Why Lie to Yourself?

I got another call this morning asking if I could ask 2 (or 3) young people who are skilled in the art of using spreadsheets and database tools to show up for immediate employment. After thinking through the entire list of people who’ve told me they needed jobs and finding none who could meet the need, I turned to my brother and said, “you know how these things go, there are jobs but there are just no adequately skilled people.” It’s not that there are no 3 people who can do what I was asked to get human solutions for, but they are all employed and this project wants to empower unemployed people. Not just people who could open spreadsheets, but those who can work with the – same with database tools.Let’s not deceive ourselves, anyone who has skills will get himself (or herself) a job – especially if those skills are critical to daily job processes. So, why do we have so many unemployed people who still lay claim to critical skills? My innocent opinion is that the number of decent jobs available are limited, but the few once-in-a-while available jobs often find ready applicants who can fit the profile.

Let’s not lie to ourselves, no one is going to leave his/her job so that a nephew or niece who’s just graduated can take the place. There are jobs, even though limited. But the reason I will always argue that there are always jobs but no skills is simply because even if there is no ready employment opening, skilled young people can always create jobs rather than keep dusting their resumes for some job that will become available because another person is creating new jobs, or because someone else retired or resigned. It is self-deceit that allows us to wallow in the pool of self-pity and say, “there are no jobs in Nigeria”! How about you creating one for yourself, at least. We have so many problems in the world today that need solutions, those are job openings. People love to talk or have people do their duties for them, now those are two industries – communication and outsourcing respectively.

We need a fundamental shift in mindset that will make each graduate of our secondary (high) schools and tertiary institutions begin to think as job creators — hence, preparing themselves towards the same — instead of getting busy with resumes and bombarding uncles and aunties with the “I’m through with my service” calls. This may sound quite tough but its the truth… Africa needs millions of jobs created annually, but do we sit idle expecting governments — that are busy thinking of how to retain power with their political parties — to create those jobs? Nah! We are the ones who will create the jobs for ourselves. What do you love? What can you do? Where do your 3 things meet — passion, skills and economic value! My guess is that if you’re passionate about something, have the skills to get down to solving related problems and can earn economic value for that, you’re a potential multinational!

So, let’s get practical here. Is there anyone you know (or maybe yourself) who is described below:

  • Has good human relations
  • Loves to speak and travel (and can speak well)
  • Can manage a busy executive’s schedule (or many executives)
  • Is good at events’ management
  • Is committed to the empowerment of Nigerian youth
  • Has, or can easily develop, contacts in Nigerian tertiary institutions
  • Has some sense of business management

If that young man or lady is still unemployed, and is scared of starting off right away, then let him/her get in touch and we’ll work together on what will in a few years become celebrated beyond this page.

Why lie to yourself? Show me what you have and I will tell you if you will stay on the employment market beyond one day. What can you do? If no one is willing to acknowledge it with a pay cheque, then its time to think of waking up the entrepreneur in you. Why lie to yourself that your dream job is on the way, who will create it for you? If we don’t quit the lies, we may end up in the crowd…

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