That Unemployment is rife in today’s Nigeria is no news. Year after years, many graduates are plunged into the labour market with no assurance that they’ll make it out whole. This ever deteriorating state of affairs has caused the conversation to change. Not as many people are waiting on the government to create jobs as they’ve all turned their attention to developing marketable skills and entrepreneurship.
While this is a welcome development, there is a tiny problem – everyone who has taken the advice to learn a skill has gone own the same route as a thousand others before him. So now we have a host of fashion designers, cosmetologists, soap makers etc. saturating the market and very soon it will be the case of the labour market all over again.
Now you may ask, “If you tell us not to wait for paid employment or learn a popular skill, what then are we supposed to do? How are we expected to survive? While your questions are all valid, there is an equally valid answer: Think bigger.
The truth is being your own boss sounds glamorous and is, in fact, the subject matter of every youth empowerment program today. But the thing is, no one ever tells you the full story. No one tells you that there are a thousand other highly skilled tailors, makeup artists, photographers, and the list is endless.
While there’s nothing wrong with doing any of the things previously mentioned, I assure you that there’s definitely a better way to go about it. What you should be working on now is learning and developing high-income skills that would set the tone of your life in the years to come.
So what are these high-income skills that we should be paying attention to?
1. Content creation
With every business going online these days, the need for content creation services continues to be on the rise. Currently, this is one of the most lucrative skills to possess as a freelancer. If you’ve always been good with words and you’ve not done anything with that skill yet, this is your chance. By building this skill and proving that you are indeed an expert at what you do, you are on your way to cracking freelancing open and earning a sustainable income from it.
2. Creative technology
With technology and science taking over, you, the artsy hippie may start to think that the world is leaving him behind. This, however, is a fallacy that you need to do away with ASAP. All you have to do is make technology work in your favour. By expanding your skills from traditional portrait artistry to digital illustration, graphic design, concept development etc. you make yourself an invaluable asset to today’s Nigeria.
3. User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX) Design
In a bid to make their services more available to their users, service providers are now creating and operating more mobile and web applications. This means that anyone who has developed a skill set along these lines is setting himself for success. The good thing is, there are several courses online that can get you started along this path.
4. Software Development
If this didn’t make the cut, then we can confidently conclude that this list is faulty. With the country and the world at large leaning more on technology as the hours elapse, software developers are slowly becoming one of the most highly sought after professionals in the world. If you take your time to hone your skills, learn how to code on every possible language, and prove yourself to be an expert at software development, you’ll be having your pick of the best work in no time.
5. Professional Consultancy Services
Believe it or not, what you studied in school is highly marketable. As an expert, you can offer professional consulting services (legal services, accounting services, financial/ management services etc.) to those who need your services short term. In fact, you might make more money and get exposed to more exciting opportunities working as a freelance legal services consultant than you would, sitting at your desk and drawing up contracts all year long.
How Do You Start?
While this list is not all that you can be doing to make money as a freelancer, they are really good places to start. Remember however that choosing to freelance is not a pass to be lazy (in fact, it might even be more time consuming than paid employment). In order to succeed as a freelancer, you have to be the absolute best at what you do because like it or not, no one is going to pay you more than what your services are worth.
So, pick up a book, sign up for that class, get on the internet and register for that course. Whatever you do as a freelancer, do not stop learning. And if you’re one of the people who already possess some of the skills that we talked about earlier, now is the time for you sign up on TERAWORK, a freelance website aimed at helping you fulfil your dreams of being a highly paid freelancer in Nigeria.