Wednesday, March 16, 2011

You are replaceable!

Yes I mean that exactly; you are replaceable! I read in shock Jay Naiidoo’s column in the Sunday Times recently, titled ‘Cracks are showing’. It was a piece talking about South Africa’s youth being restless too, considering the revolts happening in north Africa and the Middle East.
He states “Fifty-two percent of our population are under the age of 25, and conservative estimates tell us half of them are unemployed.”

Fact is I’m under 25 and one of the few blessed with employment. Not yet permanent but working in the field I studied in, and when my contract ends I will have work experience and skills that come with having a job. Basically I will have increased my employability.

With so many people unemployed it means that should I mess up my current opportunity, someone out there is ready to grab that opportunity. Just like that, my desk can be filled.
This brings me back to the title of my blog: “You are replaceable”.

Simply just waking up, going to work, doing what’s required and leaving at five is just not enough. Going to an interview wearing a dentist’s smile and university qualifications is not enough. We have to constantly up our game. Remember that you are not the only person able to do what you are doing. So continually constantly ask yourself “what do I know today that I did not know yesterday”?

While visiting a friend on a Sunday afternoon, we took a walk to the shops for my weekly dosage of the Sunday papers. She was shocked that I read four different titles. She proudly said, “The last time I bought a newspaper was when I was job hunting. My boyfriend is the Sunday paper reader.”

This statement came from someone with an honours degree in Marketing, and also from someone who is tired of her current job. She wants to get into the fast-paced world of branding.
Fascinated by her statement, I then asked her if she watches the news on TV. She said NO! Grabbing at straws I asked if she listens to talk radio. No!

Now, I am only a journalist with a simple understanding about marketing and my little knowledge of the industry wondered if knowing things going on around her was not an unwritten rule in that profession.

But yet again why was I shocked when this was the same friend who had once asked me “What is Obama?” (Note the what) when I was super excited when Barack Obama won the US elections.

So clearly my friend is book smart but what happens when she has to compete with someone with brains and world knowledge. Since entering the working environment I have realised that my books mean something but not everything. The rest is knowledge that is up to me to acquire. The knowledge is not hidden in a closed-off cave, it’s out there. All it takes is a bit of effort.

Well my learned friend doesn’t even read books, or magazines. Maybe ignorance is the place to be for her but somewhere out there is a hungry marketing student or unemployed person or an unhappy employee, who is book smart, knows what’s going on around them and ready to conquer the world.

Hungry people with skills are around us all the time; people hungry for life, hungry for more and some just straight out hungry for food and shelter. There is always someone ready to take your place. So if you are still holding on to that honours degree from 2005 and thinking that should do the trick, its time you woke up and did more. You are replaceable!

1 comment:

  1. The article is an eye-opener. I trust you had directed your friend to read this article. Good piece.