Kickstart Your Career!

5000 youth from over 20 schools are attending the Soweto Career Expo on the 24-25 May in Orlando.

According to Kgupi Gunguluza, the CEO of the Soweto Career Expo, The Annual Soweto Career Day and Expo is an interactive platform to share information about career awareness and development initiatives. With that in mind, this year the summit will be focusing on the unemployed youth in South Africa.

Every year close to 800 000 matriculants are trying to find their way forward. At best, every third person will be able to continue studying. The rest will join the ranks of the unemployed.

“It is an irony that companies can’t find the people they need yet we have 6 million out of work youths” says Stefan Lauber from the Job Summit. Having consulted 20 industries in 2017, career education was widely identified as a need. That is why the Job Summit has teamed up with the Soweto Career Expo to help young people take the next step forward.

“Young people searching for a job will be able to register on the Job Exchange, which assists companies recruit youth for their entry level positions.

Young people are often asked, what do you want to become one day? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer.

Firstly, many school leavers do not have the means to continue their education. Or young people will not find employment because they lack work experience and worst of all, there are simply not enough jobs available.

South Africans are not the only ones facing this challenge because the nature of work is changing. There is a worldwide trend towards contract work and short-term rather than long-term jobs. This trend is often referred to as the new Gig Economy.

Here are ten things you can do

  1. Get your name out there: Most jobs are advertised – be that on the internet or in the newspaper. Recruitment Agencies still play in important role in placing people. So contact them. Submit your CV. Go to to register and upload your CV.
  2. Network: The easiest way to find a job if someone introduces you to an opportunity. Don’t you know anyone who can help? Think harder. Friends, family, church… You do know someone.
  3. Be pushy: Everyone has their own problems and they are likely to forget about you. Accept it. Call them again and again. Until you achieve your goal. Don’t worry of making a nuisance of yourself.
  4. Take any job, even if it is not necessarily attractive. You will be able to earn at least some income, learn new skills and start building your CV. Many jobs are not in the office environment. Do not hesitate. Stand out with your desire to succeed. You will get the opportunity to move upwards.
  5. Learnerships, apprenticeships and internships are ideal for you to get practical work experience, acquire valuable skills that are in demand, even though you earn little. It’s an investment in your future.
  6. Continue learning for the rest of your life. As technology changes, there will be an ever increasing need for more skilled people. How can you study if you have no money? Take advantage of a library but more importantly, there are large numbers of free e-learning courses on the internet.
  7. Improve your English. In order to get employed, you need to successfully pass an interview. You will not only have to look good but will also have to sound good. Speaking English well is in most careers important. How can you improve your English? Read, listen to radio and watch TV. Talk to your friends in English.
  8. Keep yourself busy. If you are not employed you will have spare time. Use it. Is there anything you could do or sell to create an income for yourself? Could you use your energy to help in the community? Not only will you feel better about yourself but you will also be able to show to a potential employer that you are a person with initiative and with the will to succeed.
  9. Believe in yourself. Close your eyes. Visualise yourself successful. Believe in yourself, who will if you don’t do it yourself.
  10. Hang in there. Don’t give up when the going gets tough. Continue trying. Stand out from the rest through your hard work.


What careers have most promise for the future?

IT or computer related professions are certainly going to be in demand. Scientists and Engineers will be needed. Teachers and nurses will remain attractive because no machine will be able to replace them. Call centre, customer service, sales, security and hospitality jobs will remain. All of these industries will provide valuable skills and give you the opportunity to progress.

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