Hardship | #MyFridayStory No. 205

Hardship | #MyFridayStory No. 205

If hardship doesn’t give you character, it’ll ruin you.

We all go through challenging times throughout our lives. Trying to escape from things going wrong is a futile exercise. It’s better to prepare for curveballs by expecting them. Preparing oneself for unpredictable eventualities takes practice. Anticipating problems might sound like a pessimistic way of living, when in fact, the opposite is true. Having a mindset geared to solving the next problem has many positive effects. It creates a “can-do” attitude that is open to new possibilities.

When you can expect approaching storms and adjust your sails, your quality of life improves.

Being employed in South Africa today is like a status symbol. Our unemployment figures get scarier year on year. The latest estimates show half of South Africa’s adult population lives below the poverty line. Almost 40% of working-age South Africans are without employment. Only four out of ten South Africans under 35 are employed. Jobs are scarce and employers have a choice of the best candidates from the myriad applicants for each position.

Having the means to provide for your family is the least need for a person’s dignity. Without the ability to generate an income, people become despondent. A downward spiral into depression and helplessness is inevitable.

One of the most valuable things you could do for someone is helping them find a dream job.

I’ve been in the privileged position to hire and find work for folks throughout my working life. It remains a key area where you can make a transformative difference in someone’s life. The leg-up a decent job can give is one of the single biggest indicators of future success. To be sure, only the best candidates are picked. That’s how I’ve always been able to vouch for folks I hired or placed. Every effort is made in the selection and hiring process to distil the most suitable candidate.

When it came to my children, I also had a hand in their careers. My Son had an entrepreneurial flair from a very young age. Not even a teenager yet, the school put a stop to his business of selling breakfast rolls because the tuck-shop was losing money. In high school, he made and sold funky bead necklaces and bracelets. They only cost a few rands to make and sold for R50 or more. He even employed “runners” in different schools to distribute his range.

After school, he had one or two temporary jobs. After a few months, I managed to get him an interview at the company I was at. That’s what always I tell anyone I try to assist with a job—I can get you as far as the door, after that you’re on your own. I asked that he start on the lowest income level and build up from there. Within a short time, he had mastered—and improved—every task thrown at him. I could only watch as he navigated corporate life with all its ugliness and back-stabbing.

Today he is thriving in a company where he’s valued and would be missed if he were gone.

My Snap-on-Daughter studied marketing at university. I managed to get her an interview at the company I was at to join our marketing division. Once again, I insisted she starts on the lowest level. A few months into her tenure—and still only a teenager herself—the company started a round of retrenchments. I couldn’t get involved and she had to endure the torment of the process. Her saving grace was her low salary. I left the company and she stayed on for a few more years where she climbed the ranks on her own.

Today she is thriving at a large corporate company that values and treasures her input and talents.

My Daughter left high school knowing she wanted to work with children. She had experience with babysitting and looking after young children. She approached every nursery school in the area for a chance to assist with the younger children. She landed an entry-level position at a nursery school around the corner from our house. Within two years, she had saved up enough money to live in the United States for 8 months and buy her first car. She went on to complete a course in teaching English and travelled to Vietnam to teach young children.

Today she is working with me as a freelancer towards her dream of being able to travel and work from anywhere in the world.

Hardship follows us all and is sure to trip us up from time to time. Being unemployed is a hardship that no one should have to endure. If you can help someone, find a position where they can excel and show their worth, it’s a win-win for everyone.

Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄

As always, thanks for reading 🙏

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