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Jobless youth have themselves to blame

A job is a job regardless of whether it is white or blue collar.

In Summary

• In the school of life, your academic qualifications can only facilitate your success but are not the primary determinants of the heights you will reach.

• Regardless of whether you have a bachelor or a master’s, you should fold your sleeves and embark on any job that comes your way.

Men advertise their skills.
UNEMPLOYMENT: Men advertise their skills.
Image: REUTERS

Youth unemployment is rampant. That explains why when the opportunity arose to work as census officials, many youth applied. In areas such as Kangemi, there were demonstrations when the youth residing in the area were not selected as census enumerators.

Just recently, the story of Kelvin Ochieng’, a jobless Actuarial Science graduate who scored First Class Honours and now lives in Mathare Slums, was aired on TV. He scored straight As in his final exams in high school and primary school.

If you were a student during Kelvin’s time every teacher would say to you “read hard like Kelvin”. 

 

Some time back I came across the story of Sam Gachini, a taxi driver who is pursuing a PhD. Sam was saying that he was jobless and hopes to work for the government or private sector. The cases of Kelvin and Sam represent the many educated youth who think they are entitled to jobs in big corporations with mouth-watering salaries attached.

We need to shift from the mindset that being employed means to work in a big corporation in a beautiful town. A job is a job regardless of whether it is white or blue collar. Once, the youth graduate they should put their certificates aside and enter the school of life.

In the school of life, your academic qualifications can only facilitate your success but are not the primary determinants of the heights you will reach. Therefore, regardless of whether you have a bachelor or a master’s, you should fold your sleeves and embark on any job that comes your way.

We need to broaden our perspective of what jobs are. Secondly, the youth need to drop that sense of entitlement to specific jobs. Lastly, we need to stop reading to solely get jobs and do so to expand our perspective of life and the challenges it presents.

If you are washing cars, do that job passionately. One satisfied customer will refer another one to you and soon you will have your own company. Apart from being CEO, you will employ others. You are not tied to the course you studied in university or college. If you studied accounting you do not have to go into account-related fields. You can operate that taxi business and use your accounting skills to count your profits and prepare your books of accounts.

If you studied marketing you can roast maize by the roadside and use the marketing skills you acquired to attract customers.

It would also be prudent to look for areas where your skills could be applied. If you have graduated with a bachelor in commerce, for example, why not work your way into being a high school teacher of business and mathematics. The papers are always reporting that our country is in need of more teachers due to the 100 percent transition from primary to secondary school? The youth have to embrace existentialism.

With this in mind then, if you are a youth in Kenya and you are jobless, then you have yourself alone to blame. This culture of reading for the sole purpose of getting a job also needs to stop. If you meet a university student and ask them how many books outside their course texts they have read this month alone, the majority will tell you casually that they have read none. However, they are very much aware of where the next party will be.

 

Majority of students only concern themselves with reading what will be examined. The ones in universities only want to read and get a job. You would think that they own the companies they hope to work in. You would also think that the world is waiting for them to get a degree so it can pause to celebrate them as if they are first ones to graduate.

What happened to reading for merely intellectual growth? Where you pursue a course/degree just to get in touch with new ideas and be exposed to different approaches to life.

We need to broaden our perspective of what jobs are. Secondly, the youth need to drop that sense of entitlement to specific jobs. Lastly, we need to stop reading to solely get jobs and do so to expand our perspective of life and the challenges it presents.

Economist and founder of The Bizconomist Journal. [email protected]