Finding a Job in South Africa: Is it That Difficult?

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Being an expat, South Africa might seem like a hard place to find a job you desire. Right from a multiple new social conventions to heed to, to building a professional network from scratch, it will really take some efforts at your part!

Some say that you simply can’t enter the country and start searching for jobs, until you have a few offers in your kitty already. Is it true?

Well, by the looks of it South Africa seems one of the most rapidly developing African nations with plenty in store for the job-seekers. Hence, mentioned below are some rudimentary yet crucial tips to help you get employed and tap the job market in this country, with ease.

South Africa to the Aid of Job-Seekers

Right from providing support in the form of Expanded Public Works Program (EPWP), the South African government has been quite instrumental in letting job-seekers attain the desirable employment options they aim for. Since its induction, the program has been functioning against the full employability tide.

Having recognized that the solution to joblessness and the subsequent poverty lies in the provision of employment opportunities in heaps, the government has been quite successful in taking the program forward amongst the crowd. They also recognize that the state (whether at the level of federal or local government) has a major role to play in providing for employment guarantees.

In addition to this, the New Growth Path framework launched in 2010, aims at enhancing growth and creating maximum employment opportunities in the country. Moving ahead with full throttle, it’s prime objective is to create nearly 5 million jobs by 2020. It functions by identifying crucial strategies that will ensure an equitable and people inclusive growth in South Africa, while attaining its developmental agenda.

Barriers in the Way of unemployed South Africa

Reasons are numerous to count, but the prime ones are quite conspicuous on the surface. Right from the short-term and unreliable nature of employment to a major pitfall like lack of trust between community employers, things have left the youth with abundant reasons to remain unemployed.

The historic preferences that men enjoy over women have resulted in the number of women in the formal labor force to be low under international standards, with a difference of more than 14% against males in the work force. In addition to this, the poor education rate has resulted in nearly one-third of the male labor force to stay idle, lack of necessary credentials being the prime reason.

However, with time ways to lock horns with the situation have also been devised.

How to Go about It?

Start With The Basics

Considering the fact that you’re new here, you might want to start with the basics like browsing all newspapers, journals, internet, databases etc. There are ample local libraries to assist you with the same. Start meeting people and enquire about social occasions and meetings. Who knows, the next Rand show (Johannesburg) you attend, might make you meet the missing link in your professional network.

Yes, being native sure does add to the chances of securing a desirable job offer, but once you get acquainted, things seem to ease out a bit.

Getting a Work Permit

Living in South Africa, you need to have a permit to work, in case you’re only granted a temporary residence. However, a work permit is already included, if you own a permanent residency in South Africa. It might just happen that an employer shuns you off regarding the visa process. They seldom cater to applicants, unless one has scarce and impeccable transferrable skills. However if an organization is willing to sponsor your application and offers you a job, you can apply for the permit at the South African Department of Home Affairs.

Keep Yourself Open to Witness Less Opportunities

In spite of an acute shortage of employability skills in the country, South Africa might make it a bit difficult for skilled expats to find work easily in the country. Nevertheless, you need to sell your soft skills and expertise in the best way possible. Instead of keeping things idle, go for ‘social-business’ start-ups, which seem to be ample in the country. These might not pay much, but prove highly effective for you to hone your skills. An enormous help in taking the next step-whatever it may be!

Get in Touch With Labor Unions

Another thing to consider is getting in touch with the local labor and trade unions. Labor unions have always played a huge role in the establishment of democracy and job equality in South Africa. With a quarter of the working population being a member of these labor unions, the most prominent ones are the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the Independent Labor Caucus. Issues like inequality in wages are constantly being tackled by them.

Building an Efficient CV

Might appear to be an old school idea, but a comprehensive CV always helps. Right from formatting it in the best possible way to including all your personal and academic information, thing are minute but significant to be included.

The education section has to consist the list of schools, colleges and institutes you got educated in. Mentioning honors, awards and achievements prove quite handy in making your resume/CV enticing enough.

In addition to this, your employment background, stated in chronological or reverse-chronological order, along with other details has also to be rightly organized. Keep it no longer than 2-3 pages, to avoid getting stacked in the database of a recruiter.

Although, job-market appears stiff, nonetheless scoring a job-offer can become child’s play in South Africa. It’s all about the basics that you should adhere to. Rest will fall in place by itself.

Author Bio: Anshuman Kukreti is a professional writer and a keen follower of the global job market. An engineer by qualification and an artist at heart, he writes on various topics related to employment across the globe. Reach him @ LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.

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