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How to Get a Job in Lagos

by | Guides

May 5, 2022

This guide helps you find a job in Lagos, even if you’re new in the state.

Although it may not seem like it at first glance, there are jobs in Lagos. Lots of them. Jobs with the government. Jobs with non-governmental organizations. Entrepreneurial opportunities. It’s all in Lagos. Why else will so many people move to Lagos from other parts of Nigeria every year? I am telling you, Lagos is a land of opportunities, and every day spent here presents you with a chance to improve your life. New in Lagos and seeking a job? This is how you get a job, whatever job you want, in Lagos: 

Where to find jobs in Lagos?

These are some of the most popular websites I would use to search for a job in Lagos. They are updated almost every day. You’re going to find different job categories here.

  • Indeed.com – Job search engine. You can filter by language and set job alerts.
  • LinkedIn – Networking website with an extensive jobs section. Very popular.
  • Delon Jobs – provides free weekly live webinars to teach Nigerian students.
  • Glassdoor – company reviews, salary reports, and job listings.
  • Just jobs – employment and career opportunities
  • Job center Nigeria – you can filter jobs by category and month
  • Total Jobs – has over 280,000 live jobs adverts. You can filter by distance and industries.
  • Hot Nigerian Jobs – a job portal that provides a wealth of resources to help job seekers grow their career or business
  • Job List Nigeria – provides recruitment resources and helps connect job seekers to employers
  • Naijahotjobs.com – Nigeria jobs and career community
  • Jobberman – connect qualified professionals to their employers. You can filter by industries and locations.
  • JobGurus – Job listing website. You can filter jobs by work level and specializations
  • Jobzilla – an online job search website that publishes the latest job vacancies

Work on Yourself

When the name Lagos is mentioned regarding jobs, the first thing that should come to your mind is competition. Not scarcity—competition.

Lagos, Nigeria, is no doubt one of the most population-dense states in the country. More than half of this population consists of people of working age. Sure, there is a lot of competition.  

Hundreds, if not thousands, of other people are seeking the job you want to have. 

To get that job, it is apparent that you have got to find a way to stand out. Be different. 

The best advice one can give to someone seeking a job in Lagos is: to be unique. Develop yourself so much you become prize. Get certifications. Take courses. Have your works put up in reputable journals.

Work on your ability to communicate. Wear a smile. Simply put, be ‘employable.’

Read: How to Move to Lagos, Step by Step

Create Meaningful Relationships

In Lagos, you cannot over-emphasize the need to cultivate healthy and meaningful relationships. Not just with people whom you think will be able to help you. With everyone!

Be friends with the neighbors

Have them know that you are in need of employment. Ask that they fill you in on any information relevant to your search. Neighbors in Lagos always have information. Information spreads fast here because everyone knows someone who knows another someone.

Be friends with the Uber driver (not just the Uber driver)

Tell the Uber driver too, or anyone close enough to know about it, that you need a job. You don’t have to say it like it is a plea. You can say it in passing and hand him your card. Having a card is important. This card should contain your necessary details; your phone number, your name, the role you are great with, and your relevant certifications.  

Don’t overlook your religious organizations

In Lagos and in Nigeria at large, religious organizations are the most bound organizations. This is because every member of a religious group, whether in the higher class or not, is bonded to the other by a set of beliefs. 

Almost every Lagosian will tell you that they know someone who got a job from their place of worship. Most of the time, it isn’t a lie, even though it sometimes is. 

Some religious gatherings in Lagos even announce job opportunities! I have been in one before. They even recommend members who have been observed to be diligent and good enough. What’s more powerful than a recommendation from a reputable organization.

If you would rather not identify with a religion, you should at least identify with a team. A body. You know, any reputable organization or society. 

Be at the right place at the right time, with the right people. And be sure to have your card on you.

Volunteer

A lot of people won’t tell you and probably don’t even know this. But, hey, volunteering is one of the easiest ways to get a job in Lagos. Yes, it is hard and most likely wouldn’t get you any pay, at least not at first. But it is gold. 

As you actively seek a job, be available to volunteer your skills to help others. 

