Rhodes > Faculty of Commerce > Alumni News

How I landed my first job

Date Released: Fri, 4 April 2014 17:10 +0200

Enterprising Fin24 user Tinashe Guramatunhu overcame his unemployment crisis by taking matters into his own hands. He writes:I am a 24-year-old African man. I studied at Rhodes University, which I was fortunate to get into thanks to my loving mother.

Within the normal three-year period, I completed my Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) degree, albeit with medium to average results. And now I’m currently a candidate studying for the Chartered Financial Analyst qualification. I am by no means a Charles Dickens, but all I can do is try.

So I have been in the working world for the better part of two years now and I can safely say that I have learned a couple of things in my short working life.

You’re probably wondering: how much have I saved? How much have I wasted? What did I do with my pay cheque? And these are all questions that I intend to address in the next couple of articles.

My first pay cheque

My first pay cheque was only R3 000! Yes, R3 000. Not much but I took it. After all, having a job is better than no job at all. Being a foreigner doesn’t help much either. The ever so beautiful red tape of Home Affairs and the lack of experience in the working world doesn’t make for such a good story in the eyes of employers.

So with all the obstacles in place, I decided to try the unconventional; no more was I going to look up jobs on employment websites, I was going to take my unemployment crisis into my own hands. I took a pen and paper and wrote down what I wanted to achieve and who I wanted to work for. Simple, right? Not quite!

Before long I was trolling through my potential employers' websites scouting for contact details of CEOs and their personal assistants. Yes, PAs are your best friend, and why? They have access to the boss’ diary.

Anyway, 100 emails down the line (with my CV attached to it), I got only 10 replies of which five told me to never contact them again, three said they would keep me posted and two asked me to come in for a chat. One was at a hedge fund and the other at a management consulting company.

I put on my best suit (which was my only one, handed down to me from my late grandfather) and got into a taxi. I had no car. With fear of getting lost, I got into a taxi the day before and found the companies in advance. Turns out that was a great decision because I got lost a couple of times on my first trip.

A couple of minutes into the interview, I had the job! I was taken aback when I was asked when I could start and jokingly said “yesterday”. In all honesty I was expecting a number or round of interviews, psychometric tests, case studies, the works.

My boss/colleague/mentor says he saw something in me that made up his mind right there and then. As for me, I was glad to now be part of the working world.
My first pay cheque was small, not enough to pay rent, but I took it. My reasoning was this: it’s a step into the working world, and at my age.

Experience is what would be my main priority, so I took the job. Needless to say, my salary hit record highs after a few months of good performance. It was worth it after all.

Next up, what on earth did I do with my money?

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Source:Fin24