The Pressure of, ‘Where are you Working?”

By Wr. Gabriel Dinda

If you graduated recently, you surely know what I mean. You know that feeling of meeting a former class mate of yours, who copied from you, in a designer suit and a car keys.  Then he asks you that question which you always wanted to avoid. “Where do you work?” “…mmh mmh Upperhill”. Coincidentally, of all my former class mates whom I have met in the recent past (and they are quite a number), I am the only one who doesn’t work in Upperhill, Westlands or Riverside.

None of them works in Luthuli Avenue. I wonder what wrong I did.

I think this question should be reframed to be more accommodative. In its current form, it leaves one with very limited options for the answer. It is like someone asking you, Are you okay on a Valentine’s Day, when you are wearing black to commemorate a heart break. The question is greatly intimidating and it leaves one really confused.

If one is lucky to get a place of work, there is a natural assumption that everyone else has gotten lucky. So, when that person meets, a former classmate, they stop being considerate. They become subjective. What if we expand the question to accommodate those who are not interested in working for established set ups and are in the journey of creating other new ventures? What if we ask it this way, ‘which business did you start?’ of we make it a little polite, ‘Did God bless you with a place to serve His Purpose?’ Yes, this is now better. Because if you are just working in a place where God’s purpose for your life is not served then it amounts to wasting time.

So much pressure come after one has graduated. That is when the feeling of responsibility comes in. That’s when one realizes that they will not be staying in a hostel anymore but will now have to deal with Landlords directly. That’s when one realizes that they can no longer enjoy the services of a mess but now have to fend for themselves and deal with the pressure of a cooking gas getting ‘annoyed’ in the middle of cooking expedition.

It’s a tough world out here, and with inadequate preparation, we could end up doing things we never wished to do, just to survive. I know of a classmate of mine who refused to go back home after graduation, and ended up at the mercy of brothels. Now, when you see her, you can’t even think that she was at some point full of health and intelligence.

That’s why it is increasingly important for us to plan quiet early. In fact, every time I get a chance to speak to first or second years, I tell them that immediately one steps into a University, they should start thinking of that moment when they will be stepping out. Think of the exit at the entrance. May you feel guilty sleeping in  foreign beds provided by your college, think of your own. May you feel guilty graduating from a college before you think of what next? Feel very sad if you are still hoping that things will just work out in your life, without you working on them.

Please plan so that you don’t fall into the trap of that my friend who wished to do a course on time management but lacked time.

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