I am sorry, we cant offer you this job…

These words form  the last interview I went for  just broke my heart into pieces…. I   graduated with a “strong 2’1” from the university for heaven sake  , why wont I get my dream job?

Haa, I prepared for this interview oo , read  naira land trends, did all night preparation for the interview, but  still I got rejected. What exactly was the interviewer  looking for? They say ‘Work experience’ but as a fresh graduate, where do they expect me to get that from?


Getting  home  after the interview, I couldn’t help but cry. Lord this is not the agreement we had years ago. All I had to show for after school were the several bridesmaid and  asoebi  dresses in my wardrobe plus the  empty wallet I carried about. I felt so depressed for weeks about my status, I wallowed in self pity, cried severally, but that wasn’t going to solve my problem. I needed to do something  fast and quick. I finally decided to pick  up my old journals and flip through all the employment training I  attended  back  in school to see what I was missing. For days, I would read and read my jottings to fish out  inspiring words  and finally, I stumbled on the exact words I needed ….

“it’s only a mumu that will keep doing things the same way and expect to get a different result”   

This was so true about me. I was only browsing for jobs and sending my CV. I hadn’t anything more  save my 2’1 certificate.


My only work experience  was selling ”Amala ‘at Mom’s ”bukha joint”. Is that what I want to present before  the interviewer ? What more can I do than just selling at the Bukha…Yesssss, I could help  re- brand the Joint and apply my accounting skills to promote the business, at least that is something.

I  got more involved in running mom’s business, I assumed the duties of a manager. I started book keeping our daily food sales, amount spent on buying food items and balancing of accounts…….

I encouraged Mom to add other delicacies to her menu list and soon enough we started making more profit. Office workers started buying food from our joint, we got more customers, our business expanded, we hired more staffs, I was excited. So all along I had this ”branding thing ” lying fallow within me…. great discovery.

My brain worked day and night for several  months,thinking, planning, strategizing  with Mom on how to move  her business forward. I was no longer the Job seeker submitting CV up and down with no work experience,i had work, real work to do. I got busy .


I got so busy running mom’s business that I contemplated  whether or not to still  apply for “white collar jobs ” again. But on a second thought, I remembered  it has always been my dream to work in corporate organizations, wearing  suit and tie, high heeled shoes, sitting in big offices and pressing computer.


So I applied for a job. When asked what my work experience was to fit into the position I applied for, I gladly told them of  all the “brand managing  skills”  I deployed at  mom’s Bukha and the outstanding results  I achieved. When i finished using  all the big big grammars, packaging  the pivotal role I played in achieving this, the  interviewer was wowwed. I got the Job with Jaw opening benefits alongside.

I learned from my experience, instead of sitting in my house sending CV up and down, I must first ask myself  do I have the right skills needed for the Job?



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Joyce Olawunmi


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