Author: Abraham Mmbaga

Image: iStock

Graduate unemployment is among the challenges facing developing countries, Tanzania being one of them. Graduates from colleges and universities find it difficult to land their dream jobs and do less technical jobs than they can contribute, affecting their earning abilities.

Being part of the young Tanzanians and university graduates, I experienced the same problem. When I was in university, I always worried about life after campus. I spend most of my time scrolling across social media platforms and the internet, exploring for the solutions.

At first, I got a volunteering opportunity with AIESEC Tanzania, an international youth-led organization, while in my second year at university. Then, I got mentorship and apprenticeship offered virtually with UTIDIA, a Nigerian startup offering professional skill development. I got practice-based guidance on content writing for four months.

While waiting for my university graduation, I got an HR internship offer to work remotely for a US-based startup, which I applied for through We Make Change. Volunteering, apprenticeship, and internship experiences opened doors to learn and meet new people who transformed my old ways of thinking.

You don’t need to worry about where to start in the digital world. The internet has every tool/ platform or anything you need to transform your career. The following are the ways you can try:

Look for remote jobs if you have skills already. Brand yourself as an independent service provider/ freelancer. If you find branding is a problem, go to freelancing platforms such as Aya HQ, Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr. just a few. Take the opportunity for tech roles that don’t demand your physical presence, such as digital marketing, web/ app design and development, graphic design, executive assistance, community management, content writing, etc.

Go solo. Sometimes, you don’t need a formal setting to acquire work experience. I have never served anywhere as a content writer. Still, I have learned content writing and practiced this on my own by writing blogs and LinkedIn posts. You can use tech and creative skills like content writing, graphics design, web design, and development. Initiate your ideas, develop samples, and use them to showcase to potential employers and clients.

Virtual mentorship/ Apprenticeship. Having a mentor or someone to guide and correct your mistakes is the best way of learning. I recommend Utidia.com and Side Hustle (lms.terrahq.co) for apprenticeships and mentorship. For real projects in community management, software development, AI, data science/analytics, and Web 3, Omdena (https://omdena.com/tanzania-chapters/), Ayaversity (ayaversity.com) and Build Lab Africa (https://buildlabafrica.org) can be the great platforms. The benefit of these platforms is they offer practice-based guidance, including working on real projects and hackathons, and are built for Africans who are zeal to serve the globe.

Volunteer. Nothing can stop you if you are passionate about learning and acquiring first-hand experience. Remote volunteering is another way. Platforms like We Make Change (https://www.wemakechange.org) announce new opportunities from hundreds of startups worldwide weekly. Good enough is we, Better Career and We Make Change, are in the final stage of concluding our program arrangements, where 10 Tanzanian students will be connected with startups to serve remotely as interns. Please keep your eye on our social media platforms and websites.

I hope you understand how simple it is to get professional working experience and be ready to serve and solve business challenges soon after graduating. The future of work is about what you can do to help, and that is what you will be paid for.