Dear Young Graduates, I am in no position to tell you this. I employ you to read it anyways.
Congratulation on your graduation! Getting a university degree is a significant milestone, and you should be proud of how far you’ve come.
Sadly, this significant milestone comes with the burden of an uncertain future – particularly within the economy you find yourself in.
Upon graduation, most of you joined a large pool of unskilled – or worse, unemployable – degree-holding Cameroonians in the country. You spent the last three (or more) years channeling your energy and resources to acquire a degree instead of an education.
Unfortunately, the world might not need your degree; it requires the skills, experiences, and mindset that develops from acquiring an education. As a graduate, what can you do, and how can it add value to our economy?
A few months ago, I read several thought-provoking articles by Erik Torrenberg on building a career. It is relevant to share his advice with you now.
1. Build a Personal Moat.
Build a set of unique skills that compounds over time and puts you ahead of the curve. It can be something that’s easy for you to do but hard for others. It should be your Ikigai. Javnyuy Joybert, Taleabong B Alemnge, Felix Fomengia, Oliver Nshom, and Mildred Sama have built great careers based on their personal moats.
2. Take Asymmetric Bets.
Thinking of starting a business and venturing into entrepreneurship? These are examples of asymmetric bets. If it works, you will have tremendous upside or success; if it doesn’t, it will still generate optionality (lessons or experience). Nervis Nzometiah, Epaphrate Minuifuong, and Pertulla Ezigha are great examples!
Though our society worships traditional career paths, the world is rapidly shifting from that. Getting a job at a big company seems great and being employed by the government looks safe. In reality, it is a big risk to your personal and professional development as there are very few opportunities for growth.
3. Continue learning.
School might have ended, but education continues. Read a book, take an online course, or learn a skill. Do whatever you can to keep building your intellectual capacity. Strive to be learned. Strive to be abreast. As James Clear puts it, “Stop learning, die young. Keep learning, stay young.”
Amid the chaos is a world full of opportunity for those who care enough to chase.
I have nothing more to say than to wish you the best for the journey ahead.