Author: Segun Akiode
Publisher: Bookvine, 2015
Corporate Misfit is a book that deals with the problem of graduate unemployability- or how to solve it. But as it is addressed to the individual, it doesn’t proffer the usual sort of ‘solutions’ that we have become used to- government “doing something” to improve the state of education, or calling for young Nigerians to forget about white collar jobs and simply start an enterprise for themselves (sensible statements in themselves, but unsuitable answers to the question on the question as applied to the single person). It looks at the problem from a different angle and does so in a refreshing way. It turns the spotlight on the individual. The job seeker.
“You need the right job mindset, which is ‘I am the CEO of ME Inc’”, Segun Akiode says in his book. He charges his readers to ditch the desperate view of needing “any job” because that tends to devalue them and makes it less likely that they would add value to the firm they seek to get employed by. In fact, he points out, employers seek individuals who can add value to them, not people who merely want to get a paycheque at the end of the month. And to be valuable, potential employees need to value themselves enough to build a self-image that reflects skillfulness, passion and fit for particular jobs. Not just “any job”.
Segun does not take the comfortable approach of simply reeling out success tips or tricks. He puts his finger on the employability issue and zeroes in on what job seekers can do to improve their worth in the job market. He talks about knowing their strengths and weaknesses, defining goals clearly, selecting and pursuing available job vacancies, and transforming job roles into enclaves for fulfilment by setting free passions and fully deploying their talents. In all of this, he does not fail to note the importance of the individual. His advice is worth considering, as he has been an HR consultant- a fact he hints at in the life-examples he gives in the book.
An interesting part of the book is the personality analysis dealt with briefly in Chapter 3 and treated in detail in the appendix. It could prove valuable for anyone who wants to find out which jobs match their personal tendencies, and help save them from getting dissatisfied with career choices when they are eventually made.
If you are a young graduate, you could gain a whole lot from reading this book. But there’s something in it for everyone too. It might help change your understanding of what it means to have a job.