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Letter to my Future Employer: after Service what next?

Dear Sir/Madam, in barely four months, my sojourn in Amamoma would be coming to an end. Amamoma is a small village, actually one of the communities in the University of Coast. Yes, inside the walls of the university. It plays host to most of the continuing students, that is those who are done with their first year of study, as well as many workers and indigenes.I have lived here for the past four years; three of which were during my undergraduate days and nearly a year of national service. Let me not bore you with too much geographical data.

Over the past few weeks, I have been contemplating what my next step would be after my last Amamoma Miscellanies piece, or put rightly, when the National Service Scheme stops paying me that meagre but manageable allowance, come August 2013. One of the things on my mind is undertaking graduate studies but then again, I sometimes ask myself: “Why not first find a job?” Didn’t Jesus say “Seek ye first a job and all other things will be added to you?” (Or did he say something different? Sorry, I attended no‘Sunday School.’) 

At least, I can buy Mama that colorful Da Viva cloth or that Woodin boubou so she can flaunt it in town. This same job would give me enough, at least more than what I have been earning in Amamoma, to support regular trips to the mall with my three little girls (Is that not what being ‘big brother’ is all about?) Come to think of it, I could start paying utility bills, although utility here refers to electricity only. Pokuase, where I live, has not seen the Ghana Water Company Limited’s pipelines yet!

In my quest to find a job, I have resorted to looking through the many online recruitment sites to see if I could find any job cut out for me. Well, I did find some but there was a problem! Work experience! Most of these jobs required a 3-5 years’ work experience from potential applicants. Like we say in Fante, “me re kofa no wo hen?” to wit, where do I get that from? Hmm. Actually, it is not as though I have no work experience at all. During my undergraduate days, I did intern for a couple of firms but these ranged from a few weeks to two months. Two months at Coastal Television during my second year long vacation, two weeks as a Class four English language teacher and a little over a month at MTN Ghana, during my third year long vacation. How does this make up a 3-5 year work experience?

Sir/Madam, I’m determined to work hard, should I land a job, but with the bar raised so high, I shudder at the thought of ever finding a job. Looking away from Corporate Ghana, I have turned to the educational sector too, sending applications to some secondary schools, but the looks on some of the secretaries I’ve encountered seem to tell me: “As for your letter, we have received it but ‘walahi,’ headmaster wouldn’t see this.” Well,some are blunt and just tell me: “Look, young man, with the SHS 3 and 4 students leaving in May, we will be overstaffed, thus we will not recruit new teachers.”  How heartbreaking that is!

I cannot be termed lazy. I am doing all I can to find a modest job. Well, like some say, one must know somebody who knows another somebody but here I am, not knowing “somebody” who can hold my hand, as it were, and walk me to the HR department of any firm and I can’t seem to find any“big man” with whom I share common surname, so I can start tracing family lines and ties. The last time I tried with George Sipa Yankey of the Ghana National Gas Company, I realized there was no link even to four or five generations back!

I know you are reading this Sir/Madam, and that one of these days, you will invite me for an interview. Till then, I will be sending you these letters to let you know how I’m trying to find you. Please feel free to check out my Amamoma Miscellanies articles. Perhaps an experience of mine may interest you and bring back memories.

Kofi Yankey.