Christine | Kenya
From Economic Difficulties to Economic Crisis
Prior to the pandemic, Christine worked at an electronics store. The income was not very good since she mostly worked on commission and business at the store was low due to economic conditions and a lot of competition in the area. At the time, she was pursuing a university degree to improve her chances of finding better work in the future, but she struggled to pay tuition and wasn’t able to complete her degree.
When the country went into lockdown, she lost her job. She left her apartment in Nairobi, which she had shared with her sister, and they went back to their father’s village outside the city. There, the economic prospects were even fewer.
“Nobody was hiring. Everyone was broke. We didn’t know what to do.”
Navigating the Competition
When Christine heard about Generation, she didn’t hesitate to apply.
“They take you step-by-step and they don’t only teach you the basics of the job, but about life skills, behavioral skills, and mindset skills. Working in customer service is hard, so if you don’t know how to be patient, or manage difficulties, you will not be successful.”
She was quite surprised to receive a call just two weeks after graduating from the Generation program about an upcoming interview. “That fast!?,” She recalls thinking.
When she arrived at the appointed location at 6.30am, she was shocked to find a queue of over 1,000 people waiting in suits with manila envelopes in hand with their CV’s. In the group interview at a large round table, her fellow candidates shared that they had masters degrees, or two college degrees (their qualifications and education seemed far superior to hers). “My heart sank,” she confided. She was the last to speak. “My name is Christine, and I’m a graduate of the Digital Customer Service program at Generation Kenya” she said with as much confidence as she could muster. A big smile spread over the face of the woman conducting the interviews. Christine got the job.
“If I had not mentioned Generation, I would not have been selected because I didn’t have the experience as such. But, for the company, someone who has already been trained for the job is a big plus.”
A New Life
“Today, I can proudly say that I am independent.” Christine has enough for rent, her groceries and all the basics of life, and still a bit left over to add to her savings. She’s now earning twice as much as she was before the pandemic. Moreover, she now has the requisite skills she knows are in demand and feels confident she can find work easily on her own anytime she needs to.
“Now I tell anyone who is struggling to find work, go and talk to Generation. They will train you and they will place you into a job. Generation is what got me here. Generation has my heart and I’m so grateful to be a part of it.”