Principle 5: Nia (NEE-ah): Purpose
To restore African American people to their traditional greatness. To be responsible to Those Who Came Before (our ancestors) and to Those Who Will Follow (our descendants).
Today is my father’s birthday. Our family doesn’t often connect Dad’s birthday with Kwanzaa, but it makes sense to celebrate and honor the head of our family on this fifth day of Kwanzaa. My dad is a kind, strong man who has always done his best to provide for his family.
Happy birthday, Dad!
Like many people, my dad’s retirement plans changed when the economy took a downturn. Witnessing his search for work, and advising others as they attempt to recareer or simply look for a new source of income has made me more aware of the challenges older workers face. This is a group of people with a lot of knowledge, valuable work skills, and a worth ethic that could be shared with others in the workplace.
Your Move: Older workers need to update their job search skills and prepare for today’s workplace. Likewise, employers who do not actively retain or recruit older workers are missing out on hiring skilled people who will help their businesses to grow.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have a whole generation of young people having a difficult time entering the workforce. When my nephew graduates from college in the coming months, he will be one of thousands competing for a seemingly limited amount of jobs. I tell him the same thing I tell all job seekers: the job market is improving. It might not seem like there’s a lot of jobs out there, but there are, and the number is growing each month.
The truth, the recipe for success for young adult job seekers hadn’t changed that much in the past 10 years. The job seeker most likely to land a good job is the one who has taken his education or training seriously, has participated in 2-3 internships or other work-based activities, has shown interest and commitment to his chosen career path, and has a positive, mature attitude.
Whether there are 10 jobs available or 1,000, young job seekers who know their career goals and are proactive about gaining skills and experience are most likely to get hired.
Your Move: Create a career plan and show it to someone older and wiser for feedback. Then find two ways you can gain experience in your career field that will make you more attractive to employers.
Using the 7 Principles to Boost Your Career:
- Umoja ~ Unity
- Kujichagulia ~ Self-Determination
- Ujima ~ Collective work and responsibility
- Ujamaa ~ Collective economics
- Nia ~ Purpose
- Kuumba ~ Creativity
- Imani ~ Faith