Don't take 'any job'
As a newspaper columnist, I regularly receive feedback from readers concerning a wide range of issues. Some write to me to echo or rebuff what I shared. Others believe that because I’m blessed with this 600-word platform in a national newspaper, I can help them to - not only speak truth to power - but also aid in highlighting some pertinent issues on the ground.
Recently, I received an email from a young man who’s a 2021 Bachelor of Technology Education graduate from Moi University. He majored in electrical and electronics, with computer option. This young man attached his CV, and requested me to help him get “any job”. (I’ll come to that part of “any job” later).
What struck me is that Mr X had put the picture of a crucified Jesus on his CV. It’s the first thing on this document. He told me that, by wearing his faith on his CV, he wants to stand out and also say what he’s about right off the bat.
Years ago, while doing an article on CV-writing, I interviewed human resource managers of some of Kenya’s leading companies. One thing they were unequivocal about was unless you’re sending a job application to a religious organisation, matters of creed should be kept out of an average curriculum vitae.
Yet, here was this young man who, because of desperate times, had broken this unwritten rule. Mr X told me he had sent his CV to numerous corporate bodies, and he had faith that his application would stand out and bear fruit.
We have pushed the backs of job seekers against the wall till they believe that, on paper, merit alone is not enough; they must go the extra “good conduct” mile.
Picture of Jesus
I don’t know Mr X’s thought process, but, maybe, just maybe, he is reasoning that because of the endemic corruption that permeates all sectors of society, a picture of a crucified Jesus will preach to potential employers that he can be trusted; that he’s not one of the thieves crucified with Jesus.
I know jobs are scarce, but my faith counsels me that God did not create man for “any job”. Yeah, I realise that we ought to work what our hands find to do while waiting for what God called us to be. But the danger for many men is that “any job” can become the job, especially if one starts a family while they are in “any job”, and responsibilities - coupled with settling - make it impossible for one to become the man they were really created to be.
Worked as a loader
I’ve been there. When South African beer giant, Castle Brewing came to Kenya in the late 90s, I worked as a loader at their Nairobi CBD depot. There were job opportunities in store-keeping at this new kid on the beer block.
I was torn between going to college to study purchasing and supplies, and get employed at Castle, or following my passion. I enrolled for a correspondence writing course at Writer’s Bureau in Manchester, based in the UK, with my paltry loader’s pay.
Castle couldn’t handle the haymakers from EABL - their bare-knuckled Kenyan rival - and threw in their Milk Stout-soaked towel in early 2000. Hundreds of workers became redundant. Fortunately, God had given me the wisdom to know that I was supposed to pitch a tent at Castle - because it was a transitional space - and not the destination to build my Castle.
My prayer for Mr X and others is, when any boat shows up, they’ll board; but won’t go with the flow to Any Port. If need be, at the opportune time, they’ll strap their life jackets, say their prayers, jump in the water and swim to Destiny Harbour.