Where do Graduates go from here?
So, you’ve completed another exam period and are now eagerly awaiting the results of your efforts. Will you pass Matric or perhaps complete that degree? Whatever your personal circumstances, chances are you will join a group of young South African Graduates and School Leavers that are all faced with the same question: “What do I do with my life now”?
After your return from that family trip or partying with your friends at the coast, most will be left with the sobering realisation in 2016 that they have now joined their peers known as “The Unemployed Youth”. With statistics constantly indicating that Youth Unemployment have reached more than 50% in South Africa, what youngster out there won’t be left with questions to an uncertain future? If you are daring enough and have the emotional and perhaps financial backing of your family, you may decide to start your own small business. One of the most important things to do though before starting your own business is to make a shift in your thought pattern. We have all grown up with the idea that after you matriculate, you either immediately enter a job or study for a professional career you wish to pursue. In today’s economic climate, things have changed. This year many of you completed another chapter in your lives. But before you take your seat behind your PC to start drawing up your CV, log out of Facebook (just for a moment), pause and take a step back. Ask yourself: “What will I be doing after Matric or after I have Graduated”?
It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old; they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams. – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Graduates and School Leavers do have options:
There are various opportunities available to youngsters other than immediately pursuing a career:
- Acquire valuable life skills that will prepare you for the adult world, for example Financial Literacy, Preparing for an Interview, Business Etiquette, etc. are just some of the skills you can freely obtain by just searching for something different on Google.
- Take a break for a year and enroll in a Gap Year Programme. Institutions like Target Life and Jozi Gap Year offers a year programme that will further prepare you for the adult world.
- Consider taking up a job as a volunteer. There are so many needy people in our beautiful country, and charity organisations would be more than happy to acquire your services to assist in their efforts.
- Turn your hobby or passion in life into a micro business. Even if you only manage to make R3,000 a month, you will be well on your way to learn the most valuable concepts in business and what it really takes to be an entrepreneur. No, you won’t walk into a management job and earn R20,000 a month. But it is better than watching TV the whole day or worse still, not taking a breather from the relationship you have with your phone.
- Network, network, and network. Networking is of paramount importance and a source of opportunities that so many tend to forget. Your network could include people you have studied with, friends, etc.
- Don’t think you know it all, because you don’t. So many youngsters finish Matric or University and have an attitude that the world owes them everything. Sure, this may sound candid, but it is important to realise that the right attitude can go a long way. Be humble, learn as much as you can and never be afraid to ask for help. And remember, you don’t know everything and the world doesn’t owe you anything. Be a sponge – absorb everything you can, as fast as you can, whenever you can without expecting something in return!