In South Africa, it is no secret that the burden of unemployment lies heaviest on the youth, who account for 63.5 percent of the total number of unemployed persons, Stats SA revealed earlier this year. This high rate was irrespective of education level.
The graduate unemployment rate, in particular, was 33.5 percent for those aged 15–24 and 10.2 percent among those aged 25–34.
And this paints a more realistic picture of why local graduates stand at robot corners begging for jobs — as has been seen in South Africa in the past year or two.
This happenes in varsity as well, a graduate never looks forward to a bright future. I mean, every second robot is a graduate with a bord, looking for an entry level position. Structural graduate unemployment is real in South Africa, and it will be for a while— Phemeka Shiluvana (@Phemeka) November 27, 2017
South Africa : The only country where graduates stand by the robots with placards seeking for employment.— Motsamaï Ke Nna™ (@vspazierganger) June 7, 2016
But even for those graduates fortunate enough to gain employment through entry-level jobs, it's not necessarily a walk in the park getting the job and sticking with it, either.
A Twitter user by the name of Zwakele Mthimkhulu recently shared a thread about the realities — many harsh — of entry-level jobs in corporate South Africa. If you've ever been in an entry-level position, you will likely relate.
Here are our top five takeaways from his thread:
1. Your entry-level job probably won't be all that glamorous, if at all
In fact, it may even be a far cry from what you studied for, in an area you never thought you'd work in, let alone live in. "Support duties" may include things you never thought of doing.
1. Your job will not be as glamorous as you imagined. It will be in some dull ass office and it will probably not be what you studied for.— Zwakele Mthimkhulu (@Zwakele_m) June 26, 2018
2. There will be existing politics when you get into the office between some colleagues. Don't pick a side. Sit on the fence and do you.
2. You will make mistakes
That first month or two, you may not even know whether you're coming or going. If you're fortunate to find a job in the field you studied in, you may also quickly realise that you don't know a hell of a lot — at least when it comes to practising that theory you learnt.
3. You will mess up, especially when you are still learning. Nothing wrong with making mistakes.— Zwakele Mthimkhulu (@Zwakele_m) June 26, 2018
4. When you do mess up, let your manager or team leader know. Don't try to fix it using your creative ways lest you make it worse.
3. You won't make as much money as you thought
You may have to park that dream of buying your mum that German machine. Enough to worry about will be how you will afford a starter car of your own.
8. You will not make as much money as you thought you were gonna make in tertiary. Your net salary will humble you (Except maybe for engineers, doctors etc.)— Zwakele Mthimkhulu (@Zwakele_m) June 26, 2018
9. With that being said, don't be a superhero everyday at the canteen. Carry a lunchbox.
4. Someone may take credit for your work, intentionally or not
Because we live with opportunistic people who like to shine at whatever cost. But sometimes, some will take credit for your work without even realising it.
5. Occassionally or often someone else will take credit for your work. It sucks but you just have to live through it.— Zwakele Mthimkhulu (@Zwakele_m) June 26, 2018
6. Your job will bore you. Same old thing everyday. Even worse if it involves making/receiving calls from rude ass clients.
5. You will feel like quitting many times
And you'll find that there'll always be a reason for this — the job itself, colleagues, office politics, personal financial issues — but if you're not sure what your next move is, rather stick it out, at least for a while. It builds character, said Mthimkhulu.
10. Don't shy away from the seeminly hard tasks or challenges. Take them on. If you get stuck, just ask for help. You will learn quicker.— Zwakele Mthimkhulu (@Zwakele_m) June 26, 2018
11. There'll be occasions where you feel like going "Fuck this shit. I quit!". Don't quit because your parents are not millionaires.
7. You must have a thick skin. Oftentimes, there will be a senior colleague who will just make your life a living hell. You will likely encounter racism/sexism. Don't break down and cry. Take it like the strong queen/king you are. It builds character.— Zwakele Mthimkhulu (@Zwakele_m) June 26, 2018