Jobs and the young – Tshepiso Mathabathe’s story: Clientèle’s rising star

2012-07-14 11:46

Like thousands of young South Africans, Tshepiso Mathabathe faced the daily uncertainty that comes with unemployment.

“Unemployed life consisted of waking up, eating, chilling and sleeping. One day I woke up and just cried – at this point it really got to me.”
A lack of money in her family forced her to find work immediately after matric – tertiary education was just not an option.

Her life was simply about survival, without hope to dream about the future. But Tshepiso recognised the value of a job and never gave up her search for good employment. She says: “I told myself I was just going to make the best out of it.”

From her persistent job hunting it became clear that her matric was meaningless in the world of formal work.

She just wasn’t equipped with the skills companies required of entry level workers.

So she survived off odd jobs as an usher, a promotions girl and a retail clerk, but none of them held any prospect of a career.

Tshepiso says she wasn’t fulfilled. After two years of actively looking for permanent work but getting nothing, Tshepiso felt sheer frustration.

“It was more than just financial security. I wanted to achieve something more, I wanted a chance for a career.”

If it wasn’t for her sister, who worked for a bank, Tshepiso would not have had a guaranteed roof over her head or known where her next meal was going to come from.

But after just eight months into her first real job, Tshepiso is now the top performer of the Clientèle group’s telemarketing department and leader of her own team of six new recruits.

She can now afford to dream of a future for herself, both personally and in her career. A regular salary allows her to set goals and work towards achieving them.

“Now I’m starting to live. Before, I was just there, stealing the oxygen.”

In addition to taking care of her personal needs, Tshepiso supports her family of 10 by contributing R2 500 worth of groceries each month.

She lives in her own flat and has ordered a new Volkswagen 1.6 Polo Vivo.

Unlimited access to transport means even greater freedom to pursue her dreams, get out there and network.

“I believe the future of my career lies in the professionals I have met through my job.”

With permanent employment in a big business comes the learning of essential skills, such as how to handle pressure, be focused, professional and become a leader.

Her sister, Bridgitte Lerato Mathabathe, witnessed Tshepiso’s progression first hand. She says: “She has grown very fast in her career. She has always been determined – she just needed an opportunity.”

The skills that Tshepiso has gained are ones that will not only create a better life for her and her family, but will contribute to the country’s economy.

In this way, the private sector can only benefit from creating opportunities for the youth.

As her line manager Reyard Medina says: “I am very impressed with the candidates from Harambee – their performance is excellent and they are hungry for growth.”

Medina says Harambee candidates have never been late for work, are never absent and are always asking questions and wanting to learn more.

“For them it is about more than just a job – they really respect what they do and the working environment around them.”

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