I started volunteering at The Scoop Newspaper in 2016 when I validated all my courses in the University of Buea. I studied Journalism and Mass Communication. I knew just 2% of Microsoft office word and how to search the web then.
I found another offer at Camlait SA as a promotrice. So I shuffled between attending events and writing reports for the paper and selling Camlait products at Njieforbi Molyko. However, my friend, Malcolm and I kept searching for other opportunities.
On that fateful day, he sent me a link advertising a job opportunity on Akwajobs. ActivSpaces needed a community manager and administrative support. We finally settled on me applying for the job after reading the job description.
I went through the net, read on how to draft good cover letters and curriculum Vitaes. I wrote and sent the documents to Malcolm for editing. I was supposed to submit the hard copy at their office.
This was actually where the challenge started. Do you know I went to look for ActivSpaces at Silicon Hotel at mile 17? hahahahahahah that happened because they mentioned Silicon Mountain in their description. “Only hala wey Malcolm hala me eeehh, hahahaha”. I went back to 1st Trust Soppo where I found the office.
Gbaaaam! I got an email announcing I show up for an interview the following week; I was very excited it was my first job interview. This is what I did. I went to Youtube, watched videos on how to prepare for a job interview and many other resourceful materials.
Friday came and I met almost seven ladies coming in too for the interview. Their conversations scared me.
I have attended many events at ActivSpaces Douala. I have met Steve and Elodie, the guys who run ActivSpaces Douala. I used to spend some time there to study. I know what ActivSpaces does.
That was another candidate talking to her friend she came with
This one got me very scared; I knew she had an upper hand in passing the interview because I was blank about ActivSpaces. I found out about it when I was looking for jobs online. The few things I had read would not suffice. I was not a computer literate too and the company I was applying to work for was a tech company.
When I got in to that room, I met two male interviewers looking directly into my eyes. But that didnt move. what got me thinking was when they asked for my social media handle and asked to show hat i had don before. Thank God I came with a copy of the newspaper I worked with. I had also been uploading content on my facebook and instagram pages about it.
A week later, I received an email
…Dear Nadesh, ActivSpaces Association is pleased to offer you the position of Administrative and Online Community Manager… Though you were the most successful candidate for this job, there are some areas you were found lacking as per our expectations and need to develop skills on…
I was very excited. That was my first job offer. It had an attractive salary too. But I was scared too. I didnt know if i could deliver as expected of me. But as days went by, I kept learning the tips and now, i am getting comfortable with what I am doing. The environment is very conducive for learning and upgrading.
1.Do not give up without trying. The number and conversations of other candidates scared me but I still held on to faith. Despite the fact that I didn’t have a good background on basic computer knowledge, I still applied with the willingness to learn.
2.Volunteering is good too. The fact that my employer saw me as content creator gave me an upper hand over my competitors. I had been volunteering for the Scoop Newspaper and that made me a perfect match for the position. Morover, our Cameroonian educational system encourages more of theory than practice. To impress your employer, you will at least have to show him where you have gained some skills to convince him you will be a plus and not a minus to his team.
3.Be careful with what you put on your social media page. My social media handles were asked and visited in that interview hall to find out my personality and interests.
4.There are still jobs in Cameroon. Just keep pushing. Write many applications as possible and submit to companies.
5.There are many resources to learn online. Research on anything you want to do, see what others have done. There is no harm learning from what others have done.
Would you like to tell us about your first interview or job too? Lets read about it on the comments section.