I always tell youth who are still at the university not to expect white-collar jobs immediately after graduation. I always emphasise to them how I graduated and I was all expectant that I could only sit at home to watch TV thinking that I was going to get a white-collar job soon. I refused to engage in any innovation that could keep me going, until a friend of mine who was working with Plan International called me and told me to go and stay with her in Yumbe, that she would lobby for me a job.
It wasn’t easy because I stayed there for a full month without anything to do. I could just be sleeping in the house and wait for her to come home. Things became hard and she told me to start baking bread and taking to their office for her colleagues to buy as breakfast, but I didn’t perceive it positively. I thought in my heart that she was mocking me.
But, since, I was living under her roof I couldn’t disobey her. So, I started making mandazis and I could sell at their office. In a day I could sell bread of 16,000 shillings and at least life began being easy for me. Luckily from there, anew project came in their organisation, it was called Education Cannot Wait, and I was admitted as a primary school teacher in Agomvususu Primary School, along the Nile in Madi Okollo District.
That was my first salaried job, and it was in a very deep village, where I didn’t even know the language. From there, I didn’t only go to class, but I embraced the idea of being innovative that I had refused at first, when I just graduated from university. I decided to go for vocational training in hair dressing, because to me I didn’t just want to sit home and watch television at the end of the contract, as I was doing before.
Indeed, when our project got affected by Covid-19, I decided to open a saloon with the skills I had acquired. But, according to me, my education wasn’t helping me so much and I felt I needed more knowledge outside my profession. That’s why when I saw the CPAR Uganda advert for mentoring young adults, I decided to apply, because in my heart I knew I needed some more knowledge beyond what I studied at the institution.
So, for youth at school, I advise them not to be like the first version of me who only wanted to watch TV and wait for a white-collar job after graduation. Innovate something that can make your life better. Like right now I am an inspiration to many youth in my neighborhood, although at first they laughed at me that I had studied law and I was again working in a salon.
But, this evening, I was surprised when one woman called me and told me to allow her daughter who’s studying from Kyambogo university to come and work in my salon, after she finishes her course by the end of this month.
2 responses to “Advisory to newly graduated youth – jobs will not find you watching TV”
There is a saying experience is the best teacher. This is good because we all have different mindsets but if we have experience, then we learn a lot.
I appreciate the mindset Dorah has for putting issues of professional qualifications and focusing on doing her own business, it’s a good practice…