By Dieudonne Masheja
Securing a job is important. But should it be “any” job?
Fidele Niyonzima, a Congolese refugee currently living in the United States, has a strong opinion about this question.
“Don’t let any blue-color job hinder your dream career,” he said.
A large number of immigrants around the world are moving from Africa to Europe and the United States. Some of them move because of insecurity in their country, hunger, political instability, unemployment and other related life issues. Once they arrive in this other country, some forego their dream career that could pay them to the fullest and instead settle for less than ideal jobs. Fidele didn’t let this happen to him.
Fidele was raised in a low-income family. It was challenging for him to pay high school fees. It seemed his childhood dream of working in nursing would be difficult to achieve.
After arriving in the United States at the age of 18, he learned that he could attend school related to his dream career. It was free and not as complicated as the educational system he came from. At the same time, there was an allure of income from a temporary job.
“It was not easy for me to choose what would be best: working in a company or studying,” he said.
Many of his peers were more interested in earning money through job opportunities that were surrounding them, but Fidele decided to study instead of doing a full-time job and dropping out of school. He earned his high school diploma at the same time as a Clinical Medical Certificate. Later, he went to college and earned an associate degree in nursing and he is now doing four years in a university to earn his bachelor’s degree in general nursing.
The decision to pursue his academic studies related to his dream career seems to be paying off. He is now working in a rehabilitation center as a Direct Supply Professional. The center provides counseling for those with mental disabilities and psychological problems. They also help people with diseases that affect mental health and rehabilitate them back to normal life.
“Serving people with such problems is a privilege for me,” said Fidele.“After earning a degree, you can apply for a good job which matches with your career and earn much more money than those who don’t pursue their studies.”
I was very interested in Fidele’s advice for young people and I was inspired by his commitment to pursue his studies instead of taking a temporary job. He shared with me this advice.
Focus on your dream. It is better to stay ambitious and work towards your dream. “It will make your life easier and more enjoyable,” he said.
Maximize your opportunities. Fidele was saddened by how many young people from Africa get an opportunity to study and throw it away by taking any type of job. “I can advise them to study because the job will be there at any time,” he said. He also advises people to think outside the box, determine their passion and turn it into a career.
Have advisors. Sometimes it is difficult to choose between a job and school due to one’s personal background and family finances. So, you need a true person to advise you on what to prioritize or how you can work at the same time while studying.
It was great to hear the life journey of a migrant who reached his dream career. Fidele motivated me to stay focused and maximize opportunities to achieve my dream career as well as make a long-term vision for my life. This will help me to achieve my goal of completing my bachelor’s degree in December, working in the logistics and operations industry and expanding my professional connections in this industry. The interview with Fidele taught me to think twice when taking a decision that will impact my life for the long term. He advised me that a good choice might have thorns but persistence and determination will help me to prepare for a better future.
Moreover, in this interview, I was able to see the importance of maximizing my opportunities. When I got a scholarship at Kepler, I took it for granted. However, Fidele’s interview proved me wrong. This is a big opportunity to work towards my goals.
Lastly, in this motivational interview, I learned that when you know what you want, you don’t take what you get.
You can connect with Fidele Niyonzima via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dieudonne Masheja is a Southern New Hampshire University student. You can connect with him on LinkedIn. He wrote this story after going through Global Innovators Academy’s Interview an Innovator course experience.