THE RAW TRUTH AND EXPERIENCE OF FINDING A JOB IN DOMINICA | THE THINGS I DID TO GET A JOB
For some of us, the only reason why we have not left our current jobs is because we know how hard it is to find a job in Dominica. Some people leave establishments and join another so fast that it gives the illusion of an economy where unemployment does not exist. But in truth and in fact, Dominica has one of the highest rates of UNEMPLOYMENT in the Caribbean!
From my experience, JOB HUNTING IN DOMINICA IS ONE OF THE MOST DAUNTING AND FRUSTRATING things one could ever experience in their professional journey. I remember leaving college back in 2015 and I could barely afford graduation, so finding a job was one of my top priorities at the time.
I can recall writing over 40 applications to different businesses and handing most of them to my parents to deliver for me all over Roseau (yes, I was a little spoilt). It is hard to recall the actual count now, but I believe I only got called in for interview about 4 times (still a high number compared to other people’s experiences). The second time I went job hunting, the experience was still the same and that was about a year ago!
So how did I successfully get good job offers after such a discouraging search?
- I did extensive research on the companies that I wanted to apply to; I checked out their websites for vacancies, I called and asked who was the current HR Manager, and I also wanted to know what the culture of the company was like.
- I prepared a well-written Curriculum Vitae (CV) and high-quality cover letters to match. I am truly convinced that some employers take one look at those letters and then throw it in the rubbish. I have been exposed to many application letters written by different people and was quite disappointed in how those letters were being presented to potential employers. How can you spell the addressee’s name wrong in the letter? Why do you have so many typos? Is that standard English? If you cannot present a proper cover letter and CV/Resume, then why would somebody call you in for an interview?
- SENDING OUT APPLICATIONS ALONE IS FOR LAZY PEOPLE. In DOMINICA, you need to do more than just that. I followed up on my application letters approximately a week after to make sure that they were received by the intending persons and to make sure that it was not lost or just sitting on somebody’s desk. Sometimes you may have to call a business 1000 times, or stop by to ‘peep’ and see what’s going on. You might actually have to network and pull strings so that you can get a chance to be interviewed and that is just the reality of it. If you don’t know people, then you have to do THE MOST to get yourself in the door.
- When I did get interviews, I had to PLAN, RESEARCH AND PREPARE. I found myself searching the internet for top interview questions, situational questions and also about the company once more. I googled how to answer certain questions, what kind of questions to ask, and even how to ask about the salary. After the interview, I always made sure to send correspondence to thank the person(s) for interviewing me so that I would have a more lasting effect on their mind.
- CHECK YOURSELF AND WATCH WHAT YOU SAY ON SOCIAL MEDIA. Believe it or not, most employers ask about you before hiring. You don’t think they have their own little network where they can investigate about your character? In my experience, I have had SENIOR persons ask me what I think about a candidate before they hired them so yes, if you want to flourish professionally then you need to act professionally.
- OFFERING TO DO AN INTERNSHIP. Sometimes, you may not have the experience or qualifications needed for a job and the best option might be to do an internship with the company so that you can prove yourself. For those who don’t know, an internship is [usually] an unpaid opportunity offered by an employer to work with them for a fixed period of time. With so many applicants applying for a position, YOU NEED TO STAND OUT. And the best way to do this is by offering to do an internship. If you’re unemployed, this would be a great move with minimum risk.
- There are many companies who offer persons jobs EVEN IF THEY DON’T MEET THE CRITERIA. There was one time I applied to be a Sales Manager and I got called for an interview. At 22 years old, I had ZERO managerial experience (even if they said it was needed to meet the criteria) but I believed that I was capable of the role and I still applied. The interviewer commended me on such a great interview, but obviously (and fairly) someone with much more experience got the job. With a high quality CV and cover letter I was able to get an interview for a Sales Manager. What if I was the only one who applied? I would have definitely been considered for the role.
Sometimes you can do all these things and still never land a job because that’s just how things are! THE STRUGGLE IS VERY REAL. We do not have the population and/or resources needed for businesses to expand to create more job opportunities for people. And even companies/businesses with opportunity to expand do not take it because the owners are comfortable with where they are. One thing I can say is DO NOT GIVE UP! If you cannot find a job, then you may need to create an opportunity for yourself.
What other ideas can you add to this list that I may have not mentioned? What do you want us to write on next? Comment below and share with your friends!