FINDING A JOB
What is on this page:
- Importance of finding a job: Job = Independence
- How to determine what you can work as? Education, Skills and Experience.
- How to look for a job? Ask your network, Newspapers, Job sites, Social media.
- Making a CV
- Finding Recommendations
Why Finding A Job Is Important
If you’re facing Domestic Violence, the first thing you need to do is go to a safe, peaceful place and just relax. Just having peace of mind will really help. Once you’re alone and feel less pressured or scared, you can think about all your options and make the upcoming decisions more calmly/rationally. During a difficult time it is imperative to have as much money at hand as possible which means that you need to have all necessities, but at the lowest rate possible.
If you can manage to find any property dealer of the area that would be great as they know all the details with regard to housing: whether you want to buy, rent or lease a place. That is the best way to find the cheapest rates. You can also the Numbeo website to get a rough idea about how much it costs to live on your own. For more information on housing, click here.
If you are experiencing Domestic Violence, it is critical to convince yourself that you are not the problem – your partner’s attitude, behaviour and actions are the root cause of the problem. The violence or emotional abuse are just an expression of the problem. The emotional distance required for you to realise this can better be reached if you are able to leave the setting of the DV. Finding employment can help in this process, as well as allow for some degree of financial independence which is critical in case you decide to leave your partner. Having supportive colleagues and being able to focus on meaningful work can be therapeutic. Being appreciated for your hard work can help restore your self-esteem, help put things in perspective, maybe even give you some direction for the future (ideas to improve/get out of your situation). You might realise you are not alone, which can prevent you from feeling that “all is lost” because of one broken relationship – for example, work can help keep you busy after a divorce. Different people have different coping mechanisms but for many, a job can be a welcome distraction.
The first step is to decide that you want to take up full-time or part-time work.
This might be difficult if you are surrounded by people who constantly put you down: nagging in-laws, a husbands who keeps telling you that you’re too spoilt/lazy to work, brainwashing by others, etc. There might be other mental constraints including “auraton ki kama’i manhoos hoti hai” (women’s earnings are inauspicious), ‘good women’ don’t go out to work, religiously it is considered undesirable for women to interact with men who are na-mehram, or stories about how women are exploited in the workplace. If you find yourself in this situation, look at our other article (link pasted here). Perhaps you don’t have any friends who work (or stopped working after they got married) and don’t know where to start. This article will help you with just that.
The second step (now that you are sure that you want to be formally employed) can either be to do some background research to see what your options are, or to get permission from your husband.
If you are one of the lucky ones who is in a relationship on an equal footing – and hence do not need to ask for your husband’s approval for matters relating to your own life – you could try reasoning with your husband or try seeking counselling to put an end to the DV more directly.
Let us first address how to obtain your partner’s permission or convince him to allow you if his family finds the stigma too much to bear. Depending on your financial situation, you could make the economic argument that this will help your family with a better standard of living. In such a situation, you might wish to lie about how much you’re earning (as long as you’re sure there is no way he can find out your salary). Also try to open a new bank account, one that your husband does not know about so you can deposit a significant portion of your earning there. Depending on your situation, you might prefer that the employer pays you in cash (that would be best in order to avoid a paper trail), or if an account-to-account transfer would be better. Cheques might be risky as they can be discovered and your partner would know exactly how much you’re earning.
Another option is the children argument. In some cases, your parents-in-law, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law or other relatives of your husband might be key instigators of DV. In such a case you might be able to make an out of sight, out of mind argument. Over time, should you wish to do so, by strengthening your relationship with your husband and moving out of your in-laws house, you might be able to start a new chapter where your husband regrets the past and ends the DV altogether. Remember to be hopeful but not disconnected from reality – in most cases you can trust your gut feeling.
Finally, if your situation is such that no one except you and your partner know about the DV, and he can never imagine that you might even consider leaving him, you may be able to make the boredom argument or the make use of my education argument. Depending on how weak he thinks you are or the image he wants to portray, he might be willing to give in for these reasons, particularly if it is common for women in his family to work.
Just remember not to do anything to stir up suspicion (that you’re doing this because you want to have an exit plan). This might be very plausible if the DV is very serious – your husband might feel your regular bruises and marks might give him away. Do not underestimate what your husband’s reaction might potentially be – in case knowledge of DV becomes public or in case he finds out about your exit plan. If the risk is too high – and could seriously jeopardize your safety – it is best to keep a low profile and opt not to do anything that alarms him, including taking up a job outside the home. You may wish to consider options for home-based workers.
