Prepare young people for a changed world

A family was renovating their house and the parents aised their son who was in his P7 vacation to enlist as a porter on the building site. A few weeks later the young man had earned over Shs100,000. For a while, the young man enjoyed his work experience and the income he was getting.
Then one day he came to his parents saying he wanted to quit. The cause for the change of heart was, he felt uncomfortable whenever his friends visited and found him covered in dust.

Having offered financial literacy to young people for the past seven years, I know how important it is for a young person in Uganda to have an experience of doing something and earning from it.
That experience creates a positive self-belief that infuses the young person with boldness to later approach the market with their business idea or to knock on the doors of potential employers.
Dwight Eisenhower, the former US President had four square boxes for processing decisions and here is how it applies to the young man’s dilemma.

Box 1 concerns things that are both urgent and important. For a 13 year old person, learning to work and earn money is not urgent but it is important this is the success box.
Box 2 is for things that are important but not urgent. Our education system keeps a young person out of work until they are 23 years old then suddenly demand that they learn to find and do work.
For an inexperienced graduate finding work and learning how to handle finances becomes urgent and important. Many urgent and important activities breed crisis.

Box 3 is for things that are urgent but not important. The negative peer pressure felt by the young man was moving him from Box 2 where success is developed into Box 3 which is concerned about popularity or “what will people think” where people do things that keep them in other people’s best books even if the consequence of that popularity is not in one’s best interest.
Box 4 has things that are neither urgent nor important. This is where many parents leave their children on school vacation.
They engage in activities that are neither urgent nor important such as eating a lot of junk food accompanied by even more junk television programmes.

James Abola is the Team Leader for Akamai Global. Email: james.abola@akamaiglobal.co.uk

SOURCE: DAILY MONITOR

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