Unemployment (or joblessness) occurs when people are without work and actively seeking work. The unemployment rate is a measure of the prevalence of unemployment and it is calculated as a percentage by dividing the number of unemployed individuals by all individuals currently in the labor force. Unemployment is often used as a measure of the health of the economy.
In a serious and organized society, the Statistical department of the country should be able to give accurate data to support the level of unemployment rate in the country. Unfortunately, that cannot be easily accessible information in our country. First, there is no data gathering to assist. Two, even if it is available it may be managed by the people in position of authority to keep the data low particularly as the electioneering campaign is getting closer to achieve a political score. Lastly, some employed people too may wish to register at the centers either because of unsatisfactory nature of their present job or in anticipation that government may want to dole out some money as a stimulus packages to the people in this category.
If we have it, it will enable us know the exact number of people that are in this category and at the same time help the authorities to plan for some sort of programmes that may help solve the unemployment problem. There are no facts and figures to support the issue that the unemployment rate in the country is high, therefore government is not taking it as a top priority.
Interestingly, the rate of unemployment in this country has gone beyond the issue of data now. Without any form of statistical data one can say it is close to 70% or more of people who are willing and qualify to work but are not engaged in one job or the other. Four out of every five able body Nigerians are not gainfully employed. And three out of every four graduates in the country are still roaming the streets searching for unavailable jobs in the market.
Looking at economic position of the country and various challenges facing this government, it will be near impracticality to get government attention towards the plight of unemployed people now. The last incident at the Abuja National stadium is still fresh in our memories. For the simple fact that over 50,000 applicants turned out for a 5,000 immigration jobs summaries the fact that the unemployment position of the country is near pandemic condition. Unfortunately, that is the price we must pay for our corruption and irresponsibility as a nation for failing to plan for the future of our youth.
Last year, I wrote an article on how to solve graduate unemployment situation. Then the economic situation has not gotten bad as we have it today. Those suggestions we made are still there not yet attended to. We hope that the people in government will take this up and work with it when they get over their election fever.
Like I said earlier, we don’t need any further statistical data on unemployment level or further appeal to the government to help. what I think is required now is how to help the helpless with whatever solutions we know that can help them have a decent future like God has helped some of us.
What solution are we talking about here? If you are in position to employ one or two of them please do, if you have excess cash to be a Good Samaritan to any unemployed person, please lend them to start something small of their own.. If you have any brilliant idea that can be useful to get them out of unemployment please give. We must be our brother’s keeper. We should do this for heaven sake. If your neighbor is eating a kola nut with insects and you failed to help him take them out. His kind of breathing in the night may not allow you to enjoy any decent sleep. We owe this people a responsibility to give them hope of better tomorrow. This is an appeal to all of us.
There is this parable of workers in the vineyard in the book of Matthew Chapter 20. Let me just take some few verses to explain my points. Verse 6 and 7 ‘’About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’ 7 “Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’
In the above parable we noticed that the people here were willing to work but there was no one hiring them. But the landowner kept on giving them something to do. In same vein, many of our unemployed youth are saying that we are willing and ready to work but no one has hired us. We can play the role the landowner played here for them.
To the unemployed people, no one hired you is just one of the reasons why you are not engaged. Looking at it from another angle, you can find yourself a job even when no one is ready to give you one. I liked the approach Ruth, the daughter-in-law of Naomi adopted in the book of Ruth Chapter 2 when she came back to Bethlehem in a harvest season and no one is willing to employ her. She found herself a job. (Please read the entire story from Ruth Chapter 2 to the end) Ruth 2 verse 2 One day Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go out into the harvest fields to pick up the stalks of grain left behind by anyone who is kind enough to let me do it.” Naomi replied, “All right, my daughter, go ahead.”
This kind of Ruth’s mentality is what changes destiny. If no one is willing to help you, you cannot throw your hands into the airs and give up the effort. You must find help for yourself anyhow.
The help you can find yourself at this critical time of your life is by looking inward. Inward looking is like what is called Backward Integration exercise in manufacturing business. It is a type of vertical integration in which a consumer of raw materials acquires its suppliers, or sets up its own facilities to ensure a more reliable or cost-effective supply of inputs.
You can do same by setting up your own business to ensure more reliable source of income which is more guaranteed and sustainable than this ‘waiting game’ that no one knows when it’s going to end.
What Steps do you need to take to start something of your own if nobody is employing you?
I will recommend these ten steps for your personal deliverance from the market of unemployment. The steps are easy to follow and can be your testimony tomorrow if only you are willing and obedient, the bible say you shall eat the good of the land.
Step1. Identify your area of Interest:
First thing first, you must identify your area of interest or passion. Interests are those activities you enjoy doing. Interest in the work you perform is a key motivating factor for work. Know your passion, know what you love to do and that thing that get you excited. This is the starting point of major step towards your landmark breakthrough in life. You need such great ideas in your area of strong interest to be able to flourish. Once you identify it and you are convinced that it is your special area of passion, the next thing is to put it down in writing in form of business plan.
