Attention employers!â€ screamed the top line of the advert in the newspaper. You would get the impression that it was calling on employers to attend a job fair or some other event of interest.
But no: On closer investigation, it turned out to be something out of the ordinary.
Last year, John Kanyiha finally acted on the decision to return to Kenya from the US, where he had been working for close to eight years.
It was a resolution he had mulled over for some good two years. Upon his return, one of his priorities was to get a job before he could explore other options.
But he had trouble getting one. And whether it is a case of desperate times making for creative measures, particularly in the current job market that is flooded with highly skilled job applicants, Kanyihaâ€™s conviction that work comes to those who scream loudest led him to make a rare move.
â€œFrom the onset,â€ he says, â€œI knew that to succeed you must be on top of your game. You have to stand out from everyone else.â€
His idea of standing out was to place a fairly conspicuous advertisement in the newspaper, asking employers who could do with his skills to apply.
The idea to do so came after he had skimmed through the local dailies for a job ad that would fit his.
He explains: â€œThe Daily Nation newspaper had a tip on the ads section advising job seekers to put their CVs out there instead of restricting themselves to responding to calls for applications. Although I had had the thought, this encouraged me to go ahead and do the unusual.â€
The conventional thing is for job seekers to look out for jobs advertised in the dailies or other media like the Internet, and then throw in an application depending on whether your details match those of the advertised job.
But in October, Kanyiha placed a newspaper advert detailing his qualifications, expertise, accomplishments and his suitability for the job he wanted to do.
Interested employers were meant to get back to him via email. And he got quite some responses. However, he says, none of them matched his specifications.
Others who were stunned by the unusual ad sent mail just to congratulate him on his bold move.
Having been an IT professional providing support for organisations like Dell, Intel and PG&E (an electric corporation) at management level, it was clear Kanyiha wanted nothing less than middle to senior level management.
â€œI was looking for an employer who would appreciate the true value of my expertise. I did not get one. Those interested just werenâ€™t giving me what I had stated. Some offered me much less as a starting salary,Â while others didnâ€™t quite mirror my goals,â€ he says. â€œOthers were offering lower level management jobs. I couldnâ€™t take them.â€
Kanyiha believes that even with the scarcity of jobs, one should not just lower their standards to suit those of the recruiter.
â€œI had put my own rules of the recruitment. It is a way of helping to tailor your own destiny even in employment. So, I had set my own goals and expectations.â€
The advert may have cost him more than Sh25,000, but Kanyiha says he does not regret having spent it.
â€œSometimes we forget that job seeking is an investment and you ought to put your money, time and resources to it. To succeed in life, you have to be confident and you have to push to get where you want to go.â€
It is part of looking at yourself as a brand rather than just an ordinary job seeker, he emphasises.
It was not only Kanyiha who set out on this rare path to finding a job. Yet another person placed an ad in the Daily Nation looking for a senior management job. It was about the same time Kanyiha had placed his.
After outlining his credentials, the job seeker declared: â€œTry me for no risk at all. Donâ€™t pay me if you donâ€™t see business results in the first six months of employment.â€
Ordinarily, adverts placed in the newspapers by job seekers are one or two-liners in the classifieds sections, placed by individuals seeking menial work, such as driving and housekeeping.
The emerging ones, like that placed by Kanyiha, are bigger and bolder, and are placed by professionals interested in management jobs.-Nation