Getting a job in Kenya is slowly becoming a nightmare. In order to survive the axe of unemployment in Kenya, one needs to be super different in the way they approach the job market. A recent study by the World Bank shows that Kenya has the highest number of unemployed youth compared to other countries in East Africa. The study also show that nearly one in every five Kenyan youths is jobless compared to Tanzania’s and Uganda’s.
So where does this leave us as job seekers? This means that with thousands of graduates each year, the chances of landing a job after school becomes even slimmer. Is this the reason why some have opted for new ways of getting a job – carrying a placard seeking for employers?
He stood along Thika Road and begged for a job
Do you remember the 28-year-old Patrick Muthomi with a placard asking for a job in August? All media houses featured his plight. Patrick opted to put out his qualifications for the whole world to see. With a young family to take care of, joblessness was not going to be his potion. He went in for it, advertised his potential and skills for road passerby to see. Despite being jobless, Patrick had the most coveted qualifications in his field of study – a degree in commerce, accounting option and CPA Section 4.
“I left Nyeri to come to Nairobi with the hope that I would secure a job and be able to grow my skills and career. Little did I know that this is the worst place when it comes to job hunting” he says. Apparently, he had applied for more than 200 jobs but had not had a response. Tired of his situation, he went and made a poster that advertised his qualifications and contact information and showed up on the road, with the hope that someone would notice. Well, the dawn finally came for the father of one when Chandaria Industries came through. It brought to a close, his turmoil chapter.
The beauty who took the streets with a placard
Who can forget the beautiful Rakiel Kaoka, who took old Limuru Road, just strategically outside the UN headquarters? I know you remember her from all those pictures doing rounds on social media with a placard reading “kindly give me a job.” Rakiel stood on the busy highways just as motorists were going on about their business lifting her placard hoping someone takes note. Like Patrick, she too was hopeful.
Rakiel, a Kenyatta University alumnus, has a degree in Economics and Finance with CPA section 5. After sending out so many applications and visiting various offices without any success of landing a job, she decided that if a man can get a job though a placard, why not a woman? After all what was she going to lose by trying?
Finally, someone came through for her at the Youth Enterprise Development Fund, a state agency. We all yearn to work in the government, at least for the security of our jobs. She is on a three-month internship, as the management “works on a lasting solution, alongside counseling sessions for her.”
So is this the new method in town of looking for jobs? Have people outgrown the traditional methods of sending in applications without getting a response? No response, get up and go for it era?
Is this method in any way beneficial?
Yes, it is look at these cases,
1. The Possibility of Attracting High Ranking People
Taking the situation of Patrick and Rakiel, their unconventional way of looking for a job caught the attention of high ranking employers. If you had probably told Muthomi two years ago that he would be working for a multinational company like Chandaria Industries, he would probably rubbish it. Rakiel never knew, it would be so easy to get a job in a government agency.
2. No interview panel at all!
Who likes going for interviews? If it were up to us, we would all prefer to just apply for a job and get placed from your application details. One of the benefits of advertising your qualification on a placard along a busy highway as we have noticed is that, you skip the interview stage. Someone just takes notice of your determination to get a job and just offer you an open position.
Someone will always be there to take advantage
Job scammers will always be there to squeeze the little money you have saved from relatives to use in the job hunting. It didn’t happen to Rakiel or Patrick; it might happen to someone else in future.
In a nutshell
While some may argue that this is the best way to look for a job, it has worked for these two and others across Africa. If you feel that this is the way to land a job, why not go for it, you can always get career related advice like interview coaching and CV writing services that will make the job search process less stressful.
Article first appeared on careerpointkenya.com