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Opinions of Monday, 4 November 2013

Columnist: Donkor, Felix Kwabena

Innovating out of Crisis-The Dilemma of Today’s Graduate

‘Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit’ Napoleon Hill.

By definition, a generation comprises the individuals at a particular point in history sharing similar social characteristics. These unique characteristics are forged on the anvil of adversity (faced by the generation) at a point in history; and defined by the hands of time. Thus generations are influenced by the intersection of times and seasons. Attempts at capturing the spirit of this generation range from Google’s Generation C-"creation, curation, connection and community" to EasyJet’s ‘The, I can’t wait to go; everyone doing it their way; head first into water, wine or work generation’. However behind these adjectives are the pressing questions facing this generation, for which we have to find answers.
Thus, the mere mention of the Arab Spring or The Occupation Movement betrays an enigma of our time; massive youth unemployment attributed to the global financial crises. In addressing this burning issue we have to appreciate Napoleon Hill’s quote above in light of the fact that ‘Every cloud has a silver lining’. With this in mind we can go ahead to exploit the inherent opportunities afforded by our times;
Keep learning; you can take advantage of free online courses to enhance your knowledge in a field or develop your talent in another field. Search for opportunities to volunteer your services, so as to sharpen your skills and prepare for future prospects. Several non-profit organisations are working on tight budgets and will appreciate your services (eg EMA !).

The contemporary concept of volunteering has its roots in medieval apprenticeship, whereby skilled craftsmen put their wealth of knowledge at the disposal of a novice who would later compensate the teacher by working for some period of time. This experience serves as a bridge between the classroom knowledge and theory with the practical application and skills development of a professional setting. It also helps make informed choices with charting your career path. Thus in Biblical times, Jacob gained invaluable knowledge under the tutelage of Laban and also got crucial start-up capital for his future enterprise.
Take on odd jobs whilst seeking for a career-related position. With this you at least have income source to cater for basic needs, rather than stay at home wondering where the next meal will come from. If you have some business ideas, then your savings can contribute to your future business start-up. Do not be worried that employers might negatively judge you for being occupied with non-career related positions.

In current times where the job market is so competitive you may negotiate for a lower salary to outbid other candidates. If your career field is such that you can consult or free-lance, then do it. Employ social media to inform prospective clients of your present condition, your skills and what you can offer them

Plan and budget well: fiscal discipline is paramount. Your budget aside catering for your essential needs may include investment ideas and ways of cost reduction. You should also consider cutting needless club memberships viz ;fitness centers, DVD rental clubs, and other monthly recurring-cost entertainment.

Stay healthy; ‘All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy...’. We need to be healthy first, before other pursuits are possible. Have a support group like family, friends whom you can play and share your concerns with so has reduce emotional stress, rather than feel like carrying the whole world on your shoulders. Also remember to keep mum’s age-old advice to eat well and sleep well; for no condition is permanent and this phase too shall pass. Next time we shall be laughing over this period!

Finally let us appreciate the fact that challenges are part of life, it up to us to proactively work together in finding solutions to them because; ‘You can't keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can sure keep them from building a nest in your hair!’

References accessed on 10.10.13 accessed on 20.10.13 accessed on 20.10.13

Life Application Study Bible accessed on 20.10.13 accessed on 20.10.13 accessed on 20.10.13 accessed on 20.10.13

Author: Felix Kwabena Donkor 23.10.2013 JEMES