My Story: Unemployment In Ghana


Unemployment sometime makes one wonder if going to school is worth it. Finishing SSS was a story with a happy ending for most people; it was emancipation from terrible headmasters, no-nonsense teachers, SSCE/WAEC. All that mattered was coming home to announce their presence to old folks and under-privileged JHS buddies.

If you pass with distinction by the time your result is released, then Glory be to God in the highest. Even with that, you should pray your institution of choice offers you the course you’re passionate about. If you make D7s and F9s in most subjects,I guess you know the story better than I do. It’s either you find a job, go for remedial class, or stay at home to receive insults from your family.

Back to reality zone. It’s only normal that an SSS graduate gains admission into the university. It’s a cool feeling graduate to finish National Service and be retained by that firm.

Talking about National Service, I’ll share a little observation. A senior colleague at my department told me something that I can hardly categorize. What he said wasn’t a proverb, advice, nor a query. He said, “You May be Talented BUT you are NOT IRREPLACEABLE here. Think about it careful before you kill yourself with work in your first year”. I had no clue how all these words applied to my life. But I thought to myself, “of course he doesn’t want me to lazy about. Does he?” After nine months, service was all over but wahala begun.


Unemployment Realities

Life after National Service was not always rosy like you expect it to be. Sometimes, you are left with no choice than to invest all your savings going for interview. Buying data to search for jobs on will become your best hobby. Other portals include jobberman, joblistghana, Ghanaweb, jobhouse, etc.

Let me try my hands on the job application thing. When reviewing requirements for jobs in the papers or online, I never get frightened I may be disqualified. Rather, I tend to laugh out loud based on my experience. Employers simply use technicalities to disqualify applicants.

Anytime you see a sentence like:
• Candidate should have worked in similar position for at least 3 years (I only have one-year experience).
• Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted (it’s only normal).
• A degree in (fill in the blank) will be an advantage (what should Diploma graduates do?).
• Candidate should live around (fill in the blank). and
• Preferably (fe)male applicants should apply (what should the other gender do?).

‘When it’s coming then it’s doing’…


Unemployment Connections

There is the “Whom You Know” or “Who Knows You” reality that I don’t want to go into just yet. Some qualified applicants are home while some laggards are gainfully employed in key positions. Like I said, let me terminate before I receive a severe bashing from some beneficiaries I know personally.

The hassle of a graduate staying at home during ‘working hours’ is real. It’s far worse than an SSS graduate battling remedial for the forth time. The experience is a real test of your patience and endurance for better things to come. If you are not strong, you may commit suicide or go on voluntary exile.

Family Response to Unemployment

For some time now, I’ve decided to ignore so many people in my neighbourhood. No good mornings, no lengthy talks and it’s all for a good reason. Each time I greet any elderly person in my community, their first response is embarrassing. They go like “what have you been up to lately” or “today you are back from work so early” “I hope all is well”? Don’t even try to be smart by giving answers to satisfy their curiosity or to gain their sympathy. They are playing with your feeling, don’t be fooled.

When people ask you funny questions, tell them you are a Self-employed Business (wo)man or UN Employed. It’s as simply as A. B. C.

But on a more serious note, all is well with your soul even if you don’t believe. Unemployment wont kill you.

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