For this “A Day in the Life”, we’re chronicling what it means to hustle in Nigeria as someone who’s still trying to find a hustle. Daniel rants about his experiences and tells us why “unemployed” isn’t the right adjective for him.

6:00 a.m.

I woke up early today, as usual. No, I’m not a “go-getter” who wakes up on Monday mornings to watch motivational videos and start grinding. I’ve just realised it’s easier if my mum doesn’t wake up before me. Who wants to start their day with lectures of, “How are you going to find a job if you’re always sleeping?” In this house, we avoid wahala.

The first thing I do is check my emails. I must have applied to at least 15 jobs in the past week, and it’s still radio silence. I’ve been actively job-seeking since I got laid off seven months ago, and a lot has changed. Before, I wouldn’t apply to jobs that didn’t state the salary in the job description, but now, let’s just say I’ve learned. But what’s with recruiters and not stating the salary? What does “competitive salary” even mean? 

They need to know that the salary is no longer competing with anything. Do they know how much data and transportation alone cost these days? Ask Twitter people, and they’ll tell you that ₦400k doesn’t do anything in the streets anymore. Is it until I apply for a job and go through one million interviews that I’ll know the budget for the role is ₦80k? You people should pity somebody.

12:00 p.m.

I think there should be a level between employed and unemployed. I fall under the unemployed, but it feels like I’ve never worked so hard in my life. Job-searching is a full-time job. I just finished updating my CV and cover letter for the umpteenth time, and I’m wondering who had the bright idea to invent cover letters in the first place.

It’s always, “Update your CV” or “Don’t use the same CV and cover letter to apply to every job so it’s tailored to the role”. Do I want to use my whole life to write CVs? Don’t I have other things I’m thinking about?

If it’s not about updating it, it’s about how different people have what they think a good CV should look like. One said I should add a link to my LinkedIn profile. Another one said adding links in CVs isn’t good.  One will say I should add my gender, and another one will say it’s not necessary. I think we all need to come together and just create a Nigerian CV constitution because it’s not me you people will confuse.

4:00 p.m.

I just found an interview invite in my email, and I don’t know whether to be happy or not because I don’t even remember applying there. First, it’s in Ikeja, and we know what that could mean. It’s one of three options: It’s legit, it’s a scam, or they want to relieve me of my body parts. The other two seem more likely. But at this rate, I’ll most likely go. One thing must kill a man.

8:00 p.m.

Can we talk about crazy job expectations? Because I just saw one that’s doing my head in. How can you say you’re looking for a virtual assistant but require advanced software administration skills? 

Another one I saw even asked applicants to write a 500-word letter. As per school essay?

One day, we’ll find these companies and recruiters and show them just half the shege they’ve shown us. But till then, we keep looking. This money must be made.

NEXT READ: A Day in the Life of Capitalism



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