Are you going to be one of those who do work because they feel that they have no other choice. Those half baked clones you meet in town with gloomy faces whining about their jobs and bosses every single day? Will you be comfortable with delivering average results as long as you are not the worst in the team, because you hate your job? Indiscriminately looking for anything to put food on the table? Or are you working towards a particular end goal? Pause and take a back step. The only job, really, is to maximize skills, do something that you like and utilize your career to make a difference…Ignore the number of times you will have to try. Get this from Michael Jordan “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game’s winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” One last one on disappointments…“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is a delay, not a defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can only avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing and being nothing.” Denis Waitley
Now let’s get to the real talk.
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The last one month has been the longest you ever had. Same old cycle. Wake up, look for a job online(Yeah, first thing in the morning)…take breakfast, shower, dress lazy, watch or read…lunch, supper. End. On a slightly different day, you have an interview somewhere. You feel nostalgic about school and friends, agitated by job hunting, constantly hungry, and increasingly getting tired of pretentious attention on what you have ‘been upto lately’. You have been curled up on a movie since morning today. You decide to check your phone. No calls, no texts, but 200+ whatsapp messages. These groups, smh. Top of the list is the blabbermouth who has made it a personal duty to notify members of which company has send emails to applicants. Then another one notifying friends of their two job offers and asking for advice in choosing. #Dilemma#Godspeed#Hardworkpays#cantbilivit#teamworkingclass… many sappy words which only serve to remind you that the struggle has just been redefined. Let’s take a moment and appreciate this kind of group members for their invaluable contribution to your sleeplessness.
You are tempted to open your mail, but you are scared. What if it is a regret and you get back to the group only to find people talking of how hard work has paid and you start wondering if what you did was lazy work. No one talks when they are rejected… they lie to your face that they did not apply.
You beat your inner voice telling you to check later. After all, it’s either that you are proceeding to the next level, or you have received a slap like this:
(Been habouring a personal beef with this particular mail. Whoever taught them communication did an amazing job, especially on the subject line. Yes?Somebody in HR, anyone?).
Well, back to the main point. The harsh part about job scarcity is that you will inevitably find yourself competing with your peers, close friends and even siblings. Some of you will be dropped along the way at earlier stages, others in the final stages. None is better than the other. You all start the process with blind optimism, you know. Worse is when you find yourself competing with your closest of friends and it becomes every man for himself, God for us all. Then you, yes you, end up being the one who doesn’t meet the cut. They get the job that you were eyeing with both eyes wide open.You will be really happy for them. Why am I lying? You will be jealous, green with envy. You will want to run to them and ask them what they said in there, what posture they took, if they smiled or if they wore flat faces…You will start taking mental notes on what they say in ordinary conversations. And it’s not because you feel you are better or something. (But let’s just be honest here, while taking those mental notes, you will at one point or another be like “She’s not even all that. C’mon, how could they even choose her over me?”)..It’s only very normal to ask yourself what they have that you don’t. Ask any person who has ever been dumped for another, they are acquinted these kind of monologues. But you will stay strong like a man and decide not to parade your silent pains; a girl has gotta have some pride and keep her hem looking forward. You do not even know how awkward it is until you start saying congratulations to people who got the jobs you were rejected for. Plain mordance! Of course, unless it is your accountability partner, whom you can openly rant and vent to. But how many such partners do you have, One? Two? The rest will be batches of sealed sarcasm. It’s equally hard when you get a job before your friends do. You will feel sidelined. It gets really hard maintaining conversations because you are unsure how your jobless friends will take it, you will try avoid rubbing it in that ‘you gat it’…Your comments will be judged harshly and you might periodically be told to shut up, like what do you know about rejections? Some of these friends who aint loyal will backbite you and seal it by showing you their teeth. If they are not saying that you only got the job because so and so fixed you, they will insinuate that you probably slept your way there. Why are you surprised? Only people who have slept their way think that everyone else is like them*thirdcent*…I leave that at that.
Friends might change and cohorts be revised over time, depending on who is where currently. To the job seekers, the cycle is pretty much standard before you get that job. The people you talk to will somewhat irritate you unintentionally.
The one who texts you a one liner “BADO???” everyday as though they have been doing the interviews for you..and go easy on the three question marks by the way. Just because she answers you with another one liner “Woiye bado imagine, then three sadfaces” does not make it any soft, you should know the number of noxious words that she rolls her eyes on before texting back. (Women who will kill you smiling to your face.)Then the ones who keep calling you for some gigs which never materialize, and the ones who tell you they can give you jobs, but you need to have coffee over it to discuss. (No thanks). Oh and the ones who will never forget to keep telling you how they had options during their time and then give you that ‘Why’you struggling, are you dumb or something?…’ kind of look. Someone somewhere will take your joblessness to imagine you will finally give them a date. Don’t! Because a guy who imagines you will be interested in going out with them because they have some ‘job’ has problems. Those are the ones you go out with and all they tell you is inflated figures of their small salaries, how they plan to move out of Eastlands because the mulla is big now, and how the girls are dying for him left right and centre. He will confess to you how gold-diggers are not letting him have a moments peace, but he can only settle with a girl who is not after his money, unajua nyinyi wasichana mnapenda watu wenye wako na pesa tu… You will read a lot of insecurities between his cheesy lines and drift away your attention. Study shows that those who tarmacked longest or earn the least are the loudest when saying that the ‘big’ job CAME looking for them and the money is big on them. They are the ones who find pride in exhaulting themselves in public places of how they have never really struggled..
Essentially, 90% of your conversations will be centered on the search. If your next of kin has not started calling you lazy because you are not aggressive enough, worry not. It is coming. Soon, you will be the icebreaker for every conversation. So and so will come visit, and because your folks are not in yet, you will strike a conversation on the budget or the floods.
Then they will walk in, “Kamekwambia kanatafuta kazi?Bado. Aiya, bado?!Uko na jokes wewe. Mbona hujamwambia? Then the conversation will be picked from there. Many others will be started with you as the subject line.
If you are not conscious, you will find your confidence level declining. It will get worse as more of your friends get jobs and stress will somehow kick in.
But why? Partly the academic system you went through. Go to school, get good grades: and a nice job will come as a reward. The society expects you to get a job to rate you highly.Then your circle which constantly keeps pestering you with questions tops up the pressure. There are those who simply want you to make it big so that they can brag about you. They will only flaunt you once you are a big shot, not now. Beware of those ones! People who only appreciate the glory and undermine the story behind it. Because to every glory, there is a bigger story behind the scenes. And hold close the ones who create the story by your side, who value the failures along the way and pick you up. Those who will not just be proud of you only when you are all refined and base their friendship purely on your success…
I deliberately placed the first paragraph there because you might need it when stress starts kicking in. When you start getting desperate and applying for jobs that you are sure will stress you out, in fields that you have zero interest in. Or when all you want is just something to get you out of the house and earn respect from the ones who judge you by your status.
Finally, Daddy told us that no matter how tall our grandmother was, we’d have to do our own growing. It did not make much sense at that time. Now it does. It’s all about you. You sweat: you earn: you enjoy the outcome. Not the other way. That’s how it is, that is the family norm. He brought us up on one mantra, that ‘If you are handed things, you’goin to take them for granted, and that is not the game. When you have put work in and overcome all that life is throwing at you, it’s just all sweeter. You value more and consequently become a more responsible child who respects effort…Effort is the key word. Put in a little more effort as you seek a job in your field of interest.