While unemployment is high in South Africa – a fourth of the workforce is jobless – there are steps you can take today to not only prevent unemployment in the future, but also to improve the job you currently have.
Employees who make an effort to connect with those around them are more likely to enjoy their jobs and building connections with your colleagues and boss can serve you well in the future. If things don’t work out at a particular job, you can ask your colleague friends that moved on to other workplaces to put in a good word for you. Maybe one starts their own company and hires you, you never know.
This article on unemployment in SA states that one of the main problems that the South African employer faces is that there are too few people qualified for the work that they can offer. Skills-shortages are a major problem, not to mention the lack of basic education. To avoid being unemployable because of your skills or lack thereof, make a point of staying up-to-date with what’s happening in your field and look for ways in which you can better yourself. Taking short courses online or doing workshops can give you the edge over another prospective candidate. It doesn’t even have to be directly related to the job you are doing. Employers like it when people know what they are talking about in their field, but also put great value on people who seem flexible and are willing to broaden their horizons.
Caleb Wojcik puts emphasis on skills and gives advice on how to acquire new ones. He recommends picking a skill that you will enjoy and that you can make money out of. It doesn’t have to have anything to do with your current employment. If you develop a passion for the new skill it can open doors for you and lead you down a new path. If the field you are currently in begins to suffer employment losses, you have something to fall back on. When you go for your next job interview, you might have more choices or have more to talk about and show that you are a well-rounded and versatile person.
Another thing: don’t fall into the trap of thinking that no job is better than working for a low income. Being proud is a natural defence and perhaps necessary to keep us from being exploited, but gaps in someone’s employment history doesn’t look too good. Furthermore, if you start at the bottom, you can learn new skills while working your way up, making yourself more attractive as an employee as a result. It also helps you stay on your feet, even if you are just making ends meet for a while. When people aren’t employed, they suffer financially and some slip so far that their living conditions and appearance makes them almost unemployable.