What is the purpose of my life?

Dear Counsellor,
I graduated from university last year and I still haven’t found what I am interested in doing. I stay with my parents and they are very patient with me, however, I do not think that will last long. I do not see myself working in the field I majored in and nothing seems appealing. For now, I just stay home and do nothing. I need motivation. I need direction. But I do not know how to get it. Are there counsellors for this kind of thing? Am I depressed about something I do not know? How can I change this attitude and get on my feet?
Kami

Dear Kami,

I understand the burden of spending a whole year unemployed despite your efforts to get a job. However, I would like to inform you that, according to recent research, 50 per cent of college graduates are working in jobs that do not even relate to their study areas. In fact, in today’s labour market, employers believe that critical thinking, communication and problem-solving skills are more important than a job candidate’s field of study.  Similarly, today’s labour market doesn’t put much emphasis on the type of degree as long as you have the ability and enthusiasm to excellently perform work tasks. So you don’t have to enslave yourself to that particular undergraduate major that takes direct advantage of your line of education if it can’t lead you to any form of employment. Take advantage of the available job opportunities to climb the money-making ladder that will lead you straight to success.  
Secondly, there is no age limit for leaving your parents’ home. The truth is ‘leave at the right time’ but the concept of ‘right time’ depends on a series of factors ranging from financial independence, convenience, external security, emotional attachment with parents plus your own belief. Being independent is a very challenging phase as we grow but sometimes we need to test our ability to stand with one’s feet. It’ll keep you grounded and in touch with reality, embracing life and the challenges that come with maturity. Although research has it that, ‘staying longer at home provides social connections and family unit support’, it certainly has that unintended consequence of diminished independent thinking and decision making. You’ll feel more secure and self-governing when the time comes to begin a separate life more physically distant from parents. 
Therefore, take your time to plan your exit from the nest while sure of your financial security, through getting a reliable job. Consider spending quality time updating your resume to appear complete. This is your selling tool which describes your abilities and portrays the potential skills you want to offer to the new position. Establish a network of reliable friends heading to different institutions, and update your LinkedIn profile to increase connections. Dress professionally in case of an interview that you may be called for. Treat your search as a full-time exercise by increasing your exposure to develop personal relationships and connections with people in the field you want to be, and go to conventions, conferences and career fairs to make more connections.  
Building your own brand is a critical step towards getting a job. Branding yourself can help people understand your values and objectives quickly, regarding who you are and what you want to do. Keep dropping your applications for any career opportunities you come across in the newspapers, Internet, radio or TV. Different recruiters may be impressed by your CV and hire you. It’s also crucial that you find a variety of volunteer opportunities that will teach you different skills and give you a great range of experience. 
Alternatively, you can turn into an entrepreneur and start your own business. Today, fresh graduates are taking aggressive steps towards ensuring their own financial success. You don’t need to be a millionaire, but just a little capital is enough, to begin with. Opening up an advertising or consultancy company won’t require huge amounts of money. You need to begin small and grow big. Apply sound money management principles in your investment plans while putting special attention on the legality, location and marketability of the business. A well-developed plan will allow you to build a solid reserve and create opportunities for your money to grow. 

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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