So, I watched the ‘Queen of Katwe’ movie again, and it just reminded me of women who struggle daily to feed and house their family.
We have them around us, they approach us daily for some form of assistant or the other. We see their kids also, and we know they need the assistant.
And as seen in the movie, Lupita’s character always gave the excuse that her husband was dead, hence, her inability to provide for herself and the family.
Of course, she is trying her best, but you can tell the business is an afterthought and she probably only started because of what happened to her (the death of her husband).
Remembering this type of women, is also a build-up from the chat I had recently with a friend of mine.
She is a very active lady, I mean the ‘tomboy’ active type who used to be passionate about practicing, however years down the line, and she still hasn’t worked for a day.
She just hasn’t gotten around it because she got married immediately after university and relocated to another part of Nigeria with her husband.
I just worry that she has done nothing really to add to the society or make herself better other than of course raise her amazing family. (Which is a lot, I agree).
And no, it isn’t about the work; it could be a business or a course she is given to.
She has two kids now, both under 4years and she seems not to even have enough in the 24hours to take of them, how much more herself.
During our chat, I found a way to keep trying to make her see why she needs to do something more for herself.
It’s not enough to have children, and that is not saying caring for them isn’t a handful, but just as you would want your female child to work and do something to impact the society, you should also do the same as a woman.
From the discussion, I found out that although she thinks it is almost impossible to have that time to pursue her dreams and still be a good mother and wife, she also doesn’t know how to start; even if she wanted to try.
Therefore, here are a few good tips on how to get back into the workforce if you have left for a long period:
- Start from the internet. Find out the current trends and information about your industry. Take few classes and read good books; all to equip and get yourself knowledgeable.
- Don’t turn job opportunities down, just because they don’t look like a good option. Weigh all options.
- This would be the best time to choose the exact career you would want. So pick a career you know you are a ‘natural’ at; it will help you to adjust better, faster and with less stress.
- Don’t hide your employment gap. Be upfront and truthful, instead show how you have been using the time to get involved in reading, helping the community or just generally improving yourself as a human.
- Network, tell people about your job hunt.
- Retrain for free or offer your services for free at a firm for a period of time just to gather some experience. Volunteering is a very good option.
- Show passion and enthusiasm. For what you lack in experience you can make up attributes and skills.
- Consider an unpopular sector (with less competition).
- Get back into the discipline of working, it could just be the discipline of setting an alarm and sticking to time/work schedules around the house.
- Find someone who you know can help with your decision-making process to guide you through. A mentor is always an advantage.
Nevertheless, if you wouldn’t like to go into the workforce/ corporate world, here are questions you can ask yourself to help you figure out what business is right for you.
- Is there a set of customers you know you can talk to effortlessly?
- Is there a thing you wish you can change?
- What is that thing that people around you complain about the most?
- Is there a hobby or personal interest that you can turn to a home-based business?
- Do you like a product or service so much that you wouldn’t mind getting a franchise?
- Is there a way I can test drive this business idea in a little way, just to see how it will work?
- What’s your biggest source of inspiration?
- What’s your biggest frustration?
- What exactly can I start doing now?
Finally, please know that no one should be doing nothing, not only because Nigeria doesn’t even have any form of support system, but also because humanity needs you.
Olayinka Adelekan blogs at www.queenyinka.com