Those of you who live in Nairobi have heard of 'jobless corner' that area outside the Hilton where you may find frustrated Kenyans some young. some old holding brown envelopes looking all beat with dusty shoes. I once was in that category 'consultants' who were freelancing. Was a few years back just after I'd left campus and it's so easy to forget that dry period once you get settled in the working world. That I did after finally making it to the land of milk and honey after roaming in the desert for a while.
It truly is a time of ups and downs, false hopes, trails that lead to nowhere, some that lead somewhere but it is so gratifying when you find that all elusive jobs. Who likes receiving those all too common regret letters- usually from your dream employer who you may have been praying, even fasting for. Attending interviews some promising, some total train wrecks as you are out of your depth because they're clearly expecting a more experienced person. There are also those that may have even gone smoothly but you never heard back again from the prospective employer!
Graduates usually come into the working world with great expectations and their dream career mapped out in their heads and after a few months you realise what a jungle it is out there. You may have been thinking what a superstar like me with an honours degree? they'll be jumping over each other to snap me up! They are of course th fortunate few who like step out of campus into work and even have to take leave for graduation then they are those who stay for months even years before getting a job. You really can't predict what will happen next. Then as usual there's those adverts that ask for somebody with x years of experience and you wonder what to do with 0 years! Crazy time it is and the Kenyan job market is pretty much an employers' market and many find themselves snapping up the first thing that comes along.
Inevitably frustration may creep in when you find yourself still hanging there months later, maybe you do an internship or something like that for little or no pay but all of us want that big pay slip at the end of the month. What a relief it is when the waiting finally ends and you get called for that interview and what can measure to the joy of hearing that you've actually been hired for the job? Before then you have to survive on hope and prayer as it's a season that is temporary not permanent.
Well all this hits pretty close to home for me, not the first time as a 'consultant' but have the unenviable title of being between jobs. Experience is a bit more intense as I know what it is like to have an income and so have even greater motivation and sometimes frustration esp when I know I gave something up for what I expected would be better. Of all the virtues we aspire to have patience is the hardest one to cultivate- somebody once said it carries a lot of wait but I know in the end I'll emerge stronger. as for now it's waiting praying and walking around with those brown envelopes!