While it is a good thing to expect that our people to do good jobs and be able to fend for their families, I think that we have over stretched some of the expectations and underrated other dignifying jobs that people do. The pride of having gone to school, some years ago, was to get a good job after school, knot a tie or tie a knot and jet out of the house every morning only to return late at night. Everybody thought that was the main thing and seriously envied those who had salary paying jobs. Although many of these people lived a fake life, they were still envied by those who had their own businesses because of their guaranteed income. Secretly, those who had salaries were also envying the business people because of their total control over time and income.
Things have changed today. It’s not about having a tie around your neck and only a little income to show for it at the end of the month. It’s about doing something that’s dignifying and having a regular source of income.
I have worked in some places before and I see people training others to do business but they really have no business of their own. They are showing others how to raise money for business but have not raised money for their own business and they are still envied for having a job. That’s also why we see graduates who don’t get a job for close to three years and they just watch the time go by.
As they watch the time go by, someone else on the street has started selling pop corn, drinks, shoes, clothes and other stuff. The one who does not have a job keeps hoping for a job and sometimes, ignorantly, looks down on those who already have a store or are earning something from trade, no matter how little.
Some years back, Otunba Gadafi, the founder of DMT mobile toilets used to say ‘shit business is serious business.’ He was providing mobile toilets in public places and in stadia. He made a lot of money from it and kept at it. People who didn’t have a job must have laughed at his prospects. They must have wondered how he would do such an ‘undignifying job.’ While they thought about that, he was making his money.
Think again and please put your pride aside. The people rating one job as dignifying or not are not the ones to pay your bills. You will pay your bills. The only thing that ought to be dignifying about a job is the fact that it is a legitimate job and it pays to put something on your desk.
It’s not dignifying to sit and say you have all the degrees and you are doing nothing. The only dignifying thing is to roll your sleeves and bury your pride. Once the pride is bury and you do everything you can to work hard or work smart and make a living, your pride will eventually return.
Let no one burst your balloon of self esteem by underrating the job you have chosen to do. If they think it’s not good enough, let them give you a better job in your choice industry or provide some funding for your dream business. If they cannot, let them forever hold their peace.
You have a life to live and in it you have to do something. The important thing is the dignity of what you do which lies in the legitimacy of your work. Steal from no one and listen to no one who wants to take your pride away without giving you a means of livelihood.
Fola Daniel Adelesi
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