We all know the situation here eMzantsi, unemployment is crazy high! 3.3million youth are unemployed. So, what do you do if you are part of this number and want to break into the employment market, but you don’t have experience?
So you have sent out applications and you never get the job? Well you are not alone. The thing most people don’t realise is that sometimes opportunity comes in overalls. We look at a potential opportunity and say… I am so and so, son of so and so… I can’t be seen doing that! I am educated…I can’t do that. And opportunity passes you by because it didn’t come in a suit and it looked like dirty work.
Take every interaction with an organization or company as interview
A few years ago, I got an internship with a government organization. One day we were asked to go out with another organization that was doing a project with grannies, helping them to grow vegetables. We were 5 interns. This was not part of our job description. The other 4 interns decided to ukulova. I made the decision to do learn as much as I can. So that week I was the only intern running around. If they needed a spade, I ran to fetch it. If they needed anything done, I availed myself. I did the work of 5 interns.
My internship came to an end and I was sitting at home wondering what to do. One day I received a call. The leader of the partner organization that we worked with the previous year had another project. He needed energetic, resourceful young people. He had seen me work hard with enthusiasm and now he was interested in my qualifications. He offered me a job that paid me R 16 000 per month. It turns out that week on the field was my interview!
Just because you don’t have a job, it does not mean you don’t grow your competencies? Learn and keep learning! Register for a Business Higher Certificate or a Short Course to develop your skills and build up your qualifications. The more practical skills and qualifications you have, the better!
A lot of organizations have a space for volunteers. This includes the SAPS, clinics, schools, libraries and not to mention NGOs. Volunteering is how you gain experience without having a paying job. If you dedicate yourself and learn all you can, you not only help the community, you help yourself. In all those institutions, if you add value to the institution as a volunteer, it’s almost a guarantee that your name will be at the top of the list when the company or organization is in a position to employ people. If your volunteering does not end in employment, you have a solid reference for your CV.
Having experience is not only attainable through formal employment. Leverage the opportunities around you and use them to open doors for you and build your career.
Author: Kim Elliott
Editor: Thembakazi Yamiso