Reconstruction of Saudi youth


SAUDI youth are going through a transitional phase. They are changing and breaking old stereotypes about being lazy and unproductive. About 15 years ago, if you were to ask someone who was born in the 80s about what they wanted to do with their lives and what jobs they wanted to work, you would be amazed by the answers. At that time, the first entry-level job they wanted would be nothing less than a top-level management position.

That mode of thinking that a person does not have to build himself or herself up from scratch is exactly what kills a career before it even begins. These individuals who are attracted to top jobs are not lured by the work, but by the possibility of having a fully furnished office with fancy decorations, a personal assistant, power and the ability to order people.

All of that changed when the grim reality of the labor market hit them in the face. It was no longer a place for Saudis; expatriates also entered the labor market and created stiff competition. The new generation is now realizing the strength of the competition.

An increasing number of youth now have part time jobs and are trying to get into the labor market. They develop strong CVs and are doing this before even completing their studies. It was never the case 10 years ago when people would get degrees, find government jobs and settle down with them for eternity. What has made this generation different to the last? The difference is that this generation has low expectations of the labor market and is not expecting anyone to give them something just like that.

This generation is not settling for any old jobs. Some have gone beyond working for others and are starting their own businesses and building themselves up from the ground. I always bring up the story of Jack Ma, the man who found an online business. However, I would rather cite examples of Saudis who persevered and launched their own businesses.

Mohammad Al-Makky graduated from a US university with honors. On returning home, he couldn’t find a job for two years. He spent his free time baking healthy snacks, which was his hobby. Many of his family and friends loved these snacks and encouraged him to create more. The hobby turned into an idea, which then morphed into a business. His business, which began as a simple hobby, is now expanding.

Some would rather sit and wait for a job opportunity to descend from the sky. Others, like Mohammad and many other young Saudis, create their own job opportunities. It only takes a few steps to score. That is the mentality that is needed to construct a new generation of youth to help achieve Vision 2030. It is imperative that the youth receive an adequate education and great training. The youth should immerse themselves into the labor market and find a footing. It only takes a few steps to score.

Adel Al-Sulami