Talking Jobs With Mailesi Nyirenda Gatsi From iSON BPO a few months at work Mailesi can employ over 100 people and deal with a myriad of situations but, she does remember her journey as a job seeker and the many challenges.

Memorably, 2 years into her second full time job and fresh into a marriage she had transfer issues.

“The firm could not transfer me to Lusaka to join my husband.” She recalls and therefore she left the firm months later and joined her husband.

Another job came very quickly but, the birth of her second son made Mailesi opt out again. She used the time to reflect and eventually decided on following her dream of becoming a Human Resource Practitioner. Taking her savings she enrolled herself into university. The job hunt continued but, it was a shock to find that a job was not going to come easy and it was much tougher than she had previously experienced.

“It took me one year plus to find another job and at this point I would apply for any jobs I found as long as I believed I could do the job”

And the job she found was that of a Sales Executive; selling houses off plan for a developer.

“I sold 48 houses in one year!” She is proud to admit and rightly so but, the employer would not give her time off for her studies.

She quit the developer and went to work for an embassy but here too, the grass lost its bright green luster when the ambassador refused to give her time off for her studies. And, he gave her an ultimatum, to work or write her exams. Thankfully,  Mailesi chose the latter and several other rewarding jobs later (thanks to a number of very good people guiding her) she believes she is doing the job she wants and is experiencing it in its totality.

Her pointers,

HR professionals are business partners contributing to the profitability of the organization. We effectively manage people and deem them a resource. A good example is in the call center where services are offered and the most valuable business asset is the employees as they generate profits through their service.

Candidates do remember besides your qualifications when you come before me as a recruiter I look for good presentation. That is your dress code, your confidence or lack off, your posture and the flow of communication. If as a candidate you cannot coordinate your speech then most likely you cannot work effectively.

Most rewarding for me is to hire a candidate that has the right skill set and is in a career that is in line with their personality. As such these employees do not see their work as “work” but rather, as a lifestyle.

Unrewarding and most difficult is letting an employee go. More so, after an intervention has been made and the end result is still to fire them. It is horrible to fire someone knowing full well that they have a family to look after. Even when the employee has erred it is never easy to take away their form of livelihood.

Industry specific jobs can be a hustle to fill. Quality managers are especially difficult to find as one organization is different from the other. One needs to be in a particular sector for a good number of years before they rise to the level required.

Rare in Zambia are Interior designers, Retail chain sales persons, Biomedical Engineers (people who fix medical instruments).

Never give up and do not despise small beginnings. Also look for a chance to improve yourself through studying and learning from others, you never know, you might be the next big employer one day!


Human Resource Practitioners: Effectively manage people and deem them a resource.


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