Both in the past and present times, some professions have always been advocated as the answer. It is true that some jobs require more training and experience than others. It is also true that some jobs carry more responsibility and pay more money. But that doesn’t mean one job is more important than another. Young people have been targets of societal advocacy that stresses the point that: to be successful, you must do a certain job.
Some people are programmed to think that some work is below them and we have those who want to do some type of work but they are afraid of how they would be perceived by others. This type of pressure has led to a lot of young people making immature post-secondary education choices. Why do we have to let an occupation define who a person is? How do we change this mentality in our society?
We should value all types of work and never overlook any individual’s passion and ability to perform a specific task. Failure to recognize the value of how different occupations shape the nature of our living will not foster a progressing nation but will only create a gap in proficiency and a struggling labour force.
It is our responsibility to empower each other to pursue any field of study we prefer during this era of so many choices presenting themselves and again so many insecurities about the labour market. Let us tackle the stigma associated with not being in a profession that requires a degree. Exploring new opportunities such as entrepreneurship training, learning how to trade, real estate or earning a marketable technical certification are some of the options.
Young people should be given a chance to explore new opportunities by considering their strength and weaknesses and the available open doors.
I am writing this during the hardest times of Covid-19 where we are observing an anaemic labour market. The employment fortunes have fallen and the main purpose these days is to be able to put bread on the table. Let’s encourage a holistic view towards the different fields or occupations especially those that have been neglected in the past and everyone should have a sense of pride in their work.
* Saara Meke Amakali is an Industrial Psychology and Sociology graduate. Email her at email@example.com