He dared to be different
You all remember Gilbert Mutai, the Electrical Engineering graduate who stood with a placard on the streets looking for a job? He got a job! We caught up with the ardent job seeker who had landed his dream job, thanks to his unconventional method. He was kind enough to grant us an interview. Read his story below;
BrighterMonday (BM): What is your current role?
Gilbert: Project Engineer (Trainee)
BM: What is your professional qualification?
Gilbert: BSc. Electrical Engineering, Diploma Project management
BM: Years of working experience?
Gilbert: 1 Year (Internship)
BM: Tell us about your job search experience
Gilbert: Even as a graduate, my job search journey has been long and challenging. Employers want candidates with working experience and yet you are a fresh graduate. Also you find that as a fresh graduate, one might lack the necessary CV writing and Interview related skills to make them stand out. However, I have always believed that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that belief has led me to where I am today.
BM: How long have you been job-hunting?
Gilbert: 10 months
BM: What are some of the challenges you encountered in your job search process?
– Financial challenges e.g. daily photocopying/scanning documents, transport costs etc.
– Some prospective employers may need prior appointment
– Online job application but never got responses from employers in my industry
BM: Where did you get the unorthodox idea of job search?
Gilbert: Most candidates just need a single chance to an interview to prove that they are worthy of consideration. Getting the interview opportunity is the hardest part for most candidates. I just realized that the competition in online and other conventional ways of job search is too high and decided to attract the attention of an employer in the most visible way.
BM: What feedback did you experience after standing by a busy freeway with a placard advertising your qualifications and interest in gainful employment?
Gilbert: The feedback was positively overwhelming. I was answering calls for the better part 2-3 days after my move, from potential employers to people who wanted to encourage me and let me know it was going to be okay. Let me take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to everyone who called me and gave me words of encouragement. It really kept my spirit higher – I will not let them down (especially my current employer) in my new role as Trainee Project Engineer.
BM: How has Brighter Monday helped you in your job search endeavor?
Gilbert: Brighter Monday really made a great contribution in my job search. I express my sincere gratitude to Doreen and Ezra who sacrificed their time to give me some interview tips as well as CV customization tips. It’s through their advice that I realized it’s not appropriate to send same CV and Cover Letter to different prospective employers. This is a major reason why candidates never receive feedback from potential employers. I realized that fresh employees also need tips on how to carry themselves in the workplace in order to go beyond the probation period and also succeed in their roles. The BrighterMonday blog (Career Center) has been a key resource in such information. I am grateful.
BM: What would you tell job seekers out there?
Gilbert: To job seekers please allow me to quote Martin Luther King Jnr that-“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
Each One of us has a purpose in life and that there is NOTHING IMPOSSIBLE UNDER THE SUN.-
BM: Parting shot?
Gilbert: Let me just say the two word THANK YOU, to all who contributed a lot in my academic journey-Family, relatives and friends.