we asked young people to air their views about what they think the problem is with unemployment in Nigeria. Watch the videos for their very insightful responses.

So…do you have an opinion you’ll like to share. Tweet at us or drop a comment on our Facebook page. We’ll love to hear from you.

Have a swell day…


GRADUATEPRO In Partnership with ImpactHouse International and GOFAMINT, Region One will be holding a town-hall meeting with unemployed fresh graduates.

Recent graduates of all tertiary institutions (Mono/Polytechnics, Universities, Technical Colleges etc.) that are currently unemployed.


  • To get first hand feedback on barriers to gainful employment
  • To determine participants training needs
  • To evaluate participants’ technical and soft skills gaps


  • Get priority status for upcoming 1 Week Intensive Work Readiness BOOT CAMP
  • Discuss your challenges with employability and get instant feedback and support
  • Stop Complaining. Do something!


  • Date: Sunday 3rd November 2013
  • Time: 3pm prompt
  • Venue: Main Auditorium, Gospel Faith Mission International, Region One Headquarters, 30, Ayantuga Street, Mushin, Lagos.

To attend, send your name and qualification (E.g. Marilyn Masin, HND) to:

Please pass on the information.


©Naomi Lucas


It’s been two minutes right? I know… My apologies; the holidays have a way of making one lazy and writing is one tasking activity.
So, here we are, 1st of January 2013, and there you are unemployed. I can only imagine how depressing that is.

I’ve come up with a few tips to keep you from jumping off a cliff and help you get through this period; read on…

Last week, I had finished taking some applicants through my interview process and shortlisted 2 of them to meet with the client who paid me to help with recruitment. After meeting with them, he called and told me he wanted more options. I had to go through a reserve list of CVs in my database I hadn’t initially gone through because they didn’t apply for the position.

I called and arranged an interview with some of the candidates who fit the job profile. While meeting with one of the candidates, I asked her ‘What’s the most challenging thing you’ve ever done?’ And without missing a heartbeat she said ‘Coming for this interview’. ‘Huh? I don’t understand’ I said.

She explained. She had attended interview after interview after interview and on several occasions got to the point where all that was left was to get an offer letter; and then something would go wrong and she wouldn’t hear from the organization again. The last time it happened, it was a job she really wanted and when she heard some of the people she attended the interview with had resumed work, she was devastated. So when I called and told her about the job opening, she almost told me she wasn’t interested but decided to find the strength and enthusiasm to try again.

I was touched and told her to remain optimistic anything could happen. After the interview, she scored really high compared to every other candidate. Again I arranged a meeting with the CEO. After the meeting, despite having more qualified applicants, the CEO called and said she was his most preferred candidate and gave reasons why he felt strongly about it. I agreed with him.

Now there’s one more level to cross, meeting with the BoD which should happen sometime during the week. With very strong recommendations from the CEO and myself I expect the BoD to tow the same line. If that happens, she will be resuming within a week of getting her letter, as Head of a department in a highflying organization.

Moral of the story, your next application might be the one. It doesn’t matter how many times you get turned down, you can’t afford to give up or lose your enthusiasm; sometimes that’s all you need to get the job.

