Betty Namagembe is a cosmetics shop attendant at a mall in downtown Kampala. Although the job pays enough for her to cover some of her basic bills, it is not what she envisioned himself doing when she graduated from university with a bachelor’s degree a year ago.
She says the only reason she still works at the shop is that every interview she has gone to in the last one year has not yielded any results and yet bills must be paid. She hates the job but cannot leave, well not until she can get another one.
Raphael is a cashier at a returant in Wakiso, a job he has had for close to seven months now. Even though he has a degree in Education, he has not been able to find a well paying position of his taste in that line of work.
Much like Namaganda, his financial responsibilities can’t wait and so he settled for the job at the resturant.
Fred Gituku, a human resource practitioner says difficult financial situations bring most people considerable mental distress.
He says it is, therefore, not unusual to find those experiencing dire financial problems taking desperate measures to escape their discomfort, including taking up jobs they would otherwise not prefer.
“A successful flight from a difficult financial situation is typically a long haul that requires patience, the willingness to face austerity and, on occasion, set aside one’s pride at least in the short-term,” he says.
Gituku notes that finding a job whether you hate it or not is a good move because without one, the severity of one’s financial situation would be compounded.
In a perfect world, all people would have jobs that immaculately fit the mould of their preferences, enjoying every desired experience and reward, but this is hardly the case in life. Some people are, however, closer to their desired career aspirations than others.
“The farther you are from your aspirations, the greater the sacrifice is required in your quest for progress. What price are you prepared to pay to flee your current situation?” Gituku asks.
He says the world is replete with stories of successful individuals who trace back their careers to humble and uncertain beginnings. Although it matters where you start your career, it matters more whether and how you start.
Career launch pad
It is important to look at that job that you loathe as a potential career launch pad.
Have you considered how your attitude might inform your impact and career advancement at work? How you might alter your career trajectory by becoming the most enthusiastic and hardworking shop attendant in town?
Gituku says there are plenty of online literature and books on how to effectively manage personal finances that one could benefit from besides consulting a competent personal financial advisor.
While the job you have found may help with the resolution of your financial situation at the moment,
consider also how it might be an opportunity that you could, in the short-term, exploit not merely to settle your debt but in the interest of career aspirations.
“Would you discern an opportunity for future career progress if it arrived clothed as a cosmetics shop attendant?
Adapted from Daily Nation