24-year old Thabile Shoba shares her journey from Matriculant with no prospect of a better future to a Manager at one of South Africa’s leading call centres.
We live in a world where we are constantly pressurised to conform to societal norms. For a young 18-year old, the pressure is particularly high. From the pressure of passing matric to the pressure of going to university or college – but what happens when they don’t conform? What happens if they can’t conform?
“There is nothing worse than watching your friends head off to varsity or college and seeing their journey to a better life begin. You feel like you are left behind with no hope and no future,” says Thabile Shoba, Sales Team Leader at Umhlanga-based call centre, Talksure.
Thabile’s mother was retrenched in the same year that she was due to start studying and so, instead of joining her mates, she helped put food on the table. She recalls the hardships they faced and although she was proud to help her family when they needed it most, she dreamt of more.
After a stint of odd jobs here and there, Thabile was introduced to Talksure. “A friend told me that they were hiring and the best part was that all I needed was a matric! I started as a Sales Agent and straight away the Team Leaders took me under their wing. They taught be how to be the best sales person that I could be and pushed me to better myself daily.”
Now, less than two years after starting with Talksure, Thabile has been promoted to Team Leader. At 24, she is earning on par with her same-aged college-graduate peers and has even managed to build her mother a house. “My journey has definitely not been easy. I’ve had to work hard and overcome my fear of failure, but I am incredibly grateful to have come this far in such a short space of time! Before I joined Talksure, I thought my life was destined to be one of poverty and living pay check to pay check.”
In addition to being able to provide for her family, Thabile is finally living her dream of studying further, “I have recently been accepted to study Generic Management NQF level 4 with Talksure and I couldn’t be happier!”
Thabile hopes that her story will inspire other matriculants to not give up hope, “I know how you feel, but just because your journey isn’t the same as others, doesn’t mean that it won’t lead to the same amazing destination.”
She gives the Matrics of 2019 4 tips to reaching their dreams:
1. Understand that everything happens for a reason: Believe in yourself and your journey, know that whatever comes your way you have the strength to overcome it, there is a reason for everything, you may just not know it yet.
2. Not everyone will understand your journey: Your journey is unique to you, people won’t understand and they will question your decisions but that’s okay, remember this is not their journey, it is yours!
3. Be kind to yourself: When things get tough don’t beat yourself up, you are doing you best you can do, right now, and that is enough.
4. You cannot achieve your dream in your comfort zone: Comfort zones are the most dangerous place to be, nothing will ever change if you don’t step out, be brave and take every opportunity that comes your way.
“Never feel like it’s too late to start living your best life. The call centre industry gave me more than I could ever have hoped for; it gave me hope and a stable income but most of all, it gave me back the power to dream,” Thabile concludes.