Graduated in Uganda: Should I Get a Job or Start a Business?

Alright, graduates, truth time: the confetti is settled, the diploma is framed, and now you’re staring at a future filled with both excitement and a healthy dose of “what now?”. You’ve conquered years of textbooks and exams and emerged on the other ready to take on the world, congratulations! The anthem you sang years back in primary school, ‘We’re the future of tomorrow,’ has come true – the future is now! But hold on, with that future comes a wave of societal expectations.

No pressure, graduates! The world offers two main paths,– the comfy, well-worn shoes of a traditional job, or the exciting, but sometimes treacherous, trail of starting your own business. Let’s not dwell on any other options right now.

The Ugandan Hustle Is Real
Here in Uganda, as you may have heard in other African countries, and I’m fairly certain you’ve caught a glimpse of it even while still in hostel life, the cost of living can be high, and financial stability is a major concern for many young people. I’ll say it again, you’re aware of this, so let’s be honest – the “just follow your dreams” approach might not always be the most practical. That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your aspirations, though!

Navigating Your Next Steps
Feel the urge to take the reins of your destiny? That’s right, even future bosses benefit from landing their first job in a field related to their aspirations. Gaining firsthand experience in the workforce can provide invaluable insights and skills that will serve you well on your entrepreneurial journey. Working for a company exposes you to industry dynamics, customer behavior, and operational challenges, giving you a solid foundation upon which to build your own business. Moreover, earning a steady income from a job can provide the financial resources needed to fuel your entrepreneurial aspirations, whether through savings, investments, or access to capital.

On the other hand, what if ‘the’ corporate life is calling your name? Great! In fact, there’s even room for your entrepreneurial spirit, yes, within a traditional job. In Uganda, where the cost of living continues to rise, diversifying your income streams can help you achieve financial security and independence. Whether it’s freelancing, consulting, or launching a small-scale venture, a side business can supplement your earnings, broaden your skill set, and provide a safety net in times of economic uncertainties.

With that in mind, as you stand at the crossroads of post-graduation life, remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether to pursue a job or start your own business. Both paths offer unique opportunities for growth, learning, and fulfillment. Even so, you might discover the need for one to complement the other and sustain your preferred path. Whether you choose the security of a job or the excitement of entrepreneurship, embrace your decision wholeheartedly, knowing that each experience will shape your journey and lead you closer to your goals. Congratulations once again, graduates, and may your future be filled with success, joy, and endless possibilities.

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Picture of Isaac Odwako O.
Isaac Odwako O.
Okumu Isaac Odwako, professionally known as Isaac Nymy, is a Ugandan internet entrepreneur and digital designer. He is the founder and CEO of Nymy Media and the founder of Nymy Net.
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