Job hunting in this country is an extreme sport. The government doesn’t have pension money so civil servants can’t retire before they beat Methuselah’s record. Corporates want 21-year olds with 22-year work experience. Internships are for the privileged who can afford mandazis and rabbit meat for selling to colleagues while working for free. You might have to carry placards around highways for some HR to realize they have an opening at their place.
If you want to know how bad the situation is, look for the IkokaziKe hashtag on Twitter. It was originally meant to let jobseekers know of available opportunities, but it is now almost a platform to advertise job skills instead of job opportunities.
Even interviews are hard to come by. Landing one qualifies you to give a public lecture on Career Growth and Professional Development to your peers. It gives you hope that you are making headway in your attempts to adult. However, sometimes you get opportunities that make you regret hitting send on that job application email. Ironically, it is such prospective employers who parade around whining how millennials don’t like working.
One of our reader’s narrates her ordeal at the hands of such an employer;
“I received an interview invitiation for a dream job- at least by the job description. Saying I revised for this interview would be an understatement. I camped on their website. Went through my CV several times to make sure there wasn’t a typo hiding somewhere waiting to come out in the interview room- you know, you can never be too sure. Have you ever done consultations on how to pass an interview? I did. I even wore the dress I intended to wear to the interview several times before the big day. I aimed to impress, and nothing was going to stop me.
On the day, I took an uber to the interview. That wasn’t part of the script though, I just got to town late. The driver looked at me and must have thought he was driving Safaricom’s next CEO to an interview. As usual with every driver who doesn’t ask many questions, I gave him 5 stars.
To get my dream job, I was going to have to beat 25 other guys! I was a little shooketh, but still in high spirits. Even more determined, I might say.
The first red flag would have been how the organization put so much emphasis on how of a big deal they were. I mean, give me the job and let me find out for myself whether you are a big deal or not. Besides, I have worked at top institutions myself, even if they were on internship basis. If you want to show me how much a big deal you are, just give me a big salary. Ama namna gani my fren?
The only person on the interview panel was the ‘Managing Director.’ Second red flag. But you can’t go around counting red flags when you have to adult. Unless you are a marine out in the ocean.
“Close the door behind you,” He told me as soon as I walked into the room. He was on his phone. All the interview manuals I had read talked about waiting for your interviewer to offer you a seat before sitting your ass down. But they never said anything about what to do when your interviewer seems to asking a slay queen for nudes and forgets to offer you a seat. Being the proactive (prospective) employee I am, I offered myself one.
“Tell me about yourself.”
I ranted and raved. His focus still on his phone. When I was done, he pulled out my CV as if to confirm everything I had just said. I am not a short-tempered person, but he was starting to get on my nerves.
“Why should we hire you?” Still on his phone.
I started ranting again about my qualifications and how I’m such a hardworker bla bla bla. He cut me short to take a call. He came back to me once he was done.
“How come you are still jobless despite interning at prestigious institutions? You must be the problem, otherwise they would have retained you! Or is it your exceptional grades, they are so impressive they are scaring away potential employers.”
I was on the verge of crying. He urged me not to hold back the tears. Mocked me to shed all the tears I felt necessary to shed. I really wanted to walk out, but my mind probably wanted to stay and see how much bullshit can come out of a person. After a long awkward silence, he handed me his business card.
After a week, I received a congratulatory email offering me a one month contract. I had been emotionally battered, tortured and mocked for a one month contract! I declined the offer. The Managing Director called wanting to know why I turned down their offer. I lied that I was already engaged elsewhere.
One day, when I’m over the trauma, I’ll visit the building that houses the institution again. There’s a nice restaurant on the ground floor that I’d like to try out.”