Step2. Set your Goals and come up with business plan:
Many people complaint about money as their militating factor from setting out or launching themselves into business. That is not totally correct. Idea generation is number one. You do not plan to have a babe after you have saved enough money, it is the expectation that someone is on the way that challenge you to go and look for money to prepare for his coming. Goals are most useful when they are specific, realistic, and achievable. Your success depends on setting goals that really matter to you. Write down your goals, put them where you can see them, and review them regularly. This is the point we consider very critical in starting a business. You got to build your business case or business plan. By transferring your ideas generated in stage one into readable form. Putting monetary numbers to those ideas is very important. That is what you are going to sell to people who will be interested in helping your idea to flourish. This is what you need to translate the idea into concrete solution. This is where many people fail. They always think money is the problem preventing them from starting a business but it is their inability to translate their ideas into saleable information that makes raising money too difficult. If your idea is brilliant and is in writing form, to get sponsor(s) to buy into it become much easier. You may need an expert advice to help you put together a business plan that is presentable to any financier before looking for the money required to start. The amount you required to start depends on the business case you have built. My suggestion is that you must start small to enable you learn the rope.
Step3. Look for Sponsors:
Money will always leave the hand of those who don’t put it to good use, and come to the hands of those who will multiply it. Money like human beings, always find its way to where it is needed most. That is why your idea must be very brilliant to command the help of heaven to direct you to where the money you needed has been prepared for you. There are banks, finance houses, micro finance companies and numerous hosts of others who are willing to help. Your parents, friends and even volunteers are waiting for that brilliant ideas of yours to sponsor or guaranteed by standing for you to get a loan or facility as a start up. The condition here is that your idea must be good and must be able to pass SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound) test. If you’d like to get sponsored, you’ll have to be really good at something, better than about 90% of the other people who participate in the same activity.
Step4. Start small and nurture it to grow big:
In business, just like in the journey of life. The rule is of the game is one step at a time. A lot of people like it big. But business like human being grows from conception to birth, from infancy to puberty before becoming a full fledge adult. You must learn from people like Sir Richard Branson. He read an Economics text book titled ‘Small is Beautiful’ and he practiced what he learnt. And see his story here as posted by Wikipedia.
Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (born 18 July 1950) is an English business magnate and investor. He is best known as the founder of Virgin Group, which comprises more than 400 companies. At the age of sixteen his first business venture was a magazine called Student. In 1970, he set up a mail-order record business. In 1972, he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later known as Virgin Megastores. Branson’s Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s, as he set up Virgin Atlantic and expanded the Virgin Records music label. According to the Forbes 2012 list of billionaires, Branson is the sixth richest citizen of the United Kingdom, with an estimated net worth of US$4.6 billion. He started small and small is really beautiful.
Why must you start small?
- It encourages you to get started.
- It allows you to prioritize and concentrate.
- It provides the necessary step to reach the next level.
Starting small qualifies you for bigger and better things. Don’t despise the day of small beginning. You never know where they’ll lead. Usually small things lead to bigger things.
Step5. Work diligently:
Diligence in business is that personal, self-satisfaction that one has when he has done his best. In the success equation, diligence is a key requirement. If you want to succeed in your business or any endeavor of your choice, you must be absolutely diligent. Proverbs 10:4 says, “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth”. Working diligently gives us sense of achievement, it gives us goals and ambitions, improves your work ethics, it teaches you to be responsible, teaches us about team work, keeps us productive and finally gives our life fulfillment. It is your diligence that God want to see before he blesses your effort.
Step6. Pray to God to bless your effort:
In trying out something new, particularly in business, it’s always important that you commit it into God’s hands. Most often, we are scared of starting small, scared of making our initiatives or dreams into a reality. No matter how big/small your business plan is, always commit it into the hands of God. Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established (Prov.16:3) Committing your works simply means trusting God to expand whatever you set out in mind to do. Your effort plus God’s blessing equals result. He said without me you can do nothing and with him you can do all things.
Step7. Driving your business through Business System and Customer Service:
Be professional in handling customers. Meet their needs and give them the opportunity to do more business with you. Keep to time. Be honest and full of integrity. Customer service is the secret of business successes. When you treat your customers well, you have opened your business up for repeat purchase, referrals and recommendation to others and higher patronage is guaranteed. Secondly you need to put in place internal control systems like financial control, rules and procedures that would give your business transactions and relationships both within and without.
Step8. Employ Good people who share your dreams:
Look for one or two people who share your dreams and aspiration. Sit them down and explain your dreams for the business to them and get their buy in before you launch out. If you are not comfortable with the people you want to engage, dispense with them. There is no friendship in business. When your business becomes big they will come back to be your friends. If they are suitable for you, then you are good to go to the next point.
Step 9. Pay your staff, pay yourself decent wage
For the purpose of motivating your team and yourself, you must pay them something good to keep them looking forward to better days. That decent salary should be factored into your business plan or business case you wrote to get your financial sponsor or lenders to give you the take off grant. You need to reward self but not to the detriment of the business. You must nurture the business to grow to the extent it can give birth to other businesses.
Step 10. Innovate, Renovate and Reinvest
Innovate quickly through Research and Development to stay competitive in your market by bringing new products and ideas into the business and renovate always to keep the old ones looking fresh. That is important in business to keep it fresh and new in the eyes of your customers. Re invest your profit back into the business. Don’t be an African businessman, who makes money today and divert the profit to other unprofitable ventures like buying of new cars, spending heavily on funerals or showing off that I have arrived. Remember if you borrow money to start the business ensure you pay your creditors as at when due.
If you follow this ten commandments of starting your own business you will be free from the unemployment market, you will become a celebrity in this same land and you will give glory to God for helping you out of this predicament.