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Can nepotism be a good thing?

You probably see the word nepotism and it turns your stomach. But does this kind of favouritism have a place in our culture?

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Can nepotism be a goodd thing (Landscape) - The Massive Jamaica

Nepotism.

The blight that harms our society more than it helps. The unfair practice that sometimes shuts qualified people out of positions in favour of the less qualified.

It’s a term that many around the world know personally and have probably been affected by at some point.

I know you see that word and it probably turns your stomach. You may even want to throw this article away and go read something else.

But give me a moment to state my case.


My own experience with favouritism

I’ve been tripped up by favouritism (a very close relative of nepotism). Fortunately for me, I was vindicated, as eventually, the person who had received the benefit of the favouritism was unable to rise further. They lacked the very skills that made them unsuitable in the first place.

But that is a story for another time.


How can nepotism be a good thing?

I’ve encountered an example of nepotism that has caused me to reconsider its place in our culture.

Someone I know well worked for many years for a prominent Jamaican-owned company. He was relentless in his pursuit to make the company efficient, profitable and an equitable place to work, and eventually earned a vice presidency.

The president, founder and sole-owner, was on his way to retirement. The man I know was the most suitable choice to become the president of the company. He had the right attitude, work ethic and credentials (in both experience and degrees) to take care of the entire operation.

But the president also had a son who worked in the business. His son, at this point, wasn’t as qualified as the man in question, but he was chosen to take over following his retirement.

Furthermore, the man I know was asked to leave the company because of the threat he posed to the son as the next president.

Now, you may read that and say, “See, that’s not fair! Nepotism at work again! The right man being shut out over a less competent relative!”


But what would you do if it was your startup taking off?

Consider this.

You build a company from scratch and see it grow and become profitable. You’re proud of it and what you’ve been able to achieve with it. You have a child, whom you love and whom you plan to take over to continue your legacy.

You’ve done your best to groom your child to take over your business and you “see” (whether real or imagined) their potential for growth.

Would you, so easily, be able to pass your company over to the more qualified man who is not your relative? And even if your child is less qualified at that time, would you pass up the chance for them to rise to the occasion?


So, what do you think?

Fortunately for that company, the son was indeed able to step up to the plate. He succeeded in raising the company to even greater heights than his father.

We will never know if the company would have fared even better under the hands of the more qualified man. But the point is, was it so wrong to pass over a non-relative for a beloved son?


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The reality of job hunting for today’s university graduates

Final year is done and it’s time to go into the world of work and start job hunting in your respective field of study.

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Job hunting for university graduates (Landscape) -The Massive Jamaica

Finally! The last semester of final year is done and it’s time to go into the world of work. You get your resume done and start job hunting in your respective field of study. 

But then your spirit starts to sink as you realize a month passes with no responses. Two months, three months, a year and still no responses. 

You might be wondering what you did wrong? Your resume is great – I mean you probably even got it revamped by a professional. You graduated with honours. So what’s the problem? 

These are all feelings I’m all too familiar with. This is the sad and sometimes depressing reality of job hunting for university graduates today.


Job hunting can get really discouraging

Terri-Karelle, in a video posted on her instagram page, highlighted the struggles of job hunting for young people. 

“Sometimes you do everything right, sometimes you get the grades, sometimes you have the qualifications but there is no job offer. You do the interviews but you still don’t land the job.” 

The entire process can get very discouraging. Sending out multiple resumes, dressing up for interviews only to be declined is exhausting, to say the least. It can also take a toll on your mental health. Thoughts of sadness and failure rushing through your mind are enough to drive you insane.

Sometimes when you look and see that all your friends are getting jobs and you’re the only one in the lot still struggling to find work, it hurts. You end up feeling discouraged, thinking maybe you’re the problem.


Your lack of work experience and age can be barriers to landing jobs

It is no secret that the requirement for years of experience is a major hindrance to graduates fresh out of university. Many companies require that their prospective employees have three or more years of experience in order to qualify for any job. 

The reality is that many graduates leave school without having any work experience. Because they were juggling school and extracurricular activities, most graduates simply didn’t have the time to gain relevant work experience. Some may have done internships but most times this isn’t enough for some employers.

On the other hand some companies flat out reject applicants because of their age. The applicant may meet all the qualifications necessary to land that job but because they’re “too young” they are rejected. 

According to them your youth renders you unable to effectively carry out the required task of the job. Forget about the fact that most times these are entry level jobs which are best done by the very young people that are getting rejected. And what’s funny is that these employers are usually strong “advocates” for youth development.


So, what do you do?

In the same video Terri-Karelle later asked “What do you now do? How have you developed yourself?” 

The reality is that while job hunting is discouraging and depressing you shouldn’t give up. It’s in this seemingly dark and low point in your life that the perfect moments to work on yourself appear. 

Take the time to learn a new skill, language, or enhance talents you already have. There are quite a few platforms that provide all the resources you need to develop yourself – like Linkedin, Skillshare, Udemy, Google and good old Youtube.

You can’t throw your hands in the air and vow to never apply for another job. Not now. Not when you’re so close. Continue to press for jobs, even the ones it looks like you aren’t qualified for. Just keep pushing.


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