If you’re a millennial, then you have probably come across the expression, ‘Adulting is hard.’ Ain’t that the truth! It gets to a certain time when your ever so reliable parents/guardians stop giving you money and start throwing you those side-eye looks, sometimes even coupled with snarky remarks such as, “Utahama lini” and “kwani hii masomo yote ni ya bure”, and even when they still give you money, weirdly, it is now nowhere near enough for your ‘expenses’ as it once was. Ha! Don’t fret. Those are just some of the signs that one is about to approach this transition phase.
This is often a very complicated period in one’s life as you are suddenly thrust into a world of responsibilities and obligations that weren’t there before. And as if that is not enough, there’s added pressure from parents, friends, peers (especially those entrepreneurial types who are starting to make it into business and you’re just sat there wondering what you’re doing with your life) and from society as a whole. Nonetheless, this transition is a natural part of life. That said, here are a few tips on how to get ahead of the curve:
- Develop a saving culture.
Chances are, during this transition period, finances will be limited and not easily accessible. Therefore, it will serve you well to develop a saving culture. Make a habit out of saving a few coins for a rainy day, setting a little something aside for tomorrow’s unknown. Besides affording you the luxury of a few bucks on the side, it will also teach you financial discipline, fiscal responsibility and prioritisation of needs.
- Apply for Internships/Volunteering Programmes.
Whether you’re straight out of school or new into the job market, apply for as many internships or volunteering programmes as possible. With today’s job market, it is highly unlikely to get employment without having some sort of practical experience. Going by that statistic, it is only logical to apply for programmes that give you exactly that, and there is an abundance of such opportunities in the current job market. And sure, some may not pay as well as you would like, some may not even pay at all (as in the case of volunteering programmes) but they will all give you invaluable in-the-field practical experience which will make you much more marketable and desirable when looking for an actual job. Some of these organizations/companies even absorb employees from their internship programmes, so apply for as many as you can. You never know where your luck lies!
- Use your Talent.
We’re all born with inherent talents and abilities. Whether it’s singing, drawing, writing, dancing and so on, there’s almost always that one thing that we’re good at. So find out what it is that you’re good at and exploit it for financial gain. There’s currently an admirable uptake of creative and ingenious content by the market, all drawing back to individuals exploiting their talents and turning them into full commercial enterprises. So do a bit of research, find out how you can make money from your talent and have a go at it. It will not only propel you forward towards financial freedom and independence but it will also present you with the opportunity of doing what you love. Win-win situation!
- Start your own business.
Long gone are the days where one would be expected to eke out a living through traditional employment. With the unemployment rate being as high as it is and with the modernisation of the global economy, more and more focus is shifting towards entrepreneurship and self-employment. Don’t get left behind. Think outside the box. Identify a gap in the market, do market research, do an analysis study, draw up a business plan and go for it. And even if you fail at first try, go at it again. Failure is always a lesson. Don’t let it stop you!