Take Charge of Your Life

Take Charge of Your Life

2736 1824 Tasnim Mustaque

Life after graduation is a thought that torments every graduate. Of course, there is excitement about being unshackled from early morning classes, night-long cramming, and dreadful grade announcement days. However, the “blues” engendered by the brusque realization of adulthood are inescapable – now what?

A myriad of career advices and warnings from deeply concerned well-wishers inevitably accompanies your bane. It is only human to get daunted and confused amidst this pandemonium, eventually losing sight of who you really are and what you really want to do.

An insufferable barrage of questions, the spectrum of which stretches from the utterly practical (How do I get a job?) to the immensely profound (What is my life’s purpose?), stares at you.

Unsurprisingly, every graduate faces the same questions, but the answers are unique to each. There’s no silver bullet, no magic solution. Nonetheless, mistakes and miscalculations made at this crucial time are often irreversible.

To get a bit more perspective, it is worth knowing some facts. Every year a graduate enters the job market as just one in a group of 1.8 million other soldiers. Every year, the employment situation worsens in a country where a sixth of the population is already unemployed or underemployed.

Recent ILO reports state further grim realities. Between 2000 and 2006 about 250,000 jobs were created for every point of GDP growth in Bangladesh. Assuming this estimation is fairly valid, with GDP growth rate of about 6%, annual job creation would be about 1.5 million. But even that does not match the 1.8 million new job seekers every year let alone those who are already unemployed.

With so much difficulty in securing a credible job, no wonder entrepreneurship is the new popular kid on the block for young graduates these days. However, the facts here according to the World Bank, is that only about 9,000 businesses get registered in Bangladesh annually and the Doing Business 2013 study ranks Bangladesh as 129th among 185 countries!

I know the facts above aren’t exciting but I shift uneasily at them too. The writing’s on the wall. It truly is survival of the fittest. The point that I am trying to make is that unless you take charge, your state of confusion based on what other people say is bound to get worse as you strive to enter a fiercely competitive and difficult post-university life irrespective of which profession you might choose to take up. The very people, who will be spearheading our front-lines and giving us direction in a few years’ time, need some direction for themselves right now.

This is the cue for leadership. Long burdened by its unjustly awarded political and authoritative connotation, the word “leadership” holds the answers to all of Bangladesh’s problems. Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC), the country’s first leadership institute, has been dedicated to sensitizing and training tomorrow’s young leaders since 2008. The organization believes that the multi-faceted and convoluted predicaments facing our country can only be mitigated by a generation of compassionate and competent leaders. In accordance with that vision, BYLC has implemented an impressive number of youth leadership programs already, uniting students from different academic and socio-economic backgrounds.

The application of leadership in our lives is grossly misunderstood and underestimated. Leadership, when wrongful connotations are ignored, refers to the collective mobilization of a system towards a common purpose. Notwithstanding, the concept of leadership application in our individual lives is largely unpracticed. BYLC believes that the practice of that very concept is what our young graduates need to succeed in their personal and professional lives. Youth Leadership Bootcamp (YLB), a brand new leadership, program has been launched with the view of realizing this vision.

Youth Leadership Bootcamp, as the name suggests, will be a rigorous, fast-paced program on leadership and its application in personal and professional life. The program will consist of lectures on the exercise of leadership, simulative negotiation sessions, team-building games, visits to public and private organizations and non-profit projects, peer learning, and other networking opportunities.

BYLC has always believed that people are most effective when they are exercising leadership on behalf of the issues they are truly passionate about. Youth Leadership Bootcamp will therefore emphasize self-discovery and self-motivation, concepts which are underestimated in our increasingly mechanical post-university lives.

The workshop is designed around three central attributes of leadership: exploration, experience and expression. The program will put you in situations where you will be compelled to open your mind, rediscover yourself, set your imagination free; interact and work with other bright young minds and see firsthand how real life problems are solved in leading organizations; and articulate your thoughts and feelings to engender meaningful change. 100 full-time undergraduates, selected from a competitive pool of applicants, will spend three full days in Chittagong, lodging at BRAC Learning Center (BLC), Kazir Dewri.

BYLC acknowledges that a three-day Bootcamp isn’t enough for you to find answers to your innumerable introspective questions, but it could be an important “turnkey” in unlocking your potential as a confident young mind, in charge of his own life to say the least. Youth Leadership Bootcamp will give participants a well-rounded experience which will leave them refreshed and ready to take on the world.