The author is an Organizational Development Specialist
A scan across the globe indicates a rising rate in unemployment. We initially imagined that unemployment is only a problem among the least developed countries in Africa and Asia, but by and by, we are reading reports from the developed world about the rise in unemployment. At the local level, we are seeing more and more of our relatives, our friends and our neighbors completing school and having to hang around with no employment opportunity coming by. So, who is responsible for this situation? As individuals, we find it easy to look for a carrier of the blame, and apparently, we place it on all other people and institutions except on ourselves.
Consider Anne for instance. She completed her training at a local polytechnic two years ago where she graduated with a diploma in front office management. As she joined the college, she was shoulders high as she considered the great opportunities that the diploma would open for her upon completion. But now that she is through with her studies and having spent two years at home ‘seeking for a job’, and please note I put ‘seeking for a job’ in quotes, she realizes that jobs are not easy to come by. And true, true, jobs don’t usually come by.
I have severally overheard discussions among young people blaming their current jobless condition on their parents. The have lamented how the parents never took them to pursue the courses of their dreams at the university or college. On other occasions, we place blame on the Joint Admissions Board for not allowing us to pursue our first choice courses. There was a study a while ago that truly indicated that over 65% of university students in Kenyan public universities are pursuing courses they do not like. This then means such graduates will not value the product, the degree they graduate with hence will have no push from within them to market it or expose it to potential employers. You only market that which you like.
As a result, we are generating a barrage of graduates who are suffering from poor self esteem, not appreciating the certificates they posses. We also have persons who as in the proverbial case are bringing their certificates to their parents and telling them they had completed their parents choices and now wish to embark on their own interests. They then seek for financial support to now pursue what they want in life. These are true experiences.
However, regardless of the environment through which we have grown up, placing blame on others for our joblessness is self defeating. The world in fast paced and only those who seek to keep up with it get hold of the great opportunities it offers. For persons who sit and host pity parties, the time to arise is now. Start small. Seek for opportunities that are not necessarily conventional, but at the same time, remember not to forget your positive ethical considerations as you search for a job. As peer pressure sets in, we also see many young people desiring to be identified only with certain jobs. You could be very cautious of what you tell your friends you are doing when you meet them on the streets or when they seek to know on facebook. We are pressured to want to be associated with certain types of jobs and there lies the great mistake. Who said we must all pursue similar jobs? We are not wired for the same careers.
Jobs are sought. They are available but not splashed on the streets for people to collect them. Jobs are valuable engagements and since they are not as many as the seekers, it is important for the seekers to arise and go out to seek them. The interesting bit about most jobs is that they come dressed in aprons that are dusty and only the daring, those who are not choosy find them. Some of the jobs come looking ‘mean’ in terms of allowances or are available in places that are far off, away from the young person’s comfort zones. And finally, remember, jobs are here among people. Talk to people and present yourself as someone who can be trusted with a job to do. Remember, you have only yourself to blame for your current situation.