As a young person living in South Africa, it’s normal to have concerns about the future of your career- especially given the current unemployment rate. If you’ve been job searching for some time and are feeling demotivated, don’t stop your search just yet. Here are a few employment alternatives you can explore.

Entrepreneurship and freelancing

Job seeking can be so frustrating, especially if you’ve been doing it for long with no luck. A great alternative could be to become a freelancer or start your own business. Granted, we can't all be business owners, but if you have a great business idea that you’ve been thinking about, now would be a good time to put it into motion.

Join the army

We know this may sound a little farfetched and even scary to most people, but there are many army positions that don’t involve going to war. Joining the army may be a suitable alternative if you can’t find work because it has some considerable benefits. You can learn to be self-sufficient, independent and disciplined. You can also have the opportunity to study for free and secure a pension plan, among other things.

Create and sell

If you know that you’re a talented creative or an innovator and you enjoy the process of creating things from scratch (this could be anything from music to clothing), it’s time to utilise your talent and let it make you money. This is an ideal way to showcase your talent and make you some extra money. It might not take off immediately or as quickly as you’d like it to, but it’s definitely something to do while you’re looking for a job.

Join a learnership programme

A learnership programme could very well be the stepping stone you need to start your career. This is an opportunity that provides you with practical workplace experience and makes you more employable. And let’s be honest, it doesn’t hurt that you earn a stipend, in addition to a set of very useful skills.

Do odd jobs

You might be an unemployed graduate who’s dead-set on embarking on a career path in the field you’ve studied, but we’ve all seen how unforgiving the job market can be- even to graduates. Doing odd jobs that you didn’t think you’d do doesn’t mean that’s what you’ll be doing forever. It also doesn’t mean you’re disregarding your qualification. This is simply a good way to keep busy, while making some extra money and buying yourself time to search for the job that you actually want. Plus, it’s a great way to wear different professional hats.

There are options available if you can’t find a job, and although not all of them can be for you, some are definitely worth trying out. The alternative you decide on doesn’t have to be what you do for the rest of your life, unless you really want to. But it’s a good way to stay motivated, busy and paid while you search for something a little bit more solid.

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