OVERCOMING UNEMPLOYMENT AHEAD OF GRADUATION IN NIGERIA
My passionate letter to all Nigerian Undergraduates: this article will save you from a future of pain and financial mess!
(Excerpts from my yet-to-be-published book with the same title)
By: ADEBIYI Mathew (MathDaGreatX10)
What is unemployment?
Unemployment is a very negative word. I hate it! It is not a good state for any human being to be in. ‘unemployed’ is a very bad description for anyone and your goal should be never to be addressed by the word. Unemployment is a state in which something is not being used, utilized or employed. Unemployment is a state of joblessness, a period of time or a situation in which someone or something is not engaged in any gainful activity or work. People, things or resources are unemployed when they are not put into any productive use. Human beings are unemployed when they are involuntarily out of work. In economics, unemployment is defined as a situation in which people who are willing and capable but are unable to find suitable paid employment. The international labour organization (ILO) defines the unemployed as the number of the economically active population who are without work but are available for and are seeking work.
Unemployment is a very serious social evil. From all its indications and connotations, unemployment never signals anything positive – it is always negative and always used in very negative sense. Part of my goal in this article is to get you to hate unemployment with passion and make up your mind that you won’t ever have anything to do with that word
My father in the Lord, pastor and mentor, Rev. Olusola Areogun would always tell me; don’t ever say “I am doing nothing”. Let there be no time in which you are doing nothing. You should always identify what you are doing at every point in time. You may be sleeping, resting, watching movies, relaxing, etc., but never say, “I am doing nothing”. That statement has a way of subtly and silently damaging vital abilities inside you and you must always avoid it. Besides, there is actually no time in which you are doing nothing in the real sense – you are always doing something but whether what you are doing is productive, or right for the occasion and time is another matter entirely.
In a moment, let me quickly debunk the unemployment myth for you. Don’t let anybody tell you that they are not able to get jobs because there are no jobs. The truth is that there are actually a lot of jobs out there. There are many job positions in various organization which are yet to be filled because these organizations are yet to find the right persons for the positions. As a matter of fact, I get worried when I see people talking about unemployment as if it is a big deal. Sadly, unemployment has become so glorified that our society itself has become very blind to what brought unemployment about in the first place. Now, we have left the source of the problem while expending heavy resources and energy trying to deal with the effect and the symptom of the actual problem.
How did unemployment come about? Why do people end up unemployed? In my opinion, jobless or unemployed people are those who simply have nothing to offer their world, and so need to be ‘employed’ (or given something to do) by those who does. That’s my definition of unemployment! However in the real sense, and to be honest with you, there is actually no one who has nothing to offer his world (I may not be able to expatiate that for you right now – it will be a discussion for another day). Therefore, I will like to rephrase my definition of unemployment thus: Unemployment is a condition in which a man (in a generic sense) finds himself when he fails to discover and define what he has to offer his world, develop (learn, acquire skills, study, get education) in the direction of his discovery, and deploy his natural abilities and other available resources in delivering that which his world needs but resides in him.
The statement I just gave you above is very packed with loads of information such that I can’t begin to open up all of it for you right now, however I will try to give you as much explanation as possible. The condition I tried describing for you above is a very terrible condition you don’t want to be in, and there are so many things that contribute to a person ending up in that condition. When you find especially a graduate of a higher institution say, “I can’t get a job”, “I am unemployed”, “I am looking for a job”, etc., there are many forces that have worked on such a person to put him in that state. Let me stop here to tell you something very significant: There is a big difference between being jobless/unemployed and not being hired – the two are not the same. Most time when people talk about them being unemployed, what they are actually saying is, “Nobody is hiring me”. The mere fact that you have not been hired yet does not mean you have to be jobless or unemployed. If you don’t understand the definition of unemployment I gave above, it will be understandable why no one would want to hire you. Companies, organizations and corporations prefer to hire those who have something to offer – simple! They only consider the rest of the people when it seems they are no longer able to get those who have something to offer, really. So, what is my prescription for overcoming unemployment or joblessness? You will find the answer in the definition of unemployment I gave earlier – discover, define, develop, deploy and deliver. These five D’s are the strongest antidote to unemployment for an individual on a personal level. It doesn’t matter what the government decides to do or not do: it doesn’t matter whether new jobs are created or companies are downsizing, it doesn’t matter whether there is an economic crisis or there is inflation, if anybody obeys the law of the five D’s, he can never be unemployed, even if the entire world becomes swallowed up by unemployment.
In any case, there is a way the law of the five D’s translates into a blueprint of practical solution for societies and nations but that aspect of the equation is not my focus in this piece. Besides, if every individual understand this solution and apply it in their personal lives, the entire nation will soon begin to feel the accumulated effect of the individual’s strong mental and spiritual productivity.
Next, let me break the five-D principle down for you as follows:
It has been often said that discovery is the mother of inventions. I will like to add that discovery is the mother of creations and creativity. Discovery is the mother of solutions. Until a man discovers himself, he is actually yet to start living. Real existence begins with the realization of why you exist. Self-discovery is not something pretty easy especially if you were brought up by parents who did not discover who you are and you are left alone to sort it out as an adult. Some people never even get to find out why they came; they lived and died without ever finding their purpose of existence. Once you achieve self-discovery, it will automatically answer so many questions for you. It is often said that if the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable. In the same vein, if you don’t find out the reason and the purpose of your existence, you will abuse your life. If you do not know who you are, misbehavior will be a constant companion. It is highly important that you discover yourself. So the question is how do you discover yourself? Well, there are so many thing things that go into the process of a person discovering himself. However because I am constrained by space in this publication, I will highlight a few points.