Here are some practical tips to help with your job search:
1.   Good news! It’s recruitment season: Most companies recruit between December and February. Now is a good time to aggressively job hunt.
2.   Get on the road: Draw up a list of Companies you want to work with and prepare your CV. If you don’t have email addresses, print hard copies on quality paper and drop them off physically. If you don’t know who the HR Manager is, address it to the CEO, it’ll end up on his desk or his PA’s and if he finds your material interesting, you just might get that call you’ve been waiting for.
3.   Sell yourself: Be proactive. Conventional job-hunting methods may not work. Research the companies you’re interested in: What challenges do they face? What value can you add? What difference can you make? Make sure your recommendations are original and practical, then call or visit and arrange a meeting with the HR Manager or CEO depending on the size of the organization. More times than not, you’ll get an appointment.
4.   Lure them: Ok, so the employer is reluctant about offering you a job? No problem. Offer to work with them for a month at no cost. Most employers will not resist free labour. If you get the opportunity, dive in and give it your best shot. Show up at work on time, respect their code of conduct, take initiative, be a problem solver, put in all you’ve got. After the agreed period ask for an objective performance evaluation. If they still cannot employ you, ask if the CEO or HR Manager will be nice enough to write a recommendation which you can use for your job search.
5.   Be productive: After all has been said and done, you’re still without a job? Don’t become a couch potato; keep your mind active. There are a lot of free MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) out there by reputable institutions across the globe (E.g MIT, Havard, Stanford, Duke University etc.) Register and take courses that interest you, so when a potential employer asks what you’ve been doing with your time, you can have a plausible explanation. I’ll do a separate write up on MOOCs, but before then, visit www.coursera.organd check out the courses available. There’s no fee attached, all you need is Internet and your time.

Welcome to 2013.
©Naomi Lucas

Welcome to 2013!

Happy New Year!

May 2013 be a year of joy, laughter, success, progress, good health and prosperity for you and yours.Have a fabulous 2013.
©Naomi Lucas

From all of us at GraduatePro, we wish you all the very best this season.

May your holidays be filled with joy and laughter and everything in between.


ImageIn this day and age, having the right qualifications and experience does not guarantee a successful job search. Being able to convince a potential employer that you are the right product to buy is more art than science. Good thing is, finding meaningful work is an art anyone can learn. But first you need to understand that to successfully transition from job hunter to gainfully employed, there’s a mindset you need to have, a way you need to think…

  • Be courageous: Searching for the right place is not for the faint hearted. It’s propelled by a mixture of fear and hope; fear of being unemployed. Hope of what lies ahead once a job is secured.
  • Be positive, focus on the opportunities: Instead of getting depressed over the unfavourable statistics of the labour market, see it as an opportunity to move out of your comfort zone and excel.
  • Know exactly the kind of job you would love: If you don’t know where you’re going, how would you know when you get there? If you know exactly what job you want, it becomes easier to find it.
  • Be bold enough to market yourself: before contacting any prospective employer, understand his or her business. What do they do, what can they do better, what opportunities can they leverage that they currently aren’t? How can the skills you currently possess add value to what they are trying to achieve? Capture all this in the materials you send to them with one main purpose-To get them to contact you.
  • Arouse their curiosity: By showing that you know something about them and the challenges they face and that hiring you will help them to deal with those challenges. The focus must be on what they need, not what you want.
  • Be creative-Employers get very tired of the ubiquitous “Dear Sir/Ma, please find attached…” application. Be creative and upbeat. Put yourself in their shoes. What are you offering that will get their attention?
  • Put your network to use: Leverage your circle of influence to help you find a job. You know people who know people who know other people, within this circle a lot of information is circulated, most times job listings rarely make it to the papers. Let those you know be aware that you are job hunting. You never know from where opportunity will come knocking.
  • Find out what events are upcoming that will attract the people in the sectors you want to work in and to attend those events.
  • Don’t be deceived, they’re not advertising doesn’t mean they’re not hiring: Many of you believe this and limit your search to jobs being advertised in the newspaper, the Internet, or other such options. What you don’t realize is that at least 80% of employment opportunities are never advertised.
  • Regardless of the upcoming challenges in the economy, there will always be work available. The people who will find that work are the ones who understand today’s workplace, who aren’t afraid to move out of their comfort zone, and whose approach is diligent, creative and focused on the needs of the employer.

Whatever you do, never lie about your achievements, skills, credentials or what you can or cannot do. You’ll be found out eventually and your reputation will be in tatters

Finally, as a job hunter, you need to understand that you’re selling yourself. Your attractiveness as a product will be determined by the way you package yourself and how you articulate the value you have to offer.  Remember that.


Naomi Lucas



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