Fri, 18 Jul 2003

'Academic achievement no guarantee of a job'

More than 18,000 job seekers showed up for the recent two-day Career and Recruitment Exhibition, hoping to secure one of 2,500 positions being offered by some 40 companies. The massive turnout was an indication of the depth of the unemployment problem here. The Jakarta Post spoke to several people about how they were able to find jobs.

Hepi, 24, is an employee at a private bank on Jl. Jend. Sudirman, South Jakarta. She lives in Menteng, Central Jakarta, with her brother:

I feel that looking for a job is difficult. I applied for several positions with different companies and I had to wait a long time before I had the chance to take an entrance test.

Finding a job, in my opinion, is a matter of luck. Many smart people fail the psych tests. Even if they pass all of the steps of the interview process, it depends greatly on the subjective assessment of the interviewers.

I usually quit the process because of a deadlock on the matter of remuneration.

Academic achievement is no guarantee of getting a job. That only matters for meeting administrative requirements.

To tell you the truth, I want to quit my job because I don't get paid enough.

I want to move to a state-owned enterprise or bank because I want career promotion and a pension. Those things are far more reliable at state companies compared to private companies.

On the other hand, I was sad to see how many job seekers went to the recent Career and Recruitment Exhibition.

In fact, the number of unemployed people is far bigger than the number of available vacancies.

Cahyo, 32, is a marketing manager at a private company in South Jakarta. He lives in Pamulang, Tangerang, with his wife and daughter:

I have been working in marketing for almost 12 years and I plan to move to another job this month. This will be the sixth time I have changed jobs because I was being underpaid.

I think the most effective way to find a job is through collusion and nepotism. That's the way to get the best jobs.

The Career and Recruitment Exhibition was just a way to make money. There was little chance of finding a job for all those thousands of job seekers.

I have never applied for a vacancy advertised in a newspaper.

Yeah, collusion is the best way. There's nothing wrong with it. Usually the higher or most important positions are designed in such a way that only certain recognized people can fill them.

The most important thing is a work ethic and personal commitment to perform your job well.

Arsi, 33, is a marketing employee at an auto company in Bekasi. He lives in Bekasi with some friends:

It's always hard to look for a job. Usually I send out about 10 application letters, hoping that one of the letter will get a response.

But lots of times I never get called to come in for an interview.

So far I have moved three times since my first job. The usual reason I quit is because I'm not making as much as I think I should.

It's not a matter of job description because everywhere the jobs are similar.

I always face problems when I have to deal with educational background. Unfortunately, I only have a high school diploma.

I don't think employers should discriminate against job seekers just because of their educational background.

Just because a candidate has a diploma is no guarantee they will be able to do the job.

The most important thing is a person's skill, regardless of whether or not they have a degree. It depends on personal capability to adapt to the demands of the job.

-- Leo Wahyudi S.