The subject of employment or unemployment is an area I am very passionate about. I endured a prolonged unemployment and stagnation after GIJ. Life was hard to the extreme; my school mates and friends were doing well; earning big salaries, flaunting it on Facebook while I sat in my mum’s provision shop, selling toffees.
In my desperation, I ventured into sales. I was prospecting for clients on the sunny streets of Sakumono. I knocked on every company’s door to introduce the service I was marketing. Trekking for days without landing a single client became my fate. Per the terms of my engagement, I was to be paid a meagre percentage of all jobs I brought in. So with zero clients for three days non-stop, nobody told me to quit.
From there, I applied for voluntary service in every company you can imagine. Even voluntary service, none of the companies called back. Asem (matter) o.
My break came when an Accra-based dyslexia awareness centre called me for voluntary service. That was my first paid gig after a long PR break. The many doors that opened in my life has been God’s goodness.
I’ll be sharing step by step ideas on how to create or go after that dream job. Free consultancy, my people.
The Reality (Problem Statement)
- The African Development Bank (AfDB) says the continent’s population is 1.2 billion and is projected to more than double by 2050, when it will comprise one-fourth of the world’s population.
- Most professionals in Ghana have the required qualification (first degrees or more), yet some can’t find jobs.
- Those wanting to start their own business either don’t have the right business idea, capital to start, or both.
- Many people feel like they’re talented but don’t know what their talent is or how to unearth it.
- There is a category of the population without the skills to work or the urge to do any meaningful venture.
Read part one here
1. Research and Soul Searching
Whenever something about a service upsets you, it means you have a fair idea of how it’s supposed to be. That is a sure way of identifying what you are good at or interested in. Go for it.
Make a list of possible business ideas based on your skills set, hobby or convenience.
- Online/community manager
- Talk show hosting (radio and TV)
- Music (production, song writing, transcribing, recording, etc)
- Teaching via Skype or in person
- Social media influencer
- Retail business
- Designing (graphics, fashion, interior, web, etc)
- Freelance writing
- Translation (documents and audio files), etc.
Try these new things out and you might find stuff you can do better than anyone else.
2. Converting Social Media Engagements Into Cash
Shatta Wale is a classical example of how being an effective brand can make one stand out, wealthy, etc. He’s mostly on the trends list whenever he releases a track, or speaks his mind on an issue. Shatta has mastered control over his fan base, earning the respect of clients in corporate Ghana. Hate him or not, the guy is big and smart.
It’s good to come to social media to watch what your friends are doing or saying. It is equally beneficial to stay updated on your friends’ latest pictures and celebrity matters. The downside is that this exercise drains your data, energy and doesn’t bring any positive things to your life.
You can get as many gigs as possible if only you can convert the social media following into money and anything. Here’s how:
- With 1k-5k followers, you can start a hype crew to promote local businesses on social media. Instead of the worthless banters, get paid and have fun at the same time.
- Put your thoughts together in 3 slides and send to prospective clients.
- Account profile & followers on all platforms.
- Sample posts across all social media platforms.
- Your reach, conversations on post and engagement.
- Use your Snapchat video skills to start and grow a YouTube channel/vlog.
- Take on a pro bono case or a start-up client to improve your portfolio.
- It’s one thing to have a huge following and another thing to have solution people will pay for.
- Immerse yourself in mastering your art to satisfy clients.
- The more satisfied your clients are, the more likely they are to recommend you to others.
- Join Whoopro to make lots of money posting campaigns online.
3. Virtual shops/E-commerce
With the advent of social media, you don’t necessarily need a shop or office to start selling your wares. Nowadays, you can buy obroni wewu (second-hand clothing) phones, shoes, beads, etc. and have it delivered without having to enter any shop.
This means the rent advance, utility bills for the shop and tax deductions could be channeled into procuring more goods to sell. Do the below to set yourself up in terms of employment:
- Set up an account-Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter (where applicable)
- Get your family, friends, classmates and friends from church to follow your page.
- Post your wares on there and start the engagements.
- Inject free delivery into your service (where applicable)
- Ask your fans to share.
- Do sponsored posts (boosting content to reach a broader and targeted audience).
4. Getting Employment Experience While In School
Enough of the one-month attachment and one-year national service experience we boast of in our CVs. Sorry to burst your bubble but that kind of experience can’t land you any serious job.
- Make a conscious effort to get a four-year practical experience in your field before you complete school. This is doable if you can devote every long vacation, working somewhere. After level 400, you should be clocking your four-year experience.
- Constantly update your LinkedIn profile and post relevant industry news/insight.
- Volunteer with a firm on days you don’t have lectures or at your free time. This gives you consistent experience, keeps you busy and builds your capacity.
- No matter your career path, you can write for a newspaper/magazine, online portal for some cash and experience. You can do reports on fashion, business, automobile, technology, education, health, etc.
Not everyone is tech savvy enough to learn new trends on Google, Quora, Bing, Yahoo, etc. If you are part of the majority who likes to learn new things the old way, then apprenticeship is your saviour.
Whatever you feel like learning, go for it; people may judge you or look down on you for the course you’re picking, but stay focused.
You can possibly start a training program in:
- Hairdressing and styling
- Bread making
- Bead/bracelet/chain making
- Massage therapy
- Pedicure and manicure
- Kenkey preparation
- Shoe/sandal making
NB: From afar, these career paths look unexceptional and underrated. But the truth of the matter is, they run the show now (look at our mothers, fathers in similar trade). I know of a dressmaker who earns more money than many university graduates. All it takes is diligence, hard work and loads of creativity.
So don’t be shy to understudy a professional in any field you desire. Following your desire to get trained won’t deprive you of your degree, beauty or family name. Follow your dream(s); that’s all that counts. Afterwards you can create employment for others as well.
Employment business is no joke. I want you to know that while we have all been “fooling” on social media, others were bettering themselves. We can all play and in fact should all play online but don’t forget to add value to your life.
Let’s meet at the top. Let no one stop you…
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