It breaks my heart to see many cases of 2:1 and 1st class graduates from poor homes struggling to get by and find a job. I have employed some but my personal and professional capacity to do that is tiny.

I counsel many these days on thinking without the box of certificate and salary (C4S) mentality; especially IF and WHEN the salary-jobs are not there.

Rather than go into menial “jobs”, apprenticeship to learn a skill that solves a premium problem around food, clothing or shelter is a far better deal. Not all ideas require much money to execute. Good ideas attract money: so, finance is not the problem – believe me!

Having a degree helps us to learn faster. Life is about solving problems and people will always pay for meaningful solutions to their problems.

For instance, if you studied a course in food tech: remember, someone started frying and selling plantain chips on the go, in labelled packaging. It was an existing product traditionally tied in bread polythene bags. The innovation was the pack, label and arrangement. People paid 4x the price paid for the traditional packs. It is about ideas, not money. Problem is, most of our young children are conditioned to think certificate4salary. Dig into your knowledge and find a need you could meet with improvement of an existing solution!

Many people want to eat healthy.
Lagos is always moving. Breakfast is critical but often missed. Can you fix it?
Biscuits and other snacks aren’t healthy, they are junks. Could you make healthy snacks?
Someone cleaned up Kulikuli. Can you clean up some existing snacks for hygiene? Many people will pay.

Fruits sold on wheelbarrows are not hygienic. Can you innovate and make it clean and trusted?
1. Continue to do something to feed and live on.

2. Keep searching for jobs. (
3. Search your learning and innovation bank for a solution that people will pay for. Start small and grow it over time. Hygienic fruit packs supplied on time to 5 to 10 people daily with N100 margin per pack will give N10 – 20k per month.

I pray that your Hussle be blessed and your struggle turns a miracle.
By Wale Adediran

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