If you thought finishing school was tough, try finding a job, especially in Namibia. Perhaps it has always been tough finding employment after varsity, but the margins seem to have increased as it has become close to impossible during this times.
Unemployment remains a burning issue in the Land of the Brave. It has become acceptable for those without education to somehow struggle finding a job. But it is even a bumpy road for thousands who go through practical and theoretical education for over four years just to finish and sit with no job.
The current financial drought makes things even worse with most government vacancies being put on hold. So one can imagine the blur future of young students and graduates when all their hard work of distinctions leads them to nowhere but the comfort of their houses.
As such, the glory days of studying are cut short by the misery of walking office to office and having to make copies of your CV almost every week just to get no response. Not even a call for an interview sometimes.
It is devastating and stressful to think of how 12 years plus another four years all go in vain.
“I have lost count on the number of times I have gone to deliver my credentials for vacancies. Every Friday I used to make sure I had the daily papers to check out vacancies but I have lost hope. You apply and it seems your application does not even make it to the HR table,” said a young graduate Titus Nehoya who has been unemployed for two years now after graduating.
Titus graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and is still looking for a job.
“People at home look at you with the expectation that you have now graduated so you also need to bring something home. People no longer want to help you out financially because they have done so during your varsity day. What is worse is having to now wake up alone at home because everyone has either gone to school or work. You walk to the sitting room and you see your qualification hanging on the wall as you clean the house because that is the only way you can be useful at home. It is very devastating.”
The struggle has a psychological effect on the graduate considering their confidence and questions on self-worth. Nemene Nekwaya has been without a job for three years after graduating with his Science degree majoring in Physics and Geology.
“The first six months are kind of acceptable but as time goes, you become a liability to the family. You can no longer keep up with your peers so you become depressed. You sometimes start to question why you studied that field. What comforts you sometimes is the fact that you are no alone but that too does not make you sleep,” said Namene.
If it is true that education is the greatest equalizer, but how does one use this quote in this sour reality? One can question the relevance of some fields but then where do you place the argument of passion and studying something you love?
At a point, because of the need to earn a living, Namene had to take up a teaching post on a contractual basis. Ever since, he has been on the continuous lookout for a job. “You get to lose hope as time goes. And it is just a matter of time when you decide to take anything that comes. It is for this reason that you find an HR graduate working as a receptionist, he said.
Without waiting for another year, Namene decided to study again. He has now registered the Namibia University of Science and Technology for the course Applied Radiation Science and Technology.
“I have now done a lot of research on this course and I am sure the job market will absorb us when we are done. Other than that, I think it is also important that graduates tap into the space of opening doors for themselves. If you wait, you might keep waiting forever. So try to start something on the side that will generate money like driving a taxi or selling whatever just to keep you going.”
With the economic situation, it is quite difficult to stream out a solution as all sectors that were once seen as potential employers are now just as bleak. Life Skill teacher advises those in the situation to continue having faith as their day is yet to come. The teacher said this before touching on the importance of doing research on the fields of study with an eye on the days after one completes their degree. “Sometimes this things are destined to be way from the beginning.
It is slightly obvious that 500 graduates of accounting will not all get jobs in the country where there are not so many accounting firms. It just can’t be. So while you talk about your passions for a specific career, also think of the availability of that job when you finish,” said Selma David.
“For those in the situation, get yourself busy with something else. Have faith that greater days will come but you also have to do your part. It is unfortunately the reality that jobs are no longer guaranteed,” advised Selma.