Jobs are not served on a silver platter. While some individuals are lucky to easily get jobs, most people have confessed going through hustles and bustles before they landed a job. It is not new to hear people exclaiming in Swahili, “Ninafanya Kazi ya Kutafuta kazi!” (I have a job of looking for a job!)
Due to education been prioritized, many individuals in Kenya are advancing their qualifications day in day out. In the Kenyan job market, it’s saddening that the people you know matter more than how qualified you are!
When most people graduate, they become frustrated after failing to land a job of their choice. Although they earlier on inhabited in a place with free internet access, they opt for the last minute to start job hunting.
Out of campus and short of the income they earlier on used to receive from home, survival becomes hard and they are forced to go back home. Parents view that since one is neither in school nor working, it is only fair that you go back home in a bid to cut cost.
Looking for a job becomes hard and the graduate has to make occasional trips to the city to drop his CV’s and other credentials. Sometimes others dwell in their relative’s houses as they look for jobs. The relatives might mistreat them as they do not have any income and rely on them.
Despite how qualified you are there always seems to be another person who attended a prestigious institution or worse yet who has a better relationship with the boss more than you do!
Nowadays, companies have crafted a new interviewing strategy. Having decided forehand the people they are going to employ, it makes the rest undergo a couple of interviews and later on, they break the news that you did not qualify! For many, this is normally heart wrecking, as it revives their hopes then drops it all down!
I read an interesting confession of a young man looking for a job. His situation is pretty much what a lot of people undergo. He narrates, “Hi, I'm the manager, step into my office please." So you walk in there gazing at the employees of the month list hoping you'll be on there soon too.
Then he asks you a few questions, "So what did you do at your previous job?" and "What are some of your hobbies?" Inside you wish you could tell him, "Oh I was a pimp. Hobbies you say? hmmm, well when I'm not at some NRA rallies trying to pass an act that makes guns legal for infants, I'm out with the boys getting drunk off our asses and getting into bar fights."
But instead you lie to him and say, "Oh I was a clerk and I helped out all the customers with their needs. My hobbies are playing chess and figuring out math formulas to further enhance my education for when I go to Harvard University..." or some insane lie like that.
Then there's a few moments of silence...his eyebrows slant downward as he looks at your application. You are sweating at this point and hoping he doesn't notice. Everything seems to be amplified 50 thousand times. You hear your application crinkling in his hands. You also wish you hadn't had that heavy Breakfast coz now you have to let one rip. Then he stands up, and of course you do to. "Ok thanks a lot. We'll CALL YOU BACK sometime soon to let you know if we've decided to hire you. Thanks."
He gives you the hand shake, then smiles”-Familiar, Right?
Another job hunting experience that people go through is being told the boss is not in. A friend confided that he once dressed up to meet a big shot in a certain company. The young lad had earlier on contacted the company’s director and arranged for a meeting with him at 9:00 a.m. On the D-date, he arrived thirty minutes earlier to ensure he was on time.
As time went by, he fidgeted around chewing on his nails, wiping sweat from his hands and forehead and clearing his throat as he constructed a speech over and over in his head.
When 9.00 a.m o’clock tocked, he asked his secretary if the ‘Big man’ had asked for him. She replied that he had gone out through the back door for a while but would be back. He opted to wait for him for hours when the secretary spit out that he had gone to attend a meeting in Kampala and would be back after a week!
He could not understand why she had not said that at the first place. He strolled back home, feeling like his life had reached an end
As you look for a job, one drops numerous application letters hoping to be called later on. However this does not happen! The malicious secretaries who do not posses half of your qualifications dump the papers even before you leave the door. However, while at home you ensure your phone is never mteja and jump every time it rings all in the hope that it is your prospective employer calling you. Poor you! The papers were trashed a long time ago!
The reference section is one where many people assume that their employees don’t pay attention to. One drafts random names like their mother’s best friends and some use their sisters or brothers as referees. A recently graduated young lady probed to find out why she did not get the job she had applied for and was told that she had given out wrong referees thus her credibility was doubted.
As you look for a job, know that you aren’t alone. Have you had an experience you would love to share? Feel free to share it with us!