11 January 2010

Land of endles opportunitues

Monday 11th January 2010

Today is the official beginning of the 2010 working year, however as schools open on Wednesday, most of my clients are still in holiday mode - slowly idling along, reluctant to get into first gear. I now have some time to reflect about my business and the window of opportunities that surround me - everywhere look I see gaps - all that is required is for people to have the desire for work hard and some appetite for risk. And yet most people just want a job - preferably a government job where they can do little and earn a lot. And when they dont ge’t such a job they are full of complaints…...

Complaining here is a mixture of pleasure and pain for both black and white. Take the word EISH for example, its used to express both negative and positive as it means surprise, wonder, as well as frustration or outrage. Another word that describes a pain/pleasure feeling is 'shame' which broadly denotes sympathetic feeling, 'shame, he got fired' or a castigating remark, 'shame on you for letting her down' and at the same time it can be used to emphasise a puppy's cuteness by "Ag shame!". There are many 'Sef Africanisms' on


It is safe to say that living in this country makes life's contradictions seem pretty normal. Driving down William Nicol which has become the busiest road in the whole of South Africa, a byway that resembles a highway, I saw a billboard in big bold letters stating that 'Africa is not for sissys' - no better way to describe life in SA. This country has wonderful weather and filled, surrounded by breathtaking beauty, and yet at he same time this beautiful environment is laced with the most violent and horrendous crime as well as crime caused by a careless attitude to life. Sometimes I think that all their energies and risk-taking appetite is wasted on dangerous and self defeating behaviour such as drinking and driving, substance abuse, domestic violence, critical overspending, that there is nothing left to use to better their lives and get out of the poverty mindset that requires instant gratification to keep it alive. Most people around me are conservative when it comes to their livelihood. They are afraid to take a risk on themselves, to start a business, to learn new skills or any of the many opportunities to improve their lives.

I believe that many of us are suffering from a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness, and speaking for myself, it stems from the continuous political avalanche that bombards me daily through the media. There are no leaders who inspire us to a better life for all – they are all trying to earn brownie points by playing many limiting cards – the race card being the favourite but there are also the class card and others. We love to use smokescreens to camouflage the real problems like the continuous degradation of the education system - the public health system has already collapsed. Instead of focusing resources on improving them the solution seems to target what works and bring it down to the same level of dysfunction. Enough of that….. this is a positive column…. And there is no greater positive than to live in a land of many opportunities…..

I see this sea of opportunity for me to make a difference - I can help to change the much of the negativity – in myself first and then in others. I can begin by spreading the information of how the world of work is changing. This is a world wide change. Countries are experiencing jobless growth, which means more poverty or the threat of poverty for many people if they don’t change their thinking and especially their expectations. New technologies are allowing multinationals to streamline operations and outsource their non core functions. The formal sector is not creating enough jobs whether it is in South Africa, in the US, UK, Europe and even China. And yet at the same time there is a huge skills shortage everywhere.

You don’t need to be an Einstein to know that there is a mismatch between what people can do and what the world needs – this is where I come in and offer my expertise …. This is what I can do … I align skills and expectations… I have opportunity galore …. I must just go out and get it….

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