As South Africans we often stand in our own way when it comes to going for opportunities…
Because of my job in recruitment I have often heard the following laments:
- I cannot apply because I don’t have a degree.
- They will never employ me because I am white / black / coloured / Indian / purple etc.
- A matric / National Diploma / Unisa degree etc. Is not accepted in that country…
- I am too old for blablabla…
And I have really heard this from all race and ages.
Of course it is the reality that some situations are not going to be ideal. At the age of 40 with 30 kg overweight one cannot consider being a prima ballerina at that moment… now don’t get me wrong, ANYTHING is possible – but it will entail a bit of hard work and a lot of setbacks before one gets there.
It’s the same thing with international opportunities. Just as I was jealous of aquantances or friends taking the leap I am sure there are in my own circle and outside the circle who feel the same.
But boy did my eyes open up once I got here! The first eye peeling moment was when I joined German language classes. It was the most thrown together combination of different cultures and languages you can imagine. And only 40-50% came from EU countries where you have no issues coming through.
The rest were from all over the world, Zimbabwe, China, Korea, Japan, Russia, Turkey, India, Morocco… and all in one class. And you know what? All of them left their country of birth because of job or study opportunities over here. German is way more different than Russian when you compare it to Afrikaans or English for example.
In my current job I come across many Indians, South Americans etc. That successfully manage to find a job here to stay. What makes us as South Africans so special that we think we are not good enough?
This made me realise one thing. As South Africans we are so stuck in our history that we are afraid of how bright our light would shine once we get over ourselves. We choose ” safe” destinations where we will understand the language. America, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand. Not only does this limit us in what we want to achieve but it also makes us dependant on those countries good will or some point system to see if we are good enough.