In the beginning, it is said that God gave man two options: To eat or not to eat. One would think that the instruction was simple enough to follow and implement. As legend has it, it proved actually so easy to select the option that God wouldn’t rather man selected.
In today’s world we have made very many options available to us in any and every area of our lives. The internet revolution has thrown a spanner in the works and now we potentially have solutions and in equal measure a nightmare in selecting the best solution(s) for anything and everything we need.
We have to shift through hoards of imposters, pretenders and multitudes of legitimate and authentic ‘solution providers’.
I know I am supposed to give people advice on this blog on how easy and fast they can be ‘lucky’ enough to get a job. However, today I am going to break your hearts a bit. Yet hold on. This advice for today could be one of the biggest solutions we can have in the job hunting phases of our lives.
On 14th May 2016, I had a privilege to speak at an event at the Cavendish University Uganda. Located close to the American Embassy in the Suburbs of Kampala, this institution has attracted students from far and wide. I interfaced with students from Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Rwanda and all the way from Nigeria.
My topic of discussion in the Seminar Series dubbed ‘Making A Great First Impression’ was on the correct use of Technology and Social Media. I was also supposed to talk to them about Peer Pressure, something that I declined to do because honestly, University Students are not kids anymore. They are adults who should know what to do at their level and not to be side-tracked by childish issues like peer pressure. But I digress.
What really struck me most was the way that nearly everyone in that institution had narrowed down their ‘next steps’ to one thing: A Job. I mean, of all the options for the next steps in life, a host of these people from all those different countries were all interested in a job.
I told them (coming from the employment and Entrepreneurial world) that ‘there were no jobs!’ That was a shock and a big disappointment to them. I told them that their thinking must change. The same advice I have to repeat it to you here: Your thinking that, “there are many jobs out there” must change. Your thinking that “the only option you have after school is a job” must be altered instantly?
Simple; because that kind of mindset has produced the most ‘unemployable’ generation of all time. Why do organizations the world over find it so difficult to get the right people with the right blend of skills, attitude, aptitude and qualifications for their vacant positions?
The mindset that focuses only on jobs reduces graduates to people who only work on their CVs and job applications. Their major focus is getting a job. To show you how desperate this has gone, you find someone with A Degree walking into an organization asking to be given “any kind of job that is available”.
That mindset should change. We need people who are problem solvers, critical thinkers, people who daily or occasionally find a way of doing things better in an organization. We are not looking for zombies: people to be given instructions every morning and followed up every two hours to find out if they are on track!
But that is exactly what you will become if all you do is work on your CV so that you can get a job. A host of people get their jobs “while on the go”. They do not just sit there and wait for job advertisements. They find problems within their vicinity get proactive and start creating solutions for these problems. As they do, they are actually improving their mental capacity, their critical thinking, their resilience and by extension, the content of their CV.
Ever thought about Entrepreneurship? Did you know that it can create a job for you too? No. You do not need to start a kiosk selling this and that. That is not the complete definition of Entrepreneurship. An entrepreneur is someone who has learnt the art and science of grabbing opportunities in what already exists.
Let me give you an example. A few weeks back, I received two successive calls from would be conmen that wanted to take advantage of me through Mobile Money. Unbeknown to them, I was the one who brought Mobile Money to Uganda and I am so particular about KYC (Know Your Customer) principles.
The following day, I went to the mobile company’s offices and reported the issue, but the customer care rep seemed oblivious of the issue. According to her, these things happen and I should be careful. I thought to myself, this is a massive Telco brand. If one customer gets conned through one of their services, who loses? The Telco! So I thought of a simple way of dealing with the issue: It required the mobile company in question to hire someone (for a specified period of time) to implement my solution.
So supposing you are jobless and you have the above data, how about you walk into an organization armed with the problem as well as the solution and exactly how you seek to implement it. Don’t you think it is better than dropping your CV at the reception?
So instead of spending lots of your time adjusting your CV, ‘tarmarcking/potholling’ (if you are in Kenya), or on ‘Streetology’ (if you are in Uganda), why don’t you put on an entrepreneurial mind and think differently?