My dear Jack, I’d say take the job. It’s not the dream job you want but it’s advisable to take it. You’ve got to start somewhere. The longer it takes to start your first job the more difficult things become. Besides, you can’t have a huge gap on your CV. Employers count that negatively. No one will tell you but that’s the truth. You’ll be queried about it at your job interview. The interviewer sees that gap as attitude to work, something like, What were you doing all this while, you mean you just stayed at home?! It’s the picture of a young man who wakes up in the morning purposeless and aimless. While others are at work he’s turning on his bed like a door on a hinge. Everyone starts somewhere, usually in a disadvantaged position. The people that are successful today… chances are they started very low.
There are things we do with strategic intent in life. This is one of them. You’re obviously not taking on this job for the salary. The pay is low as you indicated. You’re taking it to get into the formal sector. It’s easier to apply for another job from there. But there’s another strategic intent. You take the job to have an opportunity to demonstrate faithfulness. When you demonstrate faithfulness on your job you create referees for yourself. They will attest to your industry when you need reference. And sometimes the opportunity you need will open up right in that low paying job. Someone somewhere who sees the way you go about things will recommend you for elevation. But if you don’t take that job you have no opportunity to demonstrate your capabilities within the organised sector. You don’t have workplace experience. The secret is to despise the shame. You must ignore your present circumstances because you have a vision and going somewhere. To go somewhere you start somewhere.
If you’re proud you’ll be hungry. You can’t be too proud to work. If you want respect as a man you have to work. What you do is that while you’re on that job you look for opportunities to build up your capabilities. Some places of work will send you on training. If they won’t save money and send yourself for certificate courses. It may be as basic as a proficiency course in IT. The whole point is not to settle at the bottom but to keep pushing forward. The whole point is dissatisfaction. If you dare settle down into that low level job you’re done for. Your career will crater. You must be dissatisfied. You must want more.
There’s something about life. Somehow the diligent, hardworking and faithful wake up one day and find themselves in a better place. So push against limitations. Don’t settle down in an uncomfortable place. If you keep sitting at home there will be a time lapse on your ambition. Some things are easier at a certain age. It’s better to be a struggling young man than to be an underachieving adult. There are too many stories about people who started with practically nothing but today are successful. You have to have a vision of your testimonial. It’s why you pour your life into whatever you do.
The other reason you need to take that job is because you have a girlfriend waiting. You have a space of time to put your act together. If you don’t actively work towards that you’ll lose her. Whether we like it or not relationships are guided by market forces. Think about that. If you want her to stay you need to give her a vision she can be loyal to. She must have a vison of the future. If you don’t strive… If you have no vision, don’t blame her for wanting to leave. There’s a place for effort in every relationship. You must put in the effort. Even in marriage you need effort. Wonderful marriages are not automatic. There’s a place for effort.
You have to strive as a young man, be seen to strive. That girl is going to take you home to her dad. She needs to convince her dad to put faith in you. You’ve got to give her something to work with. As it is, it’s going to be hard for her to go to her dad and say she wants to marry you. When her father asks about what you do what’s she going to say? Jobless? Be fair to her. Besides, she needs to be proud of you in family circles. She has cousins and aunties and uncles. Everyone respects the fact a young man has to start somewhere. What they won’t respect is a young man just sitting at home saying he’s waiting for a job. It will be easier for her to approach an uncle to help you get a better job if you’re already doing something. Harder when you’re not into anything. The uncle can’t risk his reputation on that. Don’t forget for every favour he asks there’s a corresponding debt to pay. Why would he incur equitable debt on a guy who can’t demonstrate he’s going somewhere? “Sir, right now I’m just a junior associate in the firm but very soon I’ll rise to management cadre. I’m taking online courses in management and leadership… I’ll like to take good care of Labake. She’s such a wonderful woman.” That is something any uncle will be pleased to hear. He’ll become your champion if her father hesitates. People don’t stake claims on horses without winning prospect.
Take the job, prove yourself, improve yourself, be hopeful, watch out, use your brain… Actively seek opportunities to change your status. And when you take the job seek to impress someone. When you’re corrected take correction. Think of ways of doing things better. Come up with ideas. Prove yourself responsible. Prove yourself trustworthy. Show management where they placed you is not really for you; that you’re just marking time until they get to see your potential. There’s no true promotion without demonstration of faithfulness.
You can’t see the future from where you are. No young man can see that far. How you think you’ll advance in life is not going to be as you imagine.
If you want to change your local government prove yourself. Be diligent at what you do. Become good at what you do. You have to commit to your life. There will be discouragements, there will be despair, there will be those moments when you don’t even know how you’ll ever make it. And there will be moments when everyone seems to zoom past you, moments in which you look at your circumstances and you’re just depressed and discouraged. The key is what is inside you, the vision you see, your commitment to that dream. The dream may be as simple as seeing yourself working in a corner office in a high rise building… It may be seeing yourself attending an international conference… Just know that time will not wait for you. Time will keep going. You can’t waste your youth.
Yes everyone will complain about the state of things in the country but don’t put stock in group complaints. Everyone is striving behind the scene, trying to make their way out. They’re not thinking of you. You just have to keep going. Learn to encourage yourself. Read. The sharper you are the more you stand out for elevation. When you succeed you’ll hear people say they knew you’ll make it!
That you start small doesn’t mean you’ll end small. You have to find your way to the top. No one will find it for you. Everyone is busy finding their way. And quit giving excuses, even if you have a legitimate basis for excuse. It’s okay to talk about essence of enabling environment but how does that really help you?
I hope you get the gist of what I’m saying – the spirit of it.
Your mentor, LA.
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.org.To go somewhere you start somewhere. Click To Tweet That you start small doesn’t mean you’ll end small. You have to find your way to the top. No one will find it for you. Click To Tweet Yes everyone will complain about the state of things in the country but don’t put stock in group complaints. Everyone is striving behind the scene, trying to make their way out. They’re not thinking of you. You just have to keep going. Click To Tweet There’s no true promotion without demonstration of faithfulness. Click To Tweet You can’t see the future from where you are. No young man can see that far. How you think you’ll advance in life is not going to be as you imagine. Click To Tweet