Finding jobs in Lagos can be a haunting experience. If you don’t already know, Lagos and unemployment are second cousins. And for the few that get employed, let’s say they almost always have a very interesting story to tell.

If you don’t believe us, read what these four graduates had to say about their job-hunting experiences in Lagos:

Tunde and all the crazy things that kept “appening”

Months of job hunting can make you desperate, and it might lead you to a point where you are ready to settle for just about anything. That was where I was two years ago. A frustrated, unemployed graduate looking for jobs in Lagos, “any job” to make some money. 

Finally, I landed one. It was not my dream job but I was desperate. Five years of studying Engineering, only to end up as an office assistant. It was not long before I realised that there was more to the job than it read in my JD. One day, I’m the office assistant, the next day, I’m an errand boy and the day after that? Management trainee. I was even the assistant cleaner for a while. 

I wore almost every hat they could find in that company for the six months I worked there. Thank God, I finally found my bearing and was out of there for good.

Young african-american man sitting at home. Sad guy sitting on the couch

David the Applier

They say money no dey Lagos, but you never realise how true that is until you finish NYSC and there’s no more allawee coming in.  That’s when you jump into the job market and start applying – writing and rewriting your CV and cover letter and joining all the job platforms. 

In a month, I was sending at least three hundred emails to companies that advertised vacant positions. I even paid some guy ₦10,000 for a poorly made CV (that was big money for me then). During that period, anytime I got a notification mail in my inbox, my heart literally skipped a bit. It was always “After careful consideration…”. It almost seemed like a miracle for me when I finally landed a job in a tech company.

There are days when I reread my old application emails and CVs from when I was searching for jobs in Lagos. Honestly, I deserve pampering.

Amanda on earning six figures of exposure

The first time I heard I’d be paid with exposure was when I got a Personal Assistant job for one popular celebrity, and trust me, I was overexcited. In my head, this meant access to luxury events, new connections, and chilling with the big boys. To be fair, those things did come, but they never converted into cash.  I was basically living at the mercy of my then employer. It was an extreme period of Sapa+. 

After a year, I asked for a salary review and you won’t believe he tried to convince me that I still needed time to learn how the industry worked. Me that was already applying to other jobs. That was the last time he saw me; I was done with that catfish life. I later took a secretary job for ₦25,000. It was small, but, at least, I had a real income.

Bolu the unicorn employee

Some employers need to order their workers directly from heaven. Because where in Buhari’s Nigeria are you looking for an employee with ten years of experience and a Master’s degree for extra advantage? Oh, and the employee shouldn’t be older than ten years.

After months of searching upon searching and reading online in a bid to apply for a role in Advertising, I finally found a company I thought was going to take me as I am and groom me. If only I had known that they had more interesting plans for me – to pay me peanuts. They kept deceiving us with the idea of “we are all a family” to underpay and owe us for months. 

It was worse during the lockdown when we had to work online and we weren’t paid a dime. The day I finally turned in my resignation, my CEO said I was a unicorn employee and it was like losing a family member. In my mind, I was like, “unicorn you’re not paying has turned to horse and left for greener pastures”.

Getting a job in Lagos

Lagos might not be the easiest place to land a job; however, there are opportunities and Fuzu is here to give job seekers a competitive edge in the job market by giving them access to the latest job updates, free professional CVs, career tips, and so much more.

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Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.