This is how to survive in Uganda
The day was Tuesday and I was on my way to meet with my MSc project supervisor at the Kampala University. He had requested that I provide a detailed outline of my MSc project and present same to a mini-panel in his office at exactly 9 am.
I was already dressed and on my way to his office, when my cellphone rings. “Hello, Daniel, your interview for the job placement is 10 am at our head office, make sure you arrived at the venue before 9:30 am” she hung up.
If you understand the Uganda story very well, you will discover that most young people are in desperate need of job opportunities. From fresh graduates to entry-level job seekers and those who are just looking for menial jobs to survive the heat of the moment.
The street is always busy, the hustle is very real, and opportunities are rare. As a second class upper graduate who had been on the street for nearly two years searching for opportunities before deciding to pursue an MSc degree, I opted for the job interview.
My conversation with my Supervisor on the phone was not pleasant. He accused me of not being serious about education and hung up the call without giving me an opportunity to explain my circumstances. I wasn’t scared, I was determined to get the job and see how to combine the two without hurting any of them.
The interview was just 30 minutes, I was asked to resume the next day and the pay was very good. After almost two years of searching for opportunities, I finally found one. My supervisor was very happy when I showed him the appointment letter and I was still able to present my project proposal.
Let me share the tips that will guide you on how to survive in Uganda.
How to survive in Uganda
1. Patience and Passion is the key.
I am not a fan of writing application letters for jobs, but I wrote over 403 application letters to over 50 companies in less than 2 years. 66 of those letters were for just one company, the company that finally employed me. This wouldn’t have been possible without the twin brother of patience and passion
2. Have a plan.
“Why did I send 66 application letter to one company in one year?” you may wish to know. As a Public relation enthusiast, my plans after graduation was to work for that company. I had visited the company twice when I was in my final year and I was in love with their working culture.
My strategy was simple, I needed just one opportunity to share my ideas with the management of the company. Even though I was not part of the company, I had done extensive research about the company including talking with some former employees of the company.
3. Build a network
Have a network of people that can connect you to opportunities. Because most companies in Uganda have a culture of employing people via referrals
4. Explore your passion
While searching for opportunities, explore your passion and see how you can use it as a vehicle to achieve your dreams. I used my passion in writing effectively while searching for opportunities to make a difference in life.
5. Look for volunteering opportunities.
I have volunteered thrice for my current company while I was still in the University and the experience and the people I met during the process was part of the reason I was bent on working in the company.
Always be optimistic, don’t ever think of quitting. Develop a culture of reaching out to people who you think can be of assistance to you. Never stop writing, never stop developing yourself and never stop being at your best