BY MWANGI WANJUMBI
The talk in America today is about the spiraling unemployment situation. It is a major challenge which is causing ripples even at the White House. Here at home, such concerns are rare. We mostly find ourselves driven by Charles Darwin’s theory of survival for the fittest.
Subsequently, it appears that not everybody will be guaranteed of opportunities any more. This is especially so in a highly competitive and global society. Moreover, unemployment is seemingly more of a personal problem than anything else. This may sadly be so in a world synonymous with economic meltdowns, bankruptcies, redundancies, retrenchments and many other forces of instability.
In fact, competition driven by the Darwinian Theory has already been happening. This time however, it may become more deep rooted than in the past. The era of getting educated merely to secure employment may now be endangered. Ideally, many have in the past treated certificates as a means to an end. That is acquiring a job therefore livelihood and nothing more. It may perhaps pay to realise that employment opportunities will now be driven by other factors, which all of us need to be aware of.
Firstly, the world is moving towards talent driven economies. People are now following their inborn abilities to chart their career paths and occupations more than ever before. The same is naturally characterised by infinite passion which can drive one to become economically active throughout a lifetime. Indeed, each of us is endowed with one or more talents which sit in us just waiting to be nurtured and exploited. Think of actors, poets, writers, marketers, designers and more.
Secondly, the world has in the recent years been driven by knowledge based economies. People get exposed to continued knowledge that enables them to constantly hone their abilities, therefore becoming continually competitive.
Thirdly, acquired skills have consistently enabled people to drive desired careers or occupations both in the formal and informal employment sector. The skills have been acquired through either conventional or unconventional training processes.
Fourthly, people have followed their hobbies and interests to develop gainful careers in both formal and informal sectors. Think of dog breeders, handlers and trainers who develop careers only out of attachment to the pet. Think of beauticians, caterers and others. It is through these attributes that one is able to identify opportunities of either formal or informal employment.
Basically, the four attributes are the key drivers of entrepreneurship. They are however beefed up by strong personal characteristics and values. Grouped together the same include honesty, creativity, persistence and risk taking amongst others. Some people have risked venturing into self employment and become successful entrepreneurs. This has led to sometimes highly successful ventures which have created employment for many other members of the society.
Alongside, there are those who possess the same qualities as entrepreneurs. They have however been unable to take risks and instead continued in employment as ‘intrepreneurs’. More often than not, they conduct their jobs just like they were part owners of the employing organisations. Fundamentally, work will soon belong to entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. Those lacking in the qualities of the two will most likely fall by the wayside. In a competitive world, organisations may no longer enlist people who will just be doing enough to justify their pay.
Therefore, it may be prudent to work towards becoming either entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs, irrespective of the level. The two love their work. They continually add value to themselves and the workplace too. Above all, they easily set their own missions, visions, values, objectives and goals. Alongside, they chart not only their career progression but also their income standards.
Guided by the same attributes, others consistently drive the corporate world to continued levels of development. Needless, to specify, think of the many corporate Leaders influencing the local and regional economy. Essentially, anybody who does not only cherish but also strive to become either a successful entrepreneur or intrapreneur may as well just be playing games with his/her personal life.
(Mwangi Wanjumbi is a Management/Leadership Training Consultant and CEO of Newtimes Business Solutions www.newtimesconsultants.com)