Each year, millions of young people enter a global labour market that has fewer jobs to offer as time goes by. This highly competitive environment, therefore, requires that you take necessary steps to ensure that you have an upper hand. That you create your employment opportunities yourself. Here are seven tips on how:
1. Entrepreneurship - it's far more possible to become a successful entrepreneur than most people realize. How? Identify and build the skills needed to start, manage and operate your own business, no matter how small. Look for viable markets for your ideas. Also, you should look out for programs specifically created to support budding entrepreneurs, e.g. the $100 million project by the Tony Elumelu Foundation which aims to initiate 10,000 start-ups, creating 1 million jobs and generate a $10 billion annual revenue for Africa in the near future. We shall be writing a good deal more on this in a later post.
2. Seek proper career guidance - Seek guidance in identifying your strengths and weaknesses from well meaning friends and elders. If you have access to professional guidance counseling even better. Young people who have been made to recognize their core skills at an early enough stage are more likely to have a better sense of direction when choosing career paths. Whether in deciding on an entrepreneurship initiative to embark on or on choosing a career path, proper guidance and counseling is invaluable.
3. Internships- find organisations and companies willing to take on interns. Not so far fetched. Many companies would want to benefit from free labour! Get a friend or relative to help support your logistic costs as you offer the free labour. Completing an internship gives you an edge over your counterparts who haven't. An Internships will give you a good career foundation especially when reinforced by proper training and supervision. Good reviews and recommendations form the managers in the company would boost your employment opportunities.
4. Apprenticeships - similar with internships above, apprenticeships provide even greater opportunities for improving your skills in a given area, especially the area in which you wish to be gainfully employed. A good reference at the end of the period increases your chances of employment in your area of choice. An increase in apprenticeship opportunities will ensure the development of a skilled workforce and also improve the incentives to find work.
5. Volunteer full time or part time with companies where you can garner the kind of experience that you need. In that vital section of a job application where experience is often requested, volunteer periods add up.
6. Invest in further education to boost your skills and qualifications - this not only increases your chances of getting hired, it increases your earnings potential and generally allows you gain expertise and depth in what you do. You could further your education by getting a second degree or a post-graduate qualification, taking online courses, etc.
7. Mobilize others to join you in lobbying Governments for grant employment subsidies and employment tax cuts to businesses and organisations that employ more workers as a way of increasing the demand for labour. Governments could also employ a mix of both fiscal and monetary policies that will stimulate both aggregate demand and supply in order to raise employment growth. For example, aggregate demand can be increased using expansionary fiscal policies involving tax cuts.
Which of these ideas would work for you? Begin today. A journey of a thousand miles starts with a first step.