How To Build A Career If You Don't Have A Matric

More than half of the children entering the school system at Grade 1, won't finish matric. These kids are failed out of the system, by the system.
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More than half of the children who enter the school system at Grade 1, won't get to finish Matric. These kids are failed out of the system. They are failed by the system, before they get the chance to sit for matric exams.

Your expected starting salary is hugely influenced by the level of your education when you start.

Here is what you can expect:

  • No schooling: R 1,704
  • Grade 1 to Grade 7 incomplete: R 1,867
  • Completed Primary School (Grade 7 completed): R 1,946
  • Grade 8 to Grade 12 incomplete: R 2,660
  • Grade 12: R4,977
  • Grade 12 with Certificate: R 8,326
  • Grade 12 with Diploma: R 13,378
  • Bachelor's degree: R 21,527

These numbers hide the reality of the unemployment disaster we face in South Africa. Unemployment is much worse when your level of education is lower than Matric.

According to an article in the Mail & Guardian, last year the public employment services division of the labour department was able to find job placement for two percent of the five million people on its database.

The success rate of finding jobs are sharply influenced by the level of education of job seekers. Currently the success rates are as follows:

  • Unskilled workers: 6.2 percent
  • Semi-skilled workers: 11.1 percent
  • Skilled workers: 47.3 percent
  • High-skilled workers: 93.2 percent

This means that lower-skilled workers (meaning you have matric or lower) not only earn much less than higher skilled workers, but they also have a much smaller chance of actually finding a job. If you want the best chance of finding a job, you need to be qualified up to a level where you are recognised as highly-skilled.

As a school drop-out, or someone with a bad matric result, you will have to work hard to build a successful career.

Here are my top ten tips if you are one of these people. I work for Skills Academy, so you can expect me to suggest you study!

  1. Get a job. Any job. The longer you sit at home, the smaller your chances of ever finding a job. Read this article for some common sense advice on finding a job.
  2. Study something. It can be anything. Show prospective employers that you are taking personal responsibility for your further education. This will impress them. Employers love self-starters.
  3. Qualify yourself for a scarce skill. Read more about scarce skills. These are jobs where we have a real shortage of trained people. These skills lead to jobs.
  4. You can get accepted on many of the ICB courses without a matric. Find out more about the ICB (Institute of Certified Bookkeepers). Nearly all of the ICB courses link to scarce skills.
  5. Stop sending out lots of CVs. Stop looking for a job in the newspaper or on job sites on the internet. You are wasting your time. You might be very busy, but you are not busy with something that will help you.
  6. Use all your connections to get a job. Your old teachers. Your family members. Use them to get an interview. Real jobs are not advertised widely. Most jobs are filled because someone knows someone who is looking for a job. Does your uncle's employer know that you are looking for a job? Does everyone you know, know that you are looking for a job? Are you reminding them often?
  7. Lower your expectations. You are not going to get handed that top management job. Show people that you are willing to take ANY job. That will impress potential employers. Once you got your foot in the door, you can work you way up the ladder. Yes, you can start as a shelf packer and end up as the CEO!
  8. Work harder than anyone else. Whatever job you get, make sure you arrive first in the morning, and that you are leaving only when they lock the doors. The hardest working person gets noticed, gets talked about in a good way, and gets the opportunities.
  9. Don't give up. In the long run, as you build your career over 20 or 30 years, you will see that the people who don't give up, are the ones who get to the top. You will also see how people that started ahead of you, fall out. Tenacity is the only thing that matters.

Tenacity means persistence, perseverance, determination, stubbornness.

Tenacious people just don't give up.

This can be you.

Don't give up!


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