Whoever comes from my country or a neighborhood country such as Jordan, Egypt, Sultanate of Oman and many other countries of the Middle East is pretty much familiar with the term “WASTA” when it comes to the employment sector.
I totally agree that such matter is commonly presented in our culture and is a sign of one of the multiple faces of corruption in our societies! However, I can see talents nowadays referring to this term even before starting their job search, or even before being prepared to knock the “Professional Life’s” door. Is it also becoming a random excuse and sign of laziness among future talents?
As much as I believe that it does actually exists…but guess what?! While “WASTA” gets you in, it cannot keep you there if you are missing your deliverables and didn’t prove your professional skills and abilities! Employers won’t pay salaries in the sake of only favoritism.
This is where lies the bad and good news!
Bad news: is that it initially existed since ever and will continue to!
Good news is that unless one proves motivation, productivity, skills development and generates results a talent will not stay for long in a position and the employer will go back and seek for only who meets the above success metrics… but will you be ready?! Or you would just surrender- like many do- and apply randomly following the same old-fashioned way and cultivating the same results?!
While this is a controversial subject but excuse me if I say that there’s a kind of laziness shown from the job seekers’ side. Imagine in Lebanon we have almost 180,900 university grad each year from which almost 40% are business and arts graduates- that is around 73,000 business and social sciences grads per year! OMG! That’s a huge number no?
When all of them depend on the only weapon they have (their education degree)- this is where employers are not seeing any competitive advantage among the talents but only meet with people having exactly the same background.
But Imagine if you can step out from the bunch of thousands people per year and get your profile more noticeable! All what it takes is: admit to yourself that you need to have additional competitive traits, seek those and develop them.
Just to share a small secret with you! If everything was about ‘Wasta’ we (agency recruiters) wouldn’t have existed anymore! I’m not defending all the employers but I’m totally convinced that there are a bunch of them in-countries and in the Middle East region who are desperately seeking for motivated people with remarkable abilities and capacities who are capable of generating results!
Below are few tips to consider in order to put yourself out of the crowd and have your weapons ready before entering this ‘war’- and yes it’s a war because it’s no longer limited to a single nation but living in a small open and multicultural market world competition has become more and more aggressive.
Also in lot of majors you can start doing freelancing projects before you graduate and reserve yourself a place in the market already. If you’re studying Graphic Design, Interior Design and/or Interior Architecture, Social Media/Marketing relative field… Aside from the technical experience one of the most important skill you will encounter is how to deal with different type of prospects out there!
Show up motivated, interested, knowledgeable of the company/position, enthusiastic, confident, polite and you most likely have better chances than 60% of your competitors.
The listed above are simple examples on how to increase remarkably your chances in being more noticed and actually being invited and considered for an interview. Now when reaching this phase there’s also a bunch of behavior and tips which you will be expected to practice and consider too. I’ll definitely share those with you later in a separate article.
Ultimately, hiring managers nowadays are being more and more convinced by the importance of attracting the best talents and retaining them- Do your job and seek for opportunities differently. After all, ‘if you don’t change your methods, you will still generate the same results’
Enhancing your skills, self-development, having a positive attitude and with the right tools I guarantee your job search will be more promising!
Lastly to endorse what has been said above: if WASTA is dominant the way you think employers woudldn't have hired us (Recruitment firms) and paid us fortune to find them the best talents!
Article by Christelle AbiChar