These regalia will not do anything for you if you are not street smart. For the sake of experience, you will take on internships that will pay you K3500 while in this same country there are other street smart interns getting K8000 stipend in the same field as yours. And other privileged ones who will move straight from varsity to getting permanent jobs which pay them K15000 with the same 0% work experience like you. You will not question all this, you will take your K3500 internship and shine. Because you are a hard worker, you will finish that internship after a year of being a “good intern” and they will give you a permanent job offer where you will earn K10000. After 1 year, they will give you 10% increase and your salary will sit at K11000. In that K11000, there’s rent, transport money, food and BLACK TAX back at home.
You will get another job and they will give you K16000 if you have more than 3 years of experience. Three months into the new job you will buy a car. You will wake up at 5/6am and get home after 6/7pm everyday. You will see nothing wrong with this because “you are educated” and that’s how “educated people” do it. Your street smart friends who have flexible careers will visit you at work because if its not yet 5pm you are not allowed to leave, even when there’s no work. You will be focused on your career and you will not want to hear anything about starting a side hustle because “you are educated”. Your excuses will be “I don’t know how to sell” or “I don’t have time”. At that time you are struggling financially. Debit orders are busy with your salary. You won’t see a side hustle as a way out, you will see another job as a way out. Companies will take advantage of you, overwork you and underpay you because you are not street smart to beat them at their own game. You will work for horrible bosses who dont understand the importance of family time and you will always be forced to choose work over your loved ones. You will win employee of the month left, right and centre and you will get stupid vouchers as a reward. You will go back to school and study ENDLESSLY, this course and that course all in the name of “I want a better life” and chase promotions at work . You will get your 5 years/ 10 years certificate of service with K2000/ K3000 incentive that will only get you a weekend in Siavonga.
You will buy a house in your 30’s just after paying off your car and commit yourself to a 20-year debt. And you will not want a house in the township or a starter pack house that you can actually afford to pay faster. You will go straight to the “burbs” because “you are educated”. You will feel the punch of rates and taxes and learn a new bad habit of buying grocery, petrol and data with a credit card. After paying off this ONE house for 20 years, you will be in your 50’s.
At 55 you will retire. First thing you will do with your retirement money is clear your debts. Then travel a little since you never had money to travel in your working days. Once you are done with the debts and leisure….wait for it…. With your remaining retirement money you will now want to start a business after spending 30 years in corporate. Street smart people will never spend 30 years in corporate no matter how much they got paid. At 55, when that business fails it’s GAME-OVER for you. But if you are street smart and decide to start a business in your twenties or thirties, you will have time to fail as many times as possible until you get it right. At 55 you will get a heart attack if a business started with retirement money fails.
Having the “I’m educated” attitude will leave you broke, struggling and in debt. Street smart people will make more money than you and progress faster in life because they do not have the “I’m educated” pride. They are open to selling stuff from the boot if their cars and they are open to any job or business no matter how undignified it may be viewed by society. They do no suffer from “what will people say?” What’s the point of having a dignified job title when your bank account is shameful and on overdraft? What’s the point of “being educated” if you are going to achieve your goals with personal loans?
Graduates, don’t let your qualifications prison you. Be open to anything until you find your big break. In most cases, your big break is not even related to your qualification. Don’t let your qualifications stereotype you into thinking that there’s only one way to make it in life.