The third step, after choosing to work and being allowed to do so, is weighing your options. There are four main things to consider: Education, Skills, Experience and Contacts.
If you have no formal education:
Easy options include working at superstores or malls, as a saleswoman at a shop/store or at fast food joints; Hyperstar in Fortress, Lahore. They always need female staff and the work environment is decent. Starting pay is around PKR 8000. Malls like Mall of Lahore, HKB, Xinhua Mall etc always require female saleswomen. Starting paying is around PKR 10,000.
Make sure you get a written contract and are able to go through all clauses before you sign. Do some market research if you can before agreeing to a salary, and check with others to see if health-care or other benefits are included in their contracts. This applies to all jobs listed below. Do not feel embarrassed about discussing money matters – it’s only practical and a necessity so you aren’t cheated out of your fair/due earnings. Also, you should know that there is a clear law on sexual harassment at the workplace and an Ombudswoman appointed to deal with such cases – for details, see (insert link to other article).
If you have some basic education (Matric/O Levels or F.Sc./FA/A Levels):
Teaching is always a good/safe option. You should be able to teach primary school students if you’ve done your F.Sc./FA/A Levels. Being a teacher may not mean you’re very well-paid, especially if you want to start from scratch. With a BA/Bachelors you should be able to teach at least Matric or O Levels students. If you have a Masters degree and good English you can earn PKR 15,000 per subject (for O/A Levels) or even more in well-reputed (private) schools but previous experience is a must in most of these schools. Check out the websites listed at the end.
Travel agents and offices such as air-ticketing always have openings for receptionists. There are a lot of offices on the corner or Davis road, near Shimla Pahari, Lahore or Blue Area in Islamabad. Before you decide to take up such a job, observe the workplace environment when you go for an interview and if possible, find out about the firm’s reputation. Also try to assess what the person you will be reporting to seems like – does he give a lecherous vibe? What can you judge by the body language of other female staff in the organization? Depending on what the situation seems like, precautions might need to be taken or a safe distance kept from certain individuals.
For those with good English language skills a call center job can be a good option. There is an easy and short training at the start and there are a lot of campaigns you can work on and earn good money. Call centers like The Resource Group (TRG) located on Egerton Road, Lahore. You can send your resume at firstname.lastname@example.org. The starting salary for almost all campaigns is PKR 18,000 plus incentive based in the number of sales you make in a month. There is also a provident fund where a specific amount of the salary is cut every month and when you leave the company the total amount collected is doubled by the company. On most campaigns you can make a minimum of 25,000 easily and at times more than PKR 90,000. You can always change shifts in a call center. Most call centers have 9-hour shifts with 3 breaks so it doesn’t get too tiring. Day shifts start around 1pm/2pm till 10pm/11pm and night-shifts start from around 6pm to 9pm. If you work late, make sure you have safe transport options. Also, if you plan to do a night-shift, be sure that this will not cause problems in your family or neighbourhood.
For those with some specific skills or prior work experience:
This should help guide you with regard to the industry you want to work in. If you are pursuing professional full time work, these headhunters are a good resource – if you give them your profile, they’ll send you jobs/ask you if you’re interested in jobs that they are supposed to recruit for (which may not be advertised). Check out their site.
If you are a professional with world-class competence, and would like Career Pakistan to help you find a job:
Please e-mail them your CV (resume).
Also, please let them know your:
1) availability date,
2) preferred cities, and
3) minimum acceptable salary, for work.
[Optional] Please also let them know your:
4) preferred industry/sector of professional work [e.g. Telecom, Banking] 5) areas of professional expertise [please provide 10 or more key words], and
6) years of total work experience
Please feel free to include other information relevant to your needs, if any.
[Important note: To speed-up processing, please send them your CV and answers to the above questions in one e-mail.] Contact: Rabia Ali email@example.com
Other job listing websites are given below:
Newspaper ads can be seen here.
Making A CV
There are many resources online for making a good CV/resume. Here are some tips (taken from a guardian article):
Get the basics right
There is no right or wrong way to write a CV but there are some common sections you should cover. These include: personal and contact information; education and qualifications; work history and/or experience; relevant skills to the job in question; own interests, achievements or hobbies; and some references.