No Knowledge Gained Is Lost.
The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you. ~B.B. King
I have a story to tell. I know that many Africans are usually dissuaded from seeking jobs in western countries because they don't possess the requisite skills. This is especially true considering the massive digitisation and digitalisation in more developed countries. I republished one academic’s take on this here.
But I’m here to tell you that this is not a blanket situation. As they say, there will always be an exception to every rule.
When I relocated to Ireland in 2015, I already had a BSc in Accounting and a Master’s in Political communication but having never worked the regular 9–5 I knew that getting my desired job will be a challenge. For one I am a very mobile person used to visiting Nigeria each quarter to oversee business interests. So I registered a company and did what every Igbo man does best; trading. I sold gadgets and used items on eBay and Dondeal to augment my earnings from Nigeria.
The first years weren't so bad but as the naira value plummeted it was time to get a job. My first attempt was in 2018. I saw a vacancy in the local classified for an accounts assistant and applied. During the phone interview, I reeled out my qualifications and experience as a businessman back in Nigeria and added that I was proficient in Microsoft Office, particularly in Excel.
When she asked if I was familiar with any other accounting software like sage, oregano, marjoram etc I had no answer. The young lady would have laughed so hard if she could see me staring at the ceiling. Well, I was rejected but the lady courteously advised that I could join the company as a bookkeeping trainee for which I will have to pay! Of course, I declined.
Fast forward to 2022 and the naira had lost so much value that converting it to euros for subsistence in Europe is outright stupidity. Once again I applied for another job. This time I was accepted after the interview. It was a stocktaking job and everything about it suited my routine. Part-time and flexible, availability will also be solely determined by the employee. In addition, early starts meant one could finish early and have time for other activities. And perhaps…