There you’re. A hat. A gown. A suit. A smile. New shoes. A parent. Two parents. A relative. A caretaker. A sister. A brother. Sweat. Food. Party. Relief. Finally, there you’re. A graduate. After three years. Four years. Five years. A retake. Two retakes. An ass of a lecturer. A strike. Another strike. Lecturers’ strike. A rolex in Kikoni. A hostel room. A shuttle. Campus nights. Worship nights. A drink-up. Bond 7. Can I borrow your kettle? The canteen lady. I will pay you next week. Mary Stuart. Livingstone. Olympia Hostel. We-we! A girlfriend. A boyfriend. A crush. Brokeness. Long walks to Complex. Come to Room 12, Second Floor. Do you have an ID? Sign in the book. Tests. Exams. Supervisors. Course works. Printing. Wandegeya. It’s all history now.
Now, I don’t want to bore you with cliché life lessons. Welcome to the deep end of this pool. The trick is, you simply need to stay afloat. How? Don’t breathe. This pool doesn’t give a horse’s manure about the kind of degree you hold, you simply need to stay floating, and avoid sinking with your papers and getting them soaked.
Be creative as you look for jobs. There are thousands of folks (with better degrees) who’re also looking for the same job. If they are using entrance A, use entrance C. Use social media to show the world what you can do. This is the best platform. Many people despise this place (I find it laughable), but this is the best platform to sell yourself. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an Engineer or you look after sick butterflies, use this place. All (most) employers are here.
Don’t despise jobs. My first job was to teach pupils. I was a primary school teacher. A science/English teacher at a school in the bowels of Mukono. To reach the school, I had to sit in a taxi (with 100000 people and goats). Then I would walk in class with a smile on my face and dust on my shoes. My students would raise on their feet and greet me, in unison, and that would fill my heart with joy. I’m not gonna tell you how much I earned, because teachers have never earned a decent salary in this country. But I lived. I worked. I earned. I learnt.
I haven’t made it in life yet, but I’m no longer a teacher (if you want to know). So, go and do that ‘small’ job. Do you have a talent? Earn from it. It’s hard, I know. But have you tried? The world has changed. Do you draw? Sing? Write? Act? Turn that into a business.
Jobs are there if you were born by the right parents. But if you weren’t, sadly, it might be hard for you to easily find employment. But, does that mean you should give up? No. So, keep pushing. Pray to your God. Identify what you want to do at an early stage and let everything you do rotate around it. This helps a lot. Because, eventually, as years tick by, you will be an authority in that area.
After landing a job (no matter how small it is), learn to speak the language of saving. Save some money off your meagre salary. Don’t rush life. Don’t be harried to achieve certain materialistic things. Don’t live to impress the world. There’s always someone richer than you, more good-looking than you, more educated than you. Keep calm and live within your means. Cut out negative people in your life. Make sensible friendships. The friends you keep, usually, determine the kind of life you’ll live. Respect people. Read a book if you can. Avoid smoking. Drink less alcohol. Abstain (lol).
There’s no manual to making money. Always know that. Sometimes, airconditioned offices and suits and ties and titles don’t reflect how much you take home. Don’t soil your pants trying to get there. Oh, have you thought about farming (if you’re lucky to have land at home)? It’s a dirty job, I know. But money isn’t dirty, is it? Think about it. If it’s not your thing, don’t push it. You will fail (you need to love it to succeed). There’s no box, but pretend it’s there and think outside it.
Keep your phone on.