Psychology as a discipline has ‘forced’ me to appreciate the role that illusions play in human decision making. We often see the ‘wrongfully’ real picture – it appears real but it’s not. My students and clients know that I have this simple test of illusory perception that I use to explain the lie that keeps many of us captive perpetually in the world of employment versus unemployment.
Try the test:
Pull any of your fingers close to the bridge of your nose with your eyes open. How many fingers are you seeing? If you do it well, you must be seeing ‘two’ fingers. Is it real? Nope! Only one finger is what you have there but it appears as two.
That’s illusion in action!
Now, one of the commonest statements in Nigeria (sorry, in the world) is ‘there are no jobs out there’. Thousands of undergraduates and those that are doing their national service live in perpetual fear. The seed of despair has taken roots (sadly) in their minds and they dread a ‘confirmed’ scary future – a future of roaming and wandering in search of jobs that are not lost.
In those days when I was doing my national service, the fear of unemployment was so palpable that those of us that were religious literally ‘walked by faith’. Our slogan was: we are getting set for the Favor Market, not for the Labor Market. That was a statement of fear but that was garnished with what we call faith.
We believe that there are no jobs because of our myopic understanding of what jobs are. And since we have closed the door of our mind to the great opportunities that abound around us, we wallow in self-pity. It is a monumental illusion (an amazing deceit!) to think that we have a job only when a corporate organization scans through our resume and issues us a “Letter of Employment’ after a chain of recruitment rituals that may involve tests and interviews.
What a grand illusion!
Let me challenge the unemployed. It’s cool for organizations to offer us jobs. OK, you’ve thrown your well packaged CV everywhere but nothing comes through. It’s either you aren’t called for interviews at all or they never get back to you as they promised (they may not get back to you). And so your conclusion is straightforward. It’s a national anthem: there are no jobs in the country.
That’s a lie.
You won’t get a job if you’ve made up your mind to go into the labor market as a beggar throwing CVs around and knocking at offices’ doors begging to be offered ‘any job’ available. But if you’re determined to enter as a player, the window of opportunities is wider than you can imagine. You can create jobs for yourself.
You only need to believe in starting small and working towards a big dream.
You won’t get a job if you fail to realize that your writing skills can fetch you money (you only need to ask around how to go about it).
You won’t get a job if you don’t believe that your teaching skill is a money-making asset.
You won’t get a job if you refuse to channel your amazing communication skills towards the world of sales and personal marketing (you don’t need an impressive CV for this).
You won’t get a job if you can’t take advantage of the money-spinning multi-level marketing initiatives that are mushrooming everywhere in the country (try the Organo Gold program for an example, it’s worth the effort).
You won’t get a job if you turn down opportunities to acquire useful computer skills. (Have you tried online businesses like marketing and forex?)
You won’t get a job if after you’ve spent years in the corporate world, you can’t leverage on your experience to start some productive consulting services (no knowledge is a waste).
You won’t get a job if you can’t read, you can’t ask and you can’t invest in knowledge about opportunities that abound around you.
You won’t get a job if you fail to realize that Nigeria is one of the biggest markets in the world where any useful product or service will sell.
I can go on and on and on but I’ll stop at this. One thing is sure, certain and confirmed: saying there are no jobs around in Nigeria is a grand illusion – it’s a lie of an elephantine magnitude.
Please feel free to contact me if you wish.
Talk to you soon.
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