November 16, 2022 | In Guest Articles

Dear NSP, Here is What You Need to Know About National Service

Dear NSP, Here is What You Need to Know About National Service

So, after the long wait and apprehension, you have received your posting letter. You are either excited because you got the company you wanted, or you are concerned because you do not like where you were posted.

That is beside the point. In the long run, life has a way of working itself out in the scheme of things. You might be surprised that you will enjoy your service period and fondly look back on the experience.

Commonly, the delight of being posted to our dream organisation fades out our focus to reflect on our strengths and areas for improvement and how we could utilise them as essential tools for growth within the 365 days of service.

There are probably many things running through the minds of personnel at such a time. For example, the worry about being attached to the departments and branches of choice. Again, this quickly wipes away the sense of realising other potentials because we've been programmed to believe that our field of work should equate to our programme of study.

These are the things which should occupy your thoughts as you seek to start your service.


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10 Interview Etiquette


These are the things which should occupy your thoughts as you seek to start your service.

Dress like you mean business. Dressing the way you want to be addressed is an old adage. It seems to cost too much or not be worth the hassle. But dressing professionally goes a long way in the impression you create in the minds and hearts of the people you work with. It is an essential part of how you are viewed, and the seriousness people attach to you and your work.


Take the opportunity to learn as much as you can. The most important part of service is the learning experiences you will gain from the one (1) year. The best you can do is to be a sponge and soak everything you can. Learn all that you can by availing yourself for projects and assignments. Do not be in a hurry to go home. Be curious and ask lots of intelligent questions. Show initiative, make mistakes and learn from them. You will be better for it in your career than playing it safe and hiding in the corner.


Network as much as you can. The value of a great network cannot be over-emphasized. The purpose of networking is not to benefit your pockets or your life necessarily. It is to enrich your outlook on life. So make sure you are always asking questions. Ask for guidance, ask how people do their work and what they think about the job they are doing. Visit your manager intermitently during the day. aske her about her 3 year old son and offer to get her water from the dispenser. Ask if she has eaten and yes, go and buy her the waakye at lunch break.

Ask if she has eaten and yes, go and buy her the waakye at lunch break.


Set a budget and stick to it. There is a tendency to believe that saving will not be possible with the paid allowance. However, the first rule of saving is that saving does not depend on how much you earn but on how much discipline you have. Open a savings account with a bank which allows you to set spending limits. Get a mutual fund or investment account and place a standing order for your account to your investment account monthly. In time you will realise how much money you have been able to save.


Identify the skills needed in your chosen field of interest and develop them. Most people go in to do their service with the mindset of just finishing up and leaving. This is counter-productive to all the opportunities you can benefit from during the service. Today's job market focuses on skills and the ability to use those skills to derive value for the organisation. You need to identify the skills you will need and use the opportunity to learn the practical application of these skills.


Have a plan for what you want to achieve over the next year. There is no way to underestimate or overestimate the value of having a plan. Having a plan makes it possible to determine where you are and your destination. The most important thing is how you will get there and how you will measure your progress there. Having a plan is the primary differentiator between those who make it and those who may not. But having a plan is one-half of the solution. The other half is sticking to the plan and executing it. As you do so, you will have to relook at your strategy, evaluate where you find yourself and then modify your plan accordingly.

For example, your plan could be to network with at least 5 top mangers at your posted company. In this way, even if you are not retained by the company, you have valuable networks that you can keep in touch with. These networks can give you guidance especially during the job search process after NSS.

In all this, it is best to be your authentic self yet - showcase all your great and wonderful qualities and the value you add to any team you find yourself in.

Throughout the journey, the shadows that fall by your side may have no trace of living creatures. Still, there is a hidden eye of a hawk in the trees seeking to find those who can fly higher above the skies, and that’s why it pays to remain focused and learn all you can during the national service period.

Check out this great resource by OneMan1000 on Twitter which gives 21 pieces of advice from someone who just completed their service year.

As the journey begins, the future will remain uncertain. The paths may be narrow, but remember, even in the thickest and darkest tunnels, you shall surely see the light at its tail.

Have a wonderful service year, and we can not wait to see the outstanding achievements you will achieve in your career.


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