Now that the three weeks NYSC regimented orientation camp is over, you’re free from the early morning bigle, meditation, strenuous drills and harassment from soldiers, you are on to another phase of the service. This time it’s not about drills and bigles but about responsibility and the next lines of action for your own future. Here are some things you should do after the orientation camp.

1.Settle down:
In your posting letter it is indicated where your Place of Primary Assignment (PPA) is and you must have been conveyed by representatives of the different Local Government Areas where you’re posted to the area. The next thing is to settle down. There are for temporary and permanent accommodations provided by religious bodies such as NCCF, NACC, MCAN and the likes. Some local governments also have Corpers’ Lodge which you can make use of before you proceed to your PPA. For some, these places eventually becomes there permanent residence for the service year.

2.Locate your PPA and then NYSC Area or Local Office:
Don’t carry your bags and travel home after the NYSC orientation camp without reporting at your PPA and NYSC local government office for your documentation except you have been redeployed. The fact is, you’re not yet a full corper until you’ve reported in those two places. Submit your posting letter at your PPA and collect and acceptance letter which you’ll use for your registration at the NYSC area office. And if you’re rejected by your PPA, it’s not a problem; just make sure the same PPA gives you a rejection letter. You’ll take the letter to the NYSC area office and they know what to do.

Normally your PPA is expected to offer you accommodation and monthly stipends but some may not even give you any. So sort this out with your boss after you might have been accepted.

3.Apply to travel for two weeks:
Don’t carry your bags and travel home after your acceptance. NYSC expects you to write an application letter asking for permission to travel. Apply through your PPA to the NYSC office. Your boss is expected to sign your application letter before you submit it. Make sure you complete your registration before you travel, else your allawee will hang.

4.Carefully Plan your Post-NYSC Life:
You should have done this even before your final exams at school but it is not late yet anyway. Perhaps this is going to be your first time being alone without any disturbance from home or academics. Go to service with a life journal and not just sheet of paper; something like a big diary or writing material. Determining what you want to do after your youth service will help shape the kind of activities you get involved in and how you actually spend your service year and carefully write down the direction you have chosen to take after service. Set goals for yourself and work effectively towards achieving those goals. Remember you need GOD for your service year to be successful, plan with God’s guidance.

5.Take up professional courses:
You will have more time to yourself during your service year, use them to your advantage by taking up some professional exams and acquiring skills that will give you an edge over others in the labour market. Almost every profession has an IT inclination now, so find out which IT training and certifications are relevant to your career and go for it. There are many of them online. Some of these professional courses are available during the service year at a subsidized rate for corpers.

6.Update your CV, Start the Job hunt:
Don’t wait till the end of your service year before you start looking for job. Update your Curriculum Vitae (CV), apply for jobs and attend interviews. You can get a job while you’re still serving and even if you don’t get a job, you’ll gain a lot of experience by writing applications to different companies and attending interviews. It is always great stepping from the khaki straight into a job instead of packing back to your parents’ home to start the job search journey.

7.Look out for internship opportunities:
Look out for Internships they are effective ways of working your way into a full time job and you should seek to seize any internship opportunity you find in the line of your career. Before the end of your service, apply to as many companies as you can, you could be opening doors for a permanent employment.

8.Look for business a opportunity:
Smart corpers have started looking for additional streams of income apart from the allawee paid to corpers during their NYSC service year. They are simply building what they can fall back on when the monthly bank alerts from federal government ceases. If you have an inclination for business, there is nothing stopping you from making as much money as possible during NYSC the monthly allawee doesn’t come always and it might not be enough to cover for your daily needs. Also the labor market is already saturated and you can create a means of survival for yourself by doing business. It can open more doors for you or at least keep you busy till you get a good job.

9.Plan for further studies:
You may have noticed first degree is no longer enough in the already competitive labor market so plan for further studies. For some, it may be immediately after service year while it may be much later for others. Whichever way, use your service year to find out the best available postgraduate studies in your line of career and get information on scholarships both in local and foreign institutions.

Make the best of every good opportunity that comes your way during NYSC. Network and meet new friends. Visit new places and be security conscious.

10.Finally
Congratulation on reading all the tips above, I hope you have gained something. I will advise that you take your time to actually allow yourself experience the uniqueness of the place you are posted to and people you will meet. Learn from challenges you’ll face. Embrace your service year with a thankful heart. Stay positive even when you have no reason to.

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