Teacher? Shall I take this low paying teaching job?
Becoming a teacher is not what most of us had in mind, but sometimes life throws things at you that you surely didn’t see coming. With unemployment levels skyrocketing every day, graduates will sometimes reach a point in life where they need to determine whether or not they still want to depend on parents for basic things as recharge cards or sanitary pads.
Many of us studied medicine or engineering and we often had this image of what will become of us after graduation. Get this job, get a tiny car, rent an apartment and spend private time with girlfriend…I have been there before. Unemployment especially in Nigeria is no respecter of your first class or third. Teaching jobs are one of the readily available jobs in Nigeria today where your qualification or grade don’t really play a part. If you read subjects like mathematics, biology, English, physics, accounting, commerce in higher instutition, surely, you can teach others too.
Do you have another option?
Except you went to a college of education, most teachers in our society didn’t mean to take up this position. In fact, if you had other options apart from teaching, you probably won’t be reading this blog right now. So, I will answer the question for you? NO! You don’t have an option. You have applied to all manner of jobs. You even pay some miracle “guru” to write that CV for you (read this to write proper CVs). You have submitted physical copies of your CV to all manner of companies. Actually, I once mailed my CV at the post office to over 50 oil companies before! That is crazy, I know, but I thought to try my luck. Only one replied and they said that they don’t have an opening, it was a little respite for my struggles.
So, if you don’t have any other option, you should consider that teaching job that pays 10 or 20k. I tell you something about life, nothing usually lasts forever. Things might be hard at first but life is usually not so wicked to us. Once in a while, other opportunities often arise and it could be that one of the kids with an affluent parent wants you to teach their kids on extra classes.
We all have our expectations in life. I have a 2:1, my friend Bayo who has a 2:2 is working in Huawei. How can my girlfriend’s mom see that her son in law to be is earning 15k as a teacher? What if all my classmates from way back get to know that all I do all day is shout my throat out, grade assignments, and constantly remind some rude kids to always tuck their shirts in? Yeah, I know. The list is indeed endless and the more we think about it, the more that teaching job appalls us.
However, there is always a flip side to things. Having a job means that you at least have something to tell your university friends that you have something doing. Trust me, it is extremely frustrating to have to tell everybody how you are unemployed. But with this new job, you can start telling them “I am managing at a school for now.” Trust me, it’s a lot better. After all, it’s not like they know how much you make. You also don’t have to beg mama for that money to buy that browsing data or repair your phone’s mouthpiece, you can at least take care of yourself. I know that depending on where you get a job, you might be spending a lot more than you actually make. But your CV wouldn’t be blank. If they are calling those who have work experience, you can at least raise a finger (so to speak).
So this is about you at the end of the day. This is about deciding whether you want to be fully dependent on your parents or you want to be partially dependent. And don’t be surprised that the same teacher job you feel is below you is what some married men are using to feed their family. In fact, the greatest advice I can give is that most times we need to start small before we finally get there. Secondly, life is not always wicked to us, it rewards the hard-worker eventually.
Will the teaching job afford you time to look out for other opportunities?
Yeah, I strongly think you should take that teaching job but you need to open your eyes out wide, of course, life doesn’t end there. You still need to apply to jobs as much as you used to. Sometimes, we have to make time as there won’t always be time. Sometimes you might have to tell that necessary lie and sneak to that interview. You need to keep abreast of the latest aptitude test questions. You still need to network with your friends that have a job. All these you must do while still putting your best into the teaching job. You must remember that you are an employee and must always put your very best into the job, who knows? You might get a great recommendation for other opportunities in a bigger school.
Other opportunities exist even right within the teaching profession aside teaching your students extra lessons. I have seen guys who coach Waec in addition to their teaching work. In fact, let’s not go too far. Some of us who did extra classes in other schools in preparation for SSCE, who taught you that? It wasn’t your regular teaching in school. This was some teacher in other schools who had that extra job to get some more cash. I have a friend who left her school, rented an apartment and started her own school. Na small small!
To conclude, I sure think you should take that teaching job. Even if you don’t make anything from it or even run at a loss, the experience will better prepare you for other things in life. You see some people who later become great in life and you wonder what drives them? It is the unpalatable dish that life throws at their table. They ate it even though at that time, it made them purge. But the promised themselves never ever to return to that state again when they have a better opportunity and it worked just well for them.
If you want to learn how to better tackle interviews, read this. While doing your teaching job and you are applying to bigger opportunities, read this so your application doesn’t get bounced.
Endeavor to check out this blog post if you wish to know the 7 reasons why job seekers in Nigeria don’t get interview invites.