Being a job seeker in South Africa today is not for the fragile or sleepy. An unemployed person must be alert, energetic, determined and intentional when seeking work.
Today, South Africa’s economic outlook seems hopeless and it would be easy for us to throw our hands in the air and say, “Well, there are no jobs and nothing will change for me!” but you would be wrong! This is the land of the great man himself, Nelson Mandela. He said, “Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.”
At GetOn, job seekers have come to the right place for support, guidance, skills building, mentoring and job placement. Stay the path. Be present in your classes.
I started work at 18 years old. A friend’s mum advised me on the eve of my first day of employment: “Candice, look after your job.” I had received an inferior education under the apartheid regime. I am from a poor family from the rural areas of Kwazulu-Natal. I had no networks to depend on and I migrated to Johannesburg at just 17 years old – determined to find work and be self-reliant. I have never forgotten those words.
How do I take care of my job? I show up each morning ready to tackle my work with a positive attitude. I am open to learning new skills and never turn down an opportunity to do more than what is in my job description. I share my knowledge freely and openly. I am punctual, thick-skinned and honest and treat others how I would like to be treated.
I encourage you, especially during Youth Month, to avoid hopelessness. The world and South Africa, especially, are tough environments and with resources becoming increasingly scarce, we have to dig deep to find our own strength and rise! As Madiba also said, “Young people must take it upon themselves to ensure that they receive the highest education possible so that they can represent us well in future as future leaders.”