National Service is about ending. You have about four months more to end it and you are anxious. You are anxious, because you know you are not going back to school to get a masters degree soon, and you also know that your services will not be needed where you are currently. To your current employees, one year of national service is exactly one year. No more, no less. As for you being maintained in that office, it’s a far-fetched dream. And the annoying thing is that, all you do at the office every week day is to buy lunch for your superiors, run photocopies and print out stuff whenever you are commanded to do so. You hate the job you are doing there, but the thought of being unemployed scares you even more. You will always choose what you are doing now at the office, over staying at home and be tagged as unemployed.
You need a job badly. You look on your Resume and the only work experience you have is what you are currently doing now for your service. So, if it was not for National Service, the only work experience you would have had on your Resume is, being the course representative for the history class, where your duties involved reminding the lecturer to come to class, collecting assignments from your mates and submitting them to the lecturer , getting a marker and a duster for the white board, and cleaning the board when the lecturer asks you to do so. And you know perfectly well that is not enough to land you the job at the bank, but you are still hopeful.
Three months more for service to end. You start looking for job opportunities on the internet. As soon as you arrive in the morning, you switch on the only PC in the office. You surf on sites like jobberman, jobs in Ghana, job web Ghana etc. The jobs you mostly apply for are the ones that seek graduates. You are particularly excited when you see titles like, massive graduate recruitment. At least for those ones, you are assured they will not pay so much attention to your work experiences. The ones you hate the most are the ones seeking sales/marketing people. You have heard from colleagues that, those are the easiest jobs to land. Those jobs involve selling of drugs from mostly India and China, hair products from America and the most annoying, selling of insurance policies. You have heard, you need extra shoes with very thick soles, a pair of sunglasses and gallons of water, because you will be walking a lot, under the scorching sun. And the salary is peanuts. As an individual, you do not even believe in these insurance stuff. You do not even have one yourself, well, maybe you have the health insurance card, which is in dire need of renewal. You simply do not believe in insurance policies, how much more trying to sell policies to somebody else. No, you will not apply for those jobs even if they were the only opportunities that existed. Of course, you have preferences.
Another thing you like doing is going through the newspapers, especially the Daily Graphic. You go through that to see if there is a job opening somewhere which you can possibly apply for. You have heard so many tales from your friend, Richard. Richard always says, ” You need to stop looking for jobs advertised in the Daily Graphic.” He continues, ” Those vacancies have already been filled before they even advertise them. They have their people already.” You desperately want to dispute what Richard is saying. But he is not the only one who has been making those assertions. You have been hearing those tales from about four other people, but you keep assuring yourself, ” There is no harm in trying.” So you keep rushing for the newspapers and you apply, even though you do not get responses. Or at least not yet.
One day, you pause to count the number of applications you have sent out so far. And in all, you have sent about a hundred applications and you have not had an acknowledgement of receipt of any of the applications you have sent out, how much more receiving a call to schedule an interview. You start getting frustrated. You almost start believing what your friend, Richard has been saying, but you simply refuse to. Instead, you keep encouraging yourself, “It’s going to be well. I will receive a call from a company soon.”
It is the last month of national service, and you still have not received a call from any of the companies you have applied to. You close your eyes at night and they automatically open at mid-night. Your mind keeps racing even at that time.
“So what am I going to do if I do not get any of these jobs ?” You keep asking yourself. “Will I stay at home for four years like Antwi?” Antwi is your next door neighbor. He has been at home for the past four years or so. It could be more, but you have counted just four. He finished the university with a first class honours and he hasn’t gotten a job yet. Your heart keeps racing whenever you think of Antwi, because you had a second class lower. If those with the first class honours are not getting jobs, how much more you with the second class lower? As you keep thinking of Antwi, you begin to sweat.
First of all, you are tossing and turning and now, you are sweating, though the ceiling fan is functioning. When are you going to fall asleep again? It seems this is the order for you in recent times; you sleep at 10pm and you wake up at 12 midnight, then your mind refuses to allow your eyes to close.
It is the last week of national service, you have seen a company which is seeking a graduate with a three year experience of working in an office setting. You give it a try anyway, while you know perfectly that the only office you have ever managed is your mum’s grocery store. She allows you to sit there whenever she is going to town. How does that experience qualify you for the job they are advertising? But you are still applying anyway. Who knows? That may be your breakthrough.
to be continued