Formal Employment. Aside from the fact that we are pursuing courses that push us into working in the formal sector of employment, do we really want to be employed? The easiest way I can explain what formal employment is, is the fact that it involves you being employed by someone. In Uganda, the traditional courses we are told to pursue rather call for this kind of employment. And funnily even with these courses one can create their own job. But we aren’t taught to see it that way. We are groomed and taught to get and seek employment from those that have built these companies, law firms and NGOs. We even have our best pick, we know where we want to go. Well, here is the one biggest problem that’s creating other issues is the fact that baby boomers together with their parents aren’t taking it lightly to let go. Whereas they train us to attend school for 13 years, get done by at least 24, get a company to work with for at least the next 30years then retire at 55years, they aren’t practicing what they preach. Even with over grown children, these people still claiming that they want more wealth for their grand kids. So where do we go wrong. It isn’t just the mindsets, its also how we handle our finest youth years and how we expect results in a world that needs more hard work and being smart.
The formal employment was all fun and games till I went for an internship. I had worked in my s6 vacation but I thought things might be better when I actually step out in the field. So, I kept the hope and worked on. My working experience hasn’t been the finest and honestly I realized I do not want to be employed. I worked in a Ugandan hospital for my internship, a sincere change of scenery and all since in my vacation, I had worked in an NGO. I needed this to work out and I needed the experience. Internship went well for the first 9days and then I started getting exhausted. The journey from home to the work place was short so that wasn’t it, I finished my work early, by midday I was free to head home. Then what was it? I didn’t like what I was doing. I think that’s when I actually started rethinking my course. I love helping people, don’t get me wrong but then what made me rethink this whole thing was the work ethics and the form of employment. I am a creative, I like trying out new things and learning to do other things. The first thing that got me really exhausted was the repeated routine that was predictable similar to my vacation work. Turn up to work, sit, do some counseling, write down some reports and that’s it. Week 8, test mothers, counsel them, tell them of the dangers of HIV/AIDS , make a report and that’s it. 2 and half months of doing this. I checked out with some friends from school and just because they were working in a school or prison, it was the same routine. And it only seemed fun when you were heading a department or when you are a CEO. Is this what I wanted? Its draining and yet people do this for years till they retire. What is it with the formal sector, what more aside from the weird boring routines. One, the payment is very low. The work load is very high yet the payment doesn’t match what the people do. People demand for great work and want great yields to match up the great work but with no allowances nor breaks. The thing with being employed is you aren’t assured of your financial security. The late payments yet you’ve accumulated so many debts to cover up for the past month when you weren’t paid, there is no assured payment for sick or leave days. In Uganda, the working conditions in the formal sector leave a lot to desire. The main reason why people stop working under the formal employment sector is the control. The no freedom of payment, you can never dictate when you are to be paid nor the profits, you never dictate when you come to work. You are working to build and form an organization of someone else. It actually gets tiring to be working for one person for the 30 years of your life only to walk away with little pension and nothing to your name. The dragging life is very sad, never a good ending so it has pushed a lot of people to actually let go and move on to creating their own. And the retirement is funny, cause that’s when people remember to invest and then its a struggle to work to sustain yourself and get something that works for you. do you need that at the age of 65!? Another thing is the time invested in the formal employment. Approximately 45hours invested for the 5days that you go to work. People are scared to invest 80 hours into their talent or passion or side jobs or in meaningful investments but are willing to take on lesser hours in a job that doesn’t at all protect them.the fear to take risks. people find it okay to work for all those hours rather than to have a feeling of losses due to a failed investments. And I feel like it isn’t right. Whereas for some formal employment is their path to success, we shouldn’t forget that in this economy today, one needs over 4streams of income to actually make it big. So, as we focus on getting experience or on bigger goals based on our formal employment we need to put in mind that we are supposed to work smart.
With formal employment, you should put into consideration that you might not exactly like to play by the rules at all. Are you comfortable with showing up at work at 8am and leave at 5pm. Are you willing to take up orders and follow principles of an organization. Meanwhile with formal employment, there is no labor security. You aren’t assured of the contract you hold to last a lifetime that means you are replaceable and your replacement might be cheaper than you which makes them a better option. So, you have to believe that some things might not be what you want them to be.
Formal employment though isn’t all that bad! But my main question is are you okay with it. When I was doing my internship I realized I am not so good with following rules especially those that went against what I believed in. Also the fact that I am not cut out for boring white and cream walls as an office. There is something dull with just putting in names and data every day. Looking at people growing old and more agitated at their jobs is sickening. And lets not get to the point where they roll in their sob stories about how they regret not doing certain things. Whatever we do can get tiring and boring and repetitive. But the thing about being your own boss or loving what you do is you always try to find inspiration even on the days when you feel low. Maybe in the future I’ll actually talk about how it turned out working for an organization.
When do you know you aren’t cut out for formal employment. Its mostly during you internship or those little volunteering sprees. By the way formal employment can push you to even start up something better that you can actually manage so as to do better than existing ones. The thing with our world today is that you definitely need a degree or rather multiple qualifications. But if I could turn back time, I don’t think I would’ve loved to join university more like i should’ve joined a vocational institute, ventured more into my writing. So as you read this you are probably thinking of uni or you are already in uni. Its not the time to drop out, explore! Finish that degree and prepare for a next step. Go for conferences, pick up more practical hobbies. But also do not rush whereas we need to think fast, its not okay to drown yourself with anxiety on what you will be. Take each day step by step. Learn something new however small it is. It is okay. Perfect and build up. Take those free online courses on business and social media marketing. Learn how to go digital, collaborate with friends, be inquisitive.
My point is invest in you talent. work hard and love it. And for people who are passionate about engineering or any other things go for the formal employment.ii cant stress it enough how important it is to follow your instinct and your passion. When we talk about talents, people only think about creatives and social media influencers. Yes, we shouldn’t ignore the formal employment, for who knows. it might just be cut out for you.