Last year, the National Senior Certificate results showed a pass rate of 75.1% for matric students. However, this does not include those who dropped out before writing their matric exams. What is considered to be the true pass rate by many was reported as being 39.25%. This means that only a minority of students who began school ended up with a matric certificate, which is not something that is uncommon.
Many South African students leave school for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s because they need to care for younger siblings or a sick family member. Sometimes it’s because they can’t afford it or can’t make it to the nearest school. And sometimes it’s simply because academics isn’t their strong point. So, if you’re one of the many people out there looking for a job without a matric, don’t lose hope. There is something out there for you.
And if you’re struggling to find your way into the working world, here is some helpful advice on how to find the right job for you.
Don’t think about what you don’t have, think about what you do have
You may think you have nothing to offer the working world because you don’t have a matric certificate. That’s not true at all. You still have skills and strengths. Even though you didn’t finish school, that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be a valuable asset to any business you work for. It’s important that you’re aware of that. And the way you can remind yourself of this is to sit down and list all your skills and strengths.
What are you good at? Are you creative? Do you have leadership potential? Or is your incredible work ethic your biggest strength? Write down anything and everything that comes to mind.
Now, take a look at that list and think about what career would best suit those skills and how you can get your foot in the door without a matric certificate.
Try to find an internship in the industry you’d like to work in
Once you have an idea of what you’d like to do, think about whether you could get an internship in the industry. Contact anyone you may know in the business and ask if they wouldn’t mind you job shadowing them for a while. And then impress them as much as you possibly can. Afterwards, you can ask if they have any internship opportunities available for someone who is willing to work hard and give it their all (that would be you). If not, your job shadowing experience along with a reference from them might help you when applying for internships elsewhere.
Take free online courses
There are courses online which are free and don’t require a matric certificate. Think about the subjects you’re interested in and search for free courses online. You will be able to find everything from writing courses to introduction to business courses. Sometimes you might have to pay for the certificate, but it costs a lot less than an in-person course and there are no educational requirements.
Alternatively, consider learning a trade
If you prefer to work with your hands, there are many different trades you can choose to learn. For example, you may want to look into becoming a plumber or mechanic. You will have to train and learn as an apprentice and pass an exam before you are able to work on your own. However, it is practical and not academic, so learning a trade is perfect if you don’t enjoy studying. It’s hard work, but it’s worthwhile as you can make a decent living and even eventually start your own business.
Think and behave like you have the job of your dreams
Whether you are job shadowing or interning, working part-time while doing courses online or learning a trade, you need to think and behave as though you already have the job of your dreams. That is how to excel at your job. Whatever you do, be professional about it and maintain a positive attitude, your future employers will see this and appreciate it.