The Guard

The Truth On Board

Opportunities for the youth of South Africa

By Thabo Xaba

The staggering youth unemployment rate of 61 percent paints a gloomy picture for the future of this country, but I’m here to tell you that there’s light. With free technologies like mobile and innovations in Artificial Intelligence (AI), there are more opportunities than one can count. This is a testament to my earnings in the comfort of my bedroom.

Here are ways you can create opportunities for yourself to transform your circumstances for 2024.

Learn high income skills
For you to earn a high income, you need to learn or master high-income skills—skills that are in demand, low supply, and pay well. Learning high-income skills puts you ahead of many people. The more high-income skills you learn, the more in demand you will be, and the less broke you will be, as companies are always looking for someone with a particular skill set. Here are some high-income skills you can learn in as little as six months that will increase your chances of landing a job or clients for your business: sales, marketing, copywriting, and content creation.

Become a creator
We are in the centre of the Creator Economy Boom. As long as there are social media platforms, there will be a need for creators. Platforms like YouTube pay creators by sharing advertising revenue. If you become a creator and grow an audience, companies can also sponsor your content. We have seen a rise of influencers in South Africa, and I know there is demand for creators to help businesses reach more people. Another way to make money as a creator is to create or sell your own products to your audience who know, like, and trust you. Being a creator is not limited to social media; if you are a good speaker, you can start a podcast; if you are a good writer, you can create a blog and use SEO principles to rank on Google.

Learn sales
Learn to sell. I already touched on sales as being a high-income skill. Whether you work a job or start your business, you need to learn how to sell. In fact, as Daniel Pink points out in his business bestseller book “To Sell Is Human,” the ability to sell is fundamental to human nature. It helps you influence and persuade others to do what is best for them, allowing you to earn as much as you would like to. With the rise of the internet, you no longer need to go door to door to sell or harass people like telemarketers. Instead, you can become a remote closer and make sales via videoconferencing tools like Zoom, reaching people who have given you permission to contact them.

Start an ecommerce store
E-commerce in South Africa is a billion-rand industry and projected to grow 9.8 Percent by 2027. With dominating players like Takealot and Amazon, you can leverage them by selling on their platforms. You can create your own online store using platforms like Shopify, WordPress, and Ecwid. If you want to start learning, selling on WhatsApp and Facebook Marketplace is a way to go. There are many things you can sell online, including sneakers, clothing, and products people can’t find at the nearest stores.

Promote other people’s products
Affiliate marketing or promoting other people’s products is one of the best online business models if you don’t want the stress of building a store, managing customers, and dealing with returns. You can only focus on marketing and let other people do the rest.

Become a consultant
You can explore a lucrative path by becoming a consultant. Businesses consistently require assistance, whether it’s in marketing strategies, financial planning, or other critical areas. As a consultant, you have the opportunity to lend your expertise to these enterprises, helping them navigate challenges and achieve their goals. The demand for specialized knowledge is ever-present, and if you’ve mastered high-income skills, you’re well-equipped to provide valuable solutions.
If you learn the high-income skills I suggested, you can also apply them to solve other people’s problems. Individuals and businesses often seek help with challenges unique to their circumstances. Whether it’s enhancing their online presence, optimizing sales processes, or refining marketing strategies, your expertise can be of immense value. By possessing the necessary skills and offering tailored solutions, you position yourself as a sought-after consultant in your field.

Teach what you know
Education is key or something about knowledge. There are people out there who want to learn what you know. You can create a course and sell it online or create live Zoom classes at night for people who are interested. There are many places to teach: seminars, workshops, corporate training, and many more.

Business analyst Thabo Xaba.

There are plenty of opportunities out there, all at the touch of a fingerprint. Pick up your phone and learn, create, sell, promote, educate, and serve. In no time, you too will reap the rewards of the digital future.