The growing trend of people having more than one job while others have none brings to mind a scripture in the Bible that says ‘those who have more shall be given and those that don’t have, even the little they have will be taken from them’. As a result, I am no longer surprised when I see someone having two or three jobs at the same time while another has none. I recall a time I worked on radio early morning, then a real estate company in the afternoon and anchored news on TV at night. All these jobs I personally sought and worked hard at each of them.
Many are wondering why companies are hiring people who already have jobs, why media houses are taking on people who are already busy with other part time ‘gigs’, why some of the older people are not retiring so that younger ones can take their place. I have interacted with young people and each time one brings up the subject of work they say unfortunately you have to know someone on the inside to get a job. I agree, competition is stiff, but I also know that competition exists in order for the deserving ones to shine; to stand out. I believe the pie is big enough for each deserving person. The catch here is you have to deserve it; you have to earn it.
If you are going to walk into someone’s office looking dirty, hungry, weak and lazy, trust me, nobody will give you a second look. However, if you show up looking smart, smelling nice, smiling well, you might be given audience. The biggest dilemma I think most of the young people face is wanting jobs to find them as they walk on the street snap chatting. You will bump into a university student or graduate and they will barely say hello, let alone tell you what they do. They hardly introduce themselves by fronting what their qualification is or what they can do. On the other hand, try meeting someone who works at a corporate organisation. They will say their name, what they do, how many charity organisations they volunteer with. They will go ahead to talk about the Toastmaster or Rotary Club they belong to and add the fact that they MC events and moderate discussions. They won’t leave without saying they can help with events and every other thing your company could be involved in. It is that simple; most of the people with something want more and you can tell that the second you meet them.
In my opinion, the young people out of employment are not working hard enough to show potential employers what they can do; they have second thoughts about attending a job fair, they will think and rethink before applying for a job. I have told people on several occasions that I have applied for jobs whose requirement is a Master’s degree yet I do not have one. I believe that my experience counts for something and given the chance, I can make a case for myself. At the end of the day, I lose nothing by trying.
My call to young people looking for employment is to grab every opportunity. The other day I met Joshua who was attending a conference courtesy of an NGO he has been volunteering with for two years. I believe that in future when this organisation thinks of employing someone, Joshua will be a very likely candidate. Our young people need to strategically place themselves so that when the arrow of opportunity is shot, it lands on them.
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