Getting a job in Kenya for a fresh graduate is no walk in the park as Elizabeth narrates.
By Elizabeth Benu,
What first hits you when you get admitted to campus? You think of the fulfilling life ahead of you, the good job you will get and the fleet of cars you will own once that fat cheque comes bouncing in. Looking at it you would think that it is the regular same-old procedure of going up levels in an automatic manner. I used to think and even envision that in my mind but that is not the case.
I cleared campus in February and up until now I have not found a job. It is not that I have not been searching; I run up and down, flip through newspaper pages, use my saved up money going to the cyber café looking for that job, consume much time online scrolling through websites, talking to friends and family and everything else that a job seeking candidate does and even after all that I still sit at home looking at my phone waiting for it to ring and someone on the line tells you that am their newest employee.
The job seeking experience stirs up a million emotions in you. For starters it’s not a close-to-easy time. It gets harder if you are not getting any calls and hardest when all the jobs require at least two years experience when you only have none. This process leaves you feeling frustrated, hopeful, angry, happy, sad, tearful, energized and sometimes emotionless.
In my job searching experience, at times I feel that those employers do not take a look at my CV or certificates. I remember working very hard in campus just to make sure I score not less than a second class upper division so that I could grab a well paying job in the market. All these memories make me feel like school or rather the 8-4-4 system cheated on my efforts and expectations.
But at the end of the day hope is there to keep me going.
The struggle in job searching is when you start off, everyone including relatives and neighbors and family friends are more than willing to assist you in anyway even if it means carrying your CV for you. But with time they start pulling out slowly and by the time you realize, it you are on your own. After all they have their jobs and careers running and yours has not started yet.
Job seeking will make you so desperate and needy and this creates space for that crafty guy to get into your head and shamelessly steal from you. Recently, I came across a job advert by a certain NGO and the benefits were so good that I could not desist from applying. After a week I got the reply that I had qualified for the job but I was required (kindly required as they put it) to send 500 shillings to a certain number so that I could book a handset that I would use during the employment period.
Fortunately when I tried to send money to the said number it was temporarily out of service. I seriously freaked out and considered my application nullified. On the first day for the job I confidently walked to the venue ready to start but I later praised the heavens because that was a fraud and to imagine the hundreds that had sent that 500 bob in hope for a job. I was lucky but I have learnt that a real job will not kindly require you to send money to them for you to get that job and that a real job will schedule an interview with you before hiring you.
Even in all this I blame myself. I wish I seriously made contact with those people that I met during my attachment and also a few lecturers. Probably I would have gone for some few interviews or even gotten a job or an internship somewhere. It’s been over an year and I cannot contact them. Nobody wants to be those people that only call when in need.
Friends play a part in the job seeking world. They will tell you when an opening comes up when you have not seen it. Keep those friends especially those with good intentions towards you and also remember to keep contact. They can assist in structuring those CV’s and cover letters to perfection and also offer advice on a few things.
Do not dare to give up. I will not deny that it’s a struggle but I believe I went to school to learn what I never knew and equip myself ready to change the world with the little or much that I know. Am also still learning a few more things from the world through all possible means and better yet I firmly believe that there is that employer who is specifically looking for me as their best candidate for their vacant position. Even if they will not look soon we just have to keep fighting. That is why hope is the last thing that dies in our lives.
The world is like a chameleon; it is not willing to wait for you and let you accommodate to it. Be up for the challenge and arm yourself for that employer looking for you. You will be shocked that it will turn out just fine.