The first step towards a correct discovery of who you truly are is to come into a sound and healthy relationship with God, and this can only be achievable when you become born-again by accepting Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Saviour (John 14:6, John 3:16). The explanation for this is very simple; the only person that can tell you the purpose of something is the one who created that thing. If you must get the correct information about what you are supposed to be in this world, you must go to God. You really have no other alternative for getting that information, except you want to claim God didn’t create you. If you seek the information any other way, you can’t be sure of its genuineness. A number of examples where God gave direct information about people’s destiny can be found in Jeremiah 1:4-5, Matthew 1:20, Luke 1:13-17, Acts 9:10-15, Judges 13:2-5, and so on. So, the communication of information to people about their destiny is real. Go for it, it is the surest way to know why you came.
The next step to self-discovery is that you should begin to watch yourself and let people who are close to you also help in watching for your areas of strengths, natural abilities and giftedness, talents, skills, uniqueness, etc. It is your sole responsibility to find out these things about yourself but it makes the job easier when you have people that can help you keep a watch on yourself and to start documenting those things.
Depending on how much effort you put into the study, you will find some really amazing discovery about yourself. You will find out things you can do better than others. You will discover your strengths and weaknesses, you will get to know your uniqueness and your areas of advantage in life. After you have taken time to study the trend of things and events in your life, you should begin to give certain definitions to your life; you should begin to write down clearly your goals in life, you should begin to write your visions for life, not just for the purpose of writing but the things you are writing down must become practical driving forces of your life. That is how to give a definition to your life. At this point, you begin to have an idea what your future is supposed to look like and this knowledge will begin to influence almost every other thing in your life, especially your decisions and choices. It is actually very crucial that a person gets to this point early in life as it ensures that you don’t make too many mistakes before you actually start getting actively involved in taking decisions and making choices.
The next thing you need to begin to do is to start developing yourself in the direction of your dreams, goals and visions in life. For instance, if you have come up with a goal in life to become a senator, then you should begin to find out what do you need to start doing and start learning to not just become a senator, but to be an exceptional one. There are times that you already have natural talents and giftedness in the area of your dreams in life; for instance, if you want to become a footballer and you are already a talented footballer, there is every tendency to think talent is all you need. Your talents and giftedness are just like raw materials required for success but must be processed or they will end up being of no benefit to you. An untrained and undeveloped natural talent will actually make you end up as a mediocre in life. This explains why so many gifted and talented people are failures in the world today. Your talents and natural abilities must be trained and developed in the direction of what you want to become in life; keep training and developing yourself until talents and natural gifts become skills. One of your goals in life should be to become a highly developed person – go the extra mile in developing your mind at a rate which most people will consider, “too much”. Regularly I see people putting on their CVs and resumes, career objectives that they have not been developing themselves for, but was simply copied from somewhere, and this is pathetic. If you follow these steps, you will end up becoming a kind of human being that will not be looking for jobs but jobs will be looking for you. I encourage you to pursue spiritual, educational, professional and financial development, personally. Nothing stops you from going for trainings and have different professional certifications ahead of graduation.
In achieving the goal of personal and professional development, you will need to deploy certain resources and it is your sole responsibility to recognize and take advantage of those resources. Your eye (not necessarily your physical eyeball) must be trained to locate resources that must be deployed in the quest of achieving your goals and dreams in life. There are many people with great dreams which are not happening because they do not know how to deploy the correct resources in the direction of becoming their dreams.
These resources can range from anything to anything. For instance, time is a very crucial resource that you must learn how to deploy, opportunities is another. You must constantly train yourself to spot opportunities and take advantage of them. Another very critical resource that you cannot afford to ignore is information. Information is the blood on which life runs in this century. Without access to the right information, you’re logically dead and so are your dreams, at least, until when next you are able to access the right information that your life needs to move away from that zone of death. Very sadly, you might find an undergraduate who will come across this article and see the title, “Overcoming unemployment ahead of graduation”, but will not think it is something for him to read. Such a person is already wasting a critical resource which he should have deployed fast, because the information that will actually lead you to the future you so much desire can be hidden in the middle of this kind of write-up, but since he ignores it, he misses it. Look for books that talks something about the future you have in mind or are written by those who have become something at least similar to what you dream of becoming. Don’t be lazy, hunt for resources and deploy them. Until you learn how to recognize and deploy resources like these, your destiny cannot happen although it be great.
At this point in your lifetime, it is time to begin to use the mental and spiritual developments you have achieved to bless your world by looking for problems to solve with your skills, talent and abilities. Someone once said, “Don’t keep thinking about or keep expecting what your country will do for you, start thinking of what you can do for your country”. Look for opportunities to make use of your abilities to solve real-life, practical problems – even when payment is not involved. Don’t make it your goal in life to work for money – it is a wrong position of the mind. Work to solve problems. The world is actually looking for problem solvers. Businesses and corporation have great problems which they are yet to find solutions to, and they are constantly looking for people who can solve those problems. All you need to do is focus on your personal development and actually come to a place in life where organizations will be literarily begging you to work for them. I know quite a number of people like that. The employer consider him so much important and valuable that he is going to get a heart-attack at the thought of him leaving or resigning. Look for opportunities to volunteer with various organizations, it opens you up for people to discover your value.
There are so many things I would like to say to you but I am constrained by time and space. Hopefully you and I will get to meet someday so I can tell you more! Or perhaps you might just come across some of my books anytime, they will change your life and experience if you read any of them. So for now I want to leave you with one of my greatest statements which is actually one of my favourites: “A great life and a good future doesn’t just appear, it is earned and achieved by doing something serious and productive with your time and life.” Make up your mind and decide to take a definite action based what you have read today.
I believe in your future and I am sure someday, the world will hear about you for your positive achievements. Become something worthwhile and be it on time. Let me know if you have any questions or comments. See you at the top!
Your partner in success,
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