Job Interviews; the Lebanese Way.

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Getting married and starting a family is part of life’s cycle. However, holding a job, especially nowadays, is a challenge of its own. I believe that waking up everyday to go to work is a blessing, especially when you are passionate about your line of work. The rewards are not only monetary, which is a very important factor for survival in any given society, but of self- growth and self- gratification.

I used to work in a bank but I quit when I realized that I was miserable and its toll took on my personal life negatively. I decided then and there to pursue my studies in a completely different area; the Arts. There is where my true passion lies. After taking a few classes abroad and with a diploma in hand I came back to Beirut. Once again, I was facing my next challenge: find a job!

I came to understand the frustration behind my friends’ struggle; that of  juggling one interview after the other. When I was in London, I spent the last couple of months sending my CV for a potential internship. I knew I did not have the legal paperworks but I had better chance with a Canadian citizenship in hand instead of the useless Lebanese passport. But in vain!

When comparing my job search in London to that of Beirut I noticed shocking differences.

When I sent my cv through emails and applied online through websites, all the institutions answered me within two working days. Although the response was negative, they had the courtesy to type an email and press the send button. In Beirut, the process takes longer. First of all, not only an email is sent but a phone call should be made to the “whomever it may concern” to check if the email arrived safely. You see, that ‘Contact Us’ button on the website is just for decor! Next, one would think that after that contact, the company would answer you at least within a few days. Wrong again. If they are interested by you, you will receive that email when you least expected it, yes after a couple of months. And if they are not interested, they will throw your message in the trash bin. It is far more easier (one click of a button) to do that than write an intense “we regret to inform you” reply.

I did face a couple of the above mentioned incidents myself these last couple of months and I came to question the level of professionalism behind the Human Resource department of these institutions. A human resource manager is a person like any other but with necessary degrees and experience in his field. This, however, makes you wonder if he has learned anything about his job description. In general, they brag about their foreign post- graduate degrees yet fail to implement the basic lessons learnt in HR 101  class. When I was sending my internship file to a well- known Art center in London, one of the guidelines mentioned was “if you do not hear from us between X and Y dates then your cv has not been processed to the next level”. They warn you so as not to make you linger indefinitely. In Lebanon, your status is unknown indefinitely.

I want to shout out to anyone who is going through this hard ordeal (good luck), and give a round of applause to my friends who made it to the next level.

I regret to inform you that I took your struggle very lightly these last few years.

xo

 

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Author: Patyl-Astrid

"Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the common place, the slaves of the ordinary." Cecile Beaton

3 thoughts on “Job Interviews; the Lebanese Way.”

  1. Made the same mistake, and was lost in the middle.
    Out of my hundred job interviews, one in particular was done by a person who calls himself “Regional HR Manager”, he asked me: “Did you have any work experience on spirits in Saudi Arabia?”. I laughed in his face.

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