It was a Monday morning in the main office of ETASHA Society, when some of the trainees were coming to the office for their first job interview of their life.
They had just finished their Customer Service and Work Culture Training (CSWC) and immediately got appointments for a job interview with a big Insurance Company for a Data Entry Job.
So here they are: Sitting and waiting for the big chance; for the first job;– for the major objective of ETASHA:
“Getting a job in the organized sector”.
This is what I kept hearing since the beginning of my internship. Back then I did not realize why my colleagues always emphasized on getting a job in the “organized” sector.
Not until conducting many In-Depth Interviews in the community in Tigri, I understood why it makes such a difference whether the job is in the organized or in the unorganized sector. Having proper working hours, a fixed salary, a fixed amount of paid holidays, personal growth and development, as well as an increasing salary is what other jobs in the unorganized sector mostly never offer.
Even more surprising, therefore, was the girl, when asked whether she was nervous of her first job interview, replied a loud and confident, “NO!” – as if she does not doubt even for a second that she will definitely get that job.
How can she not be nervous? How can she stay so calm and confident?
Probably the intense practice of MOCK interviews with the placement team, Shailley-Ma’am and Mini Ma’am – how they are addressed by the trainees – as well as with ETASHA Special Advisor Anil Nayar, was highly effective and prepared them for getting a job.
Besides preparing a professional CV with the trainees and training them how to behave and dress in a work setting, they also practice a lot of role plays where they learn how to succeed in a job interview. AND IT WORKS.
They got the job and signed their first work contract in their entire life.
Getting a job in the organised sector really means a step to different living conditions not only for them but also for their families whose work life is a different one:
In the 2 hour long In-Depth Interviews, the trainees openly shared with me their personal experiences of their families: Mothers and fathers working many hours, sometimes up to 10- 12 hours a day; difficult working conditions; barely any holidays (and certainly no holiday pay!) no health insurance, no pension and lack of job security and future earnings.
Whether it is a job as maid, construction worker, garment finishing worker, mason, shop keeper, cleaning worker, “chowkidar” (security guard) or electrician; these are all jobs in the unorganized sector which require a high level of stamina, strength and dedication. Also the trainees seem to appreciate the tough jobs their parents do for years and years.
“Koi bhi cheez choti nahi hoti, koi bhi kaam chota nahi hota” (“There is no small thing and there is no small work either.”), was the answer that I got from Himanshu Shukla, one of the current trainees when asking him about a job that he would never want to do in his life. Some of my friends back home in Germany would probably have answered completely different. It would have taken them several hours to finish their list of jobs they would not want to do.
But according to this idealistic answer, ETASHA’s goal to place the trainees into good jobs in the organised sector should be an easy task. But actually quite the opposite is the case.
Getting the job might be easy for them as the example of the girl above shows.
But keeping the job is a complete different question.
ETASHA’s faculty’s experiences shows that there are indeed many trainees who decline good job offers because of unrealistic expectations, and a host of other reasons like too much work pressure or too long travel distance to the job.
So being reminded from time to time of Himanshu’swise statement that “no work would be low enough to not try it”would actually encourage them to stay longer in a job rather than resigning after a week.
The problem seems to be a generational one:
The younger generation has probably too high expectations of their job.
If it does not match their profile, they don’t want it.
If it does not have the work hours they expect, they don’t want it.
If it does not have the salary they dreamed about, they don’t want it.
Thousands of reasons of leaving a good job in the infinite search ofthe perfect dream job –
Be it in Germany, in India or anywhere else in the world, let’s hope that our generation realizes that keeping a job – even though it does not completely identical with our wishes – is worth a lot of valuable experience and will slowly get us towards where we want to be.
Johanna U. Mueller