By Jaluum Herbert Luwizza
Youth unemployment in Uganda is the highest in Africa. A recent study, “Lost opportunity? Gaps in youth policy and programming in Uganda”, published by ActionAid, put youth unemployment at 62%, although the African Development Bank says it could be as high as 83%.
Uganda has the world’s largest percentage of young people under 30 – 78% – according to the to the 2012 State of Uganda population report by the UN Population Fund. Worldwide, there are about 1.2 billion 15- to 24-year-olds. About 200 million are in Africa.
In the past decade, Uganda has experienced strong GDP growth, averaging 7% annually, but this has not generated jobs, a trend seen across the continent. Lack of employment is causing some young people to take risks. Last July, 36 young people, who had been running motorcycle taxis(boda bodas), were burnt to death as they tried to siphon fuel from a truck that had been involved in an accident. That’s a scary amount of people focused entirely on job hunting.
Its very okay to look for a job, the only painful truth we all don’t want to swallow is that there are no jobs to cater for that big number of unemployed youths.
Thankfully, I think there’s another way – which is entrepreneurship.
Though I will focus on that other way another day. I will take this opportunity to explain why you shouldn’t be looking for a job to start with.
1. Your looking for a job you don’t even Like.
Yes, very many people looking for jobs are out hunting for a good pay day or jobs that suit their hours. If you are one of those people then am most definitely going to tell you authoritatively, you shouldn’t be looking for a job in the first place. Enjoyment or love for what you do should be at the core of your priorities when looking for a job.
To me this is berserk.If you should be looking for a job then putting in hours of your time in a job that doesn’t offer you enjoyment, doesn’t interest you or guarantee you satisfaction is weird. Sad fact is as a society we look at work as a chore that guarantees you a pay check at the end of the month which in its self is pitiful.
Me, I would never do a job that doesn’t interest me or offer enjoyment because with time I would get bored, laziness would creep in slowly and I would never live with doing some thing I don’t enjoy all my life.
2. Jobs Have Changed A lot
A lot has changed in our times. 20-30 years ago you would be guaranteed a job that would last a life time literally.This is myth in modern times since job security is one of the biggest concerns of the employed these days.
So what am I trying to say? Getting yourself a job is just half the struggle. Keeping your job could be as daunting a task as getting it or even harder due to the high competitiveness that characterizes the job market these days. Even merging and outsourcing by companies has made it harder.
In other words, getting the job is now only half the battle. Being able to keep it can be just as difficult, thanks to the heightened competition and the tendency for modern companies to outsource their work. Then it’s also gotten down to who you know rather than how good you are, for instance if your have been working for that promotion for three years and the boss’s niece just graduated you may as well forget the promotion.
So what does that mean? It means that in today’s world you can not look at a job as the holy grail because you can not solely depend on your expertise alone to get forward. Every thing in the cooperate world is very volatile including your job status.
3. That Isn’t the Job Your Studied For
Most of the job seekers are university graduates or people that hold a qualification of any sorts. Its a very normal scene to see people settling for jobs that have no relevance to what they studied in University for years. Don’t allow to be one of those. Studying a particular subject for this long shows some level passion for it, so you owe it to yourself to find a job that relates to this passion. If that is not the case then you’re not alone.
4. You’ve Waited Long Enough
If you are out there looking for a job as I write this, chances are that you have been looking for a job for quite a while now to no avail.
Every single day that goes by looking for a job is added on the list of unsuccessful list of days that have come before this one.This does not only kill your motivation but it also drains your energy wasting your precious time too.
Am not trying to say that how ever much you keep looking you will never find a job, No. All I wanted to highlight is that those days wasted on unsuccessful applications and interviews are gone and will never be recovered
Of course, that’s not to say that you wont ever find a job, because if you persist for long enough, you probably will. But those days of hunting will forever be lost, wasted on an unsuccessful job application or failed interview.
Its actually advisable to start using this time you’re seated on waiting for that phone to ring or mail to pop in to take action.
5. You Have So Much More to Offer
Perhaps the biggest reason I can give you to stop job hunting, is your potential to offer the world something of real value. I know it sounds corny, but bear with me here.
If the job you end up taking restricts you to inputting data into a computer, or answering a phone, then the world has lost a creative mind. And that’s sad.
You see, we all have something to offer. Our thoughts, ideas, inventions and opinions can quite literally shape the world around us, and with the Internet now more accessible than ever, denying yourself the chance to express that potential is almost criminal.
Jaluum Herberts is the C.E.O of Flash Point, an East African Information Technology Consultancy firm. He is also a co-founder at YOUNG TREPS, a global forum that focuses on helping the youth on their entrepreneurial voyage from brilliant ideas and start ups to financially profitable and prosperous companies.
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