There are a number of NGOs in Lagos seeking volunteers. Be that volunteer. Go volunteer to work for that NGO that is related to your profession. 

For example, if you are a laboratory scientist, pharmacist, or medical doctor, volunteering to work for an NGO involved in the management and prevention of HIV/AIDS is a great idea. 

If you are an agriculturist or farmer, getting involved with an NGO interested in hunger eradication is the deal. 

If you are public health worker, an agency concerned with water treatment and distribution is just it. 

On and on, the list goes. 

Volunteering helps you get a job in two ways: 

  • First, it puts you in the face of countless other opportunities. Many NGOs operating in Lagos are funded by the UN and other bodies outside the country. Working with them means you will get to find out about a lot of other jobs. You will meet new people, many of whom will be like yourself—job seekers. And remember, in Lagos, a connection is everything. Meeting new people and creating meaningful relationships are everything. 
  • A chance to improve your CV: when you work with an NGO, you do yourself good by improving your CV. In the first few paragraphs, it was mentioned that standing out is vital in getting a job in Lagos. And standing out is having what others don’t. The experience. The exposure. All of it. Working with an NGO puts you one step ahead, especially if it is a reputable NGO. 

Getting a job with an NGO is easy. Just walk to their office and have them know you will love to volunteer your skills.  

Read: How to Find an Apartment in Lagos

Leverage Social Media

The Nigerian social media space is one of the most active in the world. 

It isn’t difficult to tell why. Numbers. 

If you want to get jobs in Lagos, you have got to leverage social media to the fullest. Let your social media pages and handles depict that you are a job-seeker.

Be everywhere. Have your skills in everyone’s face. Make posts about what you do—your achievements. 

Pay special attention to your bio, on LinkedIn especially. Your bio should be short and concise yet very confident. A bio like this draws the attention of employers. 

On Twitter, follow the agencies you have intentions of working for. Repost their tweets, and once in a while, offer suggestions. Yes, let them see that you have seen their work and are offering suggestions. 

I’ll give you an example. 

Let’s say you are a graphic designer who has an interest in working as a designer for a bank. One day, this bank posts a picture, an ad, you don’t quite find appealing. You can get their attention by calling out the lapses in the picture and suggesting what could have been better. 

You can say something like: “I don’t like the blue scheme of this picture much. I’m a designer, and I’d have preferred a bright red instead around the edges.” 

Constructive criticism like this is exactly what employers look for. Contrary to what people think, trying too hard to win the favor of employers can be counter-productive. 

Every agency seeks to employ workers who know and are great at what they do. Be that person.

Note: a bad social media presence is going to antagonize you. Employers these days are quite interested in your social media presence. Build it. Build something genuine. 

When you are called for the interview

Many Lagosians get to this stage but falter, and everything returns to where it had first been. If you want to get a job in Lagos, you have to be prepared for interviews. 

Before you go for an interview, pay attention to the following: 

Your looks

Nigerians are still big on looks. They believe, and maybe even rightly so, that one has to appear in a way that befits their profession. Dress properly. Have your beard properly combed. Same as your hair. 

Your confidence

you have to build your confidence. Many interviewers are already impressed by your curriculum vitae. What they want to test now is your confidence. They want to be sure you know what you are signing up for and will be able to handle difficult tasks. 

Be confident. Let this confidence shows in your body language. Your facial expression should not be dull. You should not avoid everyone’s eyes. Look into your interviewer’s eyes. If he or she offers a handshake, take this handshake in a firm grip. 

Your voice should also exude confidence. Avoid sounding brash or timid. 

Answer every question calculatedly

Be calculated. Some questions you will be asked during your interview are going to be trap questions. Be careful. If you don’t know the answer to a particular question, then saying so might just be the best move. Politely explain what your input to the company is going to be. 

In summary, if you want to get a job in Lagos, develop yourself, and build relationships! 

Read: Lagos Travel Guide: What to See, Do, and Eat in Lagos

Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

By Ubee Johnson

Ubong Johnson (Ubee) is a medical student and freelance writer. He writes articles that cover everything from Lagos city guide to lifestyle.

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