He gained admission into tertiary institution. He burnt midnight candles in giving his best to his education. He graduates and he meets a reality he was not prepared for. Two, three, four years after graduation, there is no job. He thought by now he would be the one supporting his parents but to his disappointment he still depends on his parents for feeding. He tries to be a man about the situation but he gradually feels the ground giving way under him. He resorts to escapism – alcohol, pornography, drugs and the likes. A dissipating life ensues.
She gains admission into tertiary institution and shortly after that her family is more financially challenged. The thought of dropping out of school not due to academic incompetence but due to finance does not go down well with her. She decides to get what she wants with what she has. A change of lifestyle takes place. She graduates and wishes to stop knowing that such a lifestyle is empty but she meets unemployment. Even in trying to get the job she has applied for, she is told to give herself first before she is appointed. Home videos keep her mind off the present circumstance but power outage forces her mind back to it.
The young man is angry; the young woman is tense.
Those who are employed or who found good jobs soon after school may not understand what goes through the mind of the unemployed. Empathy prompted me to write knowing what unemployment can do to the unemployed.
A good question an unemployed youth should ask is, “What can I do?” I think youths should accept the fact that times have changed. Nigeria’s economy few decades ago is quite different from that of today. A job is not likely waiting for you after graduation as it happened in the time of our fathers. This is not about who is to blame. Acceptance of this fact can align your thoughts and actions in the right direction.
With fewer jobs available and a teeming unemployed population, competition for available jobs is fierce. Expertise is more often demanded. That you are a fresh graduate may be of no concern for employers as experience on the job is mostly required. I once saw a vacancy seeking “Fresh graduate with two years’ experience”. You have the task of seeing to it that you grow your skills. If you have spent one or more years unemployed and in that period you did not grow your skills then you have not helped yourself. If you do not grow your skills, you diminish your chances of getting a job or even becoming self-employed.
Skills can be acquired in voluntary work which may not be far from home. It can also be acquired in service in the Church. People have sharpened their leadership skill serving in the church. Leadership skill is necessary in an employed position. The fact is that in spite of challenges you should grow.
A lot of people tend to discard or underestimate ideas. Our formal education which somehow orients us to seek jobs after graduation hardly encourages us to create jobs. This explains why someone would rather remain unemployed than risk acting on an idea that is capable of creating jobs. You may look back one day and one of your regrets may be that you did not act on an idea. After careful thought on what you can start small, you should meet the right people and ask the right questions. In taking risk do not be reckless. Calculate the risks and decide. Perhaps there is something God has deposited in you that he wants you to grow.
Before Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish to feed 5,000 men, he asked the apostles what they had. It was after the grossly inadequate loaves and fish were presented that he acted on what was brought and a miracle happened. Go to God for blessing with the little you have. It can be your talent or idea. Just don’t go to him empty-handed because he did not create you empty. Before you discard that idea, think it through. By doing nothing you cannot change your circumstance. Doing the same thing again and again expecting a different result is termed foolishness.
To be continued in the next post.