Unemployment rate in the Somalia has increased by economic sector from 2009 to 2019. In 2019, 80.28 percent of the employees in Somalia were active in the agricultural sector, 2.41 percent in industry and 17.31 percent in the service sector.
While access to employment in Somalia is a challenge to many, young people are the hardest hit. This is attributed largely to low skills in job absorbing sectors such as IT, electrical engineering or plumbing but also the low experience these young people have to enter the job market. Below, we try to disentangle the challenges of finding job for youths and the way forward. It is understood that job-hunting process can be tedious if the applicant has little or no work experience. Even though it may seem like a challenge, first-time job seekers should not feel disheartened because most companies these days also take volunteering into consideration.
Most young job seekers in the Somalia have no clue about the job markets that interest them and very few do research about this. A job seeker should not be too ambitious with their first salary. Be fair in your salary expectation, else you may do injustice to yourself.
It is common for young job seekers in the country to find the process of transitioning into the ‘real world’ a difficult one, but this feeling of uncertainty can be overcome if one is fully prepared. The expectations at work are not always what they perceive. Keep an open mind and give all opportunities a try. After all, when one door closes, another opens.
In the Somalia, there are not many platforms where young people can have safe access to job information. The only existing job board in the country is shaqodoon.net . This platform has gathered a large user rate especially in the urban areas, but access to internet in rural areas reduces access to job information, beside, many job providers still consider advertise vacancies in the newspaper which have little penetration rate among young people.
It is often said resume is the first contact between candidate and employers. As such it need to be well-presented to increase the candidates chances to be call for interview. In the case of Somalian youths, many don’t invest time to make a good CV as a result; their CVs are often poorly presented to the employer. In fact, many employers I contacted complain 80% resumes received from young applicants fall below standard. As a result, shaqodoon.net is now offering training on CVs writing targeting young job seekers in the country.
Networking is necessary in today’s day and age. I therefore urge young graduates to keep in touch with their lecturers and course supervisors as this is important when it comes to providing a reliable referee to potential employer. Also they should use social media platforms such as LinkedIn to allow employers to search for potential candidates as well as social meets – locally after 5, organized by Young Entrepreneurs Association and other similar networks.
An online portfolio allows potential employers to find out more about their candidates. An online portfolio could be a blog or a video channel such as YouTube. Even though most young Somalians are active on social media such as facebook, twitter and whatsapp, many utilize only to chat and socialize and thereby reduce their professional social media presence. This had made it difficult for employers to research about their potential candidates for hire. It is therefore important that young people have social media accounts; they should share their professional information moderately ensuring that most essential information such as awards and recognitions are included.
All these challenges sum up to ‘getting connected’, either a connection between a professional or a former student, or a connection between the society and the job seeker via face-to-face interaction or via the internet. Getting connected to a reliable internet is crucial. Use the power of the internet to search for answers, the company’s background, market rate for a particular position, to update online portfolio as well as to stay connected to your network.