Could this be a generational thing?

Someone contacted me out of nowhere to ask what options her cousin who studied French and had just graduated from university had in terms of work. 

She also mentioned that some other people they knew who studied French ended up teaching. Then she ended her message with this question: 'What can she do with the French?'. What I drew from her message was that she didn't want her cousin to teach.

I asked her what her cousin's interests were and if she had asked her cousin the same question. She seemed to be getting frustrated with my questions but I didn't see how I could help, because in reality, my thinking was that her cousin would be in a much better position to know what her options were and what she might like to do.
I told her teaching was one option (and what if that was what the cousin wanted to do?!) but there were other things to do. Another thing was that I didn't know her cousin or what she liked so I was unsure how to respond. She was contacting me obviously because I studied French and was not teaching I suppose...

I finally mentioned some options to her; working with national and international organisations, being a translator or interpreter, working in diplomacy etc. I told her that there were options but I would not know where to point her cousin to. Especially because I have not looked at any job website in so long. I don't even know which websites people check these days. The cousin would have to do her research in line with what she might like to do. She thanked me and the conversation ended, but it got me thinking.

If she was yet to ask her cousin questions, why would she think that someone else would be able to answer the questions for her cousin? Had the cousin tried looking for jobs already but didn't find any? Unfortunately, I linked this to a lot of what I see in society today...the younger ones seem to wait for their parents or guardians to do a lot of things for them. I find that there is an absence of mind work/thinking and a lack of willingness to carry out minimum research on things that affect them. They are generally comfortable that their parents/guardians would do the needful/fix them up. These young ones are not entirely to blame as their parents seem to want to think for them and spoon feed them with everything. This seems to reflect the parenting style that is common, in order to make up for what these parents claim they lacked growing up.

Generation NameBirths
Age Today*
Oldest Age
The Lost Generation
The Generation of 1914
The Interbellum Generation19011913107119
The Greatest Generation1910192496110
The Silent Generation192519457595
Baby Boomer Generation194619645674
Generation X (Baby Bust)196519794155
Generation Y, Gen Next
iGen / Gen Z19952012 8 25
Gen Alpha2013202517

Which generation do you fall in by the way?

The downside to all this is that we have a bunch of young people who are completely shielded, who wait for things to happen or expect things to fall in place quickly. The notion of hard work and the process to succeed is tainted with hand outs and seems to hardly be encouraged or rewarded.
However we look at it, this affects the ethics and values that are propagated in society. Although there is no apparent solution, there has to be a balance with the notion of love and the role the older ones play with regard to what is passed down to the younger generation.

I obviously may not have anything concrete in terms of how things should be, but this might be a topic worth discussing. I would love to read your thoughts...


  1. Great article! Your talent is amazing. I told you once that I'm jealous of your English.
    I have cousins at home who are done with the university studies years ago but are still waiting for the job to come and knock at their doors. It's a generation problem. Back then, we barely had enough to get by in school and this I think pushed us to become what we are today. Today, they want good paying jobs and fancy stuff without working hard for it.

    1. Thanks for reading. It is a shame really.
      Each person having what motivates them is key. If all we have are people with little or no ambitions, then we are in trouble.

  2. There is the part of parents/guardians not spoon feeding these ones, but there's also the question of: are there readily available jobs? Is there a fair system in place to Hiring individuals?
    I'm totally up for hustling and being independent, do your thing, but the situation today is not helping at all! Jobs are heavily lobbied for! It's about "who you know" both in the private and public sector. I didnt meet that era, but I've heard there was once a time that graduates literally had jobs waiting for them right out of school. Now, there are more graduates than the job market. Does it mean people shouldn't get an education? No way!!! But then, what becomes of life after school? There's no system in place to help them, that's why they often turn to parents/guardians, connections.
    There's also a place for "go start a business", but really, is that for everyone? Do we even have a favourable market for that? Where would they start from in breaking the monopoly? I have deep respect for those who are able to come out of school and thrive, whether by getting a job or starting a business, sadly, that's not the case for most people.
    I have questions; is it the government? Is it us as a people? Or a collaborative effort? Who's to fix this???


    1. I certainly understand that there is this aspect, but I think that before parents step in (if they have to), there should be room to let their children put in some effort and try before they complement the efforts.

      I have the same questions as you and it seems that there is no straight answer. I believe though that a collaborative approach will go a long way in finding a solution.

  3. Wow!Good read the youth today need to be left to make decisions and work their way through to success rather than being spoon fed. We must also bear in mind that alot has changed, there is a high rate of unemployment in Nigeria hence the need for a young graduate to work towards expertise and relevance this however does not take away the importance of referral, mentorship and guidance. I see nothing wrong though with a parent wanting to help out if they can anyways.This can be done simultaneously to save time because currently there are loads of young people qualified and hardworking yet out of jobs, Not because they can't but because of the current situation of things.

    1. All these factors come into play and you have reiterated this part of the blog post above "there has to be a balance with the notion of love and the role the older ones play with regard to what is passed down to the younger generation."

      Thanks for reading.

  4. Aunty Ene this is a great article and a message everyone needs to read thank you so much

  5. In "there was a country" by Chinua Achebe, he mentioned how it was in their time. Jobs were available, the system has not been fractured the way it is now. Nigeria is not a practicing meritocracy. If it were, the concept of hard work would come in, look around you, in Nigeria, mediocrity is extolled and these kids are watching. But that does not remove hard work and dedication to duty and your passion in the world entirely. I believe hard work still pays, having a first hand experience in it. Parents should realise that parenting goes beyond putting food on the table, it has to do with building up a person's mentality to think for themselves, to make decisions and seek guidance when needed. ENE, thank you for raising this issue; it should be discussed on national TV with you anchoring.

    1. Thanks a lot...we agree on the fact that some young adults are shielded and seem afraid to be independent. On the other hand, I know times have changed and there are so many of us, jobs are no longer readily available. Parents can step in by all means but certain values should not be washed away, they should still be taught and practiced.

      Me, anchoring on TV? Hahahahahaha

  6. �������� Great article


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