Advice to plan future now

2018-01-23 06:00
Christine-lee de Vries

Christine-lee de Vries

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At the young age of 26, Christine-lee de Vries from Kenilworth is not only grooming herself into a better person, but she is also sharing her advice with school leavers and young adults as well.

De Vries, who was raised by her grandparents, started working as a waitress from the age of 15 and says she never stopped working. She became passionate about what she was doing and studied Hospitality after matric, which saw her eventually go on to become a restaurant manager and then a hotel manager. And now she is even exploring her passion for children, having recently become a part-time child caregiver.

She says she believes that every experience she gains might be worthy in future and that adding child caregiver to her expertise could see her dream of going to Dubai come true in a few years.

“I am hoping to travel to Dubai to live and work there. Nothing is in black and white yet, but my goal is to go overseas,” says De Vries.

Talking about her experience of starting to work in her teenage years, she says life is not “pap ’n vleis”. She says it is important to start planning your future early and work towards achieving something important.

“To all the matriculants who are either studying or taking a gap year – it is not about the party anymore! This is your future. Whether you go out and work straight away or you choose to study, make the most out of it, and if you choose to take a gap year and you are fortunate enough to do so, then really think about that five-year goal before it is too late.”

However, she says that because she only had her grandparents to guide her and she enjoyed being spoiled, she never really knew the importance of planning ahead for the future. She does not want other young people to make the same mistake.

“Luckily I haven’t reached 30 just yet, but I’ve gotten a wake-up call to eventually do something with my life and make the most of it and not just party it up.

“I gave up all my free time as a teenager working long hours and being on my feet all day and night and missed most of my teenage life. I have never really had a two- to five-year goal.”

She warns that it is tough to find a job in South Africa these days even with a qualification if you do not have the experience, and it is rare to find a well-paying job that matches your job description, hence it is important to start being serious as soon as possible.

“In a lot of jobs that we apply for at our age, they require so much from you but don’t want to pay you enough. We as young adults push and work so hard to prove ourselves.”

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