By Pascal Madiri
Zimbabwe is a country with one of the highest unemployment rates and at the same time boasts of the highest literacy rates in Africa. With such a tag of the highest literacy rate one would assume that Zimbabweans would be innovative enough to come up with job creating solutions.
This is however not the case as a huge chunk of the literate and highly educated Zimbos are languishing in abject poverty and are literary doing nothing to save themselves from the ravaging beast of unemployment.
We have laid blame on the government and will continue to do so at our own expense because the current government seems not to be moved just like how net one never moved to the POTRAZ directive of increasing data tariffs.
It is high time Zimbabweans realise that the old formula of go to a good school; get good results you will get a good paying job really is no longer the magic bullet. Just like tiki taka there is need of change of formula.
All what someone needs is a skill. If you have a skill, half the problem is solved, why seat at home and lay all the blame on Mugabe. You are also to blame for the situation that you find yourself in.
Myles Munroe a famous motivational speaker and author of numerous books strongly encourage people to create wealth using their unique talents. People should always develop and refine their expertise in a talent, idea, service or body of knowledge.
When you refine your gift in an area one becomes valuable and people seek you out and pay you. That’s simple logic and that is why you get employed in the first place, those who are employed can testify. And can I get an Amen for that.
I have heard graduates saying where do we start and I get the feeling that’s where a lot of us get hung up but the fact is starting is easy. The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, after all what’s hard is a perfect start, a start that makes money in the first day and a start that is polished and refined and ready to go from the get go.
Let me tell you something real quick. Stop complaining and start acting. Stop waiting for the Government to give you employment because this government doesn’t know how to create one unless maybe you are Simba Chikore, a job will always find you.
The best advice I can give you is get your ass up and go out in the world and sell your skill, talent idea or service. Your first profile will not be right, your first pitch either. Know what else? Your first website will likely be strange and ineffective and your first client experience will probably be bumpy and that is a good thing.
People say that entrepreneurship is hard. It’s challenging for sure but no more than a traditional career path and wait till you hear Bill Gates tell you how he started out and even our own Philip Chiyangwa. The only difference is that traditional career paths are pretty much set up for you; you are primed and trained into a job.
You have been taught to look for a job and your poor parents have told you to look for a job and you see friends applying for jobs and writing resumes and you do the same.
Entreprenuership? Freelancing? Chances are you don’t have those insights and all the government tell you is ZIMASSET which up to now you still struggle to define. I really believe that is why so many people think that going out on their own is relatively difficult and scares the hell out of them.
Don’t get me wrong it is challenging for sure but unlike traditional jobs that most have found less fulfilling and more stressful. Imagine meeting a happy enthusiastic civil servant who will tell you that he or she is happy with their current job, maybe one or two probably the fat cats, (the directors) who are sucking the life out of the parastatals.
One needs to understand that entrepreneurship and freelancing is basically just getting out there doing something and getting feedback so you know the next step to take, is this not easy?
This works because as an independent worker who is shaping your own career path, there are no right steps. They are only actions you take and learn from, and that is the important part.
A lot of us though are coming into this game with our egos already bruised from past experiences and some of us have even heard that you cannot write or design or simply never treated as if your ideas or work that could be successful and worst of all the Zimbabwean economy doesn’t inspire any business confidence.
That is the stuff, which is hardest to get past and your parents voices that keep reminding you to get a job but it is possible, especially if you focus on small steps and victories.
Decide that you will do something small everyday to nature your business; maybe even decide that you will stop something that is slowing you down from the career you want to build. Those are the victories and they add up.
Most importantly though allow yourself to learn. You do not hear it mentioned much, but a huge chunk of the entrepreneurs are always learning to improve their skills, learning their markets and learning about what works and does not work in their line of business.
If you approach your journey as one of learning then you will stop seeing so many mistakes and failures and see more lessons and useful information that will guide you to where you really want as an independent professional.
Just remember that no one, no matter how polished, is perfect. You won’t be either and that is always ok.
The Zimbabwean situation is infested with problems and every business is a solution to a problem. With these many problems I am sure you can come up with many solutions that can get you paid.