Episode 1 Transcript

You're listening to the Business in Morocco podcast - the podcast that discusses all things business and all things Morocco. My name is Ryan Maimone and I'm here with my co-host Ryan Kirk, and our goal is to share our knowledge and experiences with you, in order to help you gain wisdom, skills
and habits that can help you succeed in business and in life. You can learn more about us by going to our website moroccopodcast.com. Alright let's get started with today's episode - it's gonna be a lovely day.
We're gonna start off the show today with a story and experience that
involves both of us. So Ryan, please tell us a story about a young man who
engaged you on your Maroc Treasure YouTube channel and what happened.
So I've got a few videos about tips on finding jobs or the mindset you need
when looking for jobs and so people that are googling or just searching for how
to find work - unemployment's a huge issue, especially
among young people - some of them find my channel and then reach out to me
directly saying, "Hey can you help me? Do you have any leads?" Or they might have a
specific question for advice, and it just so happened that one guy asked me write
around a time that you and I were discussing about your business and the
need for people that can write in English, and I thought hey this is a
great opportunity because it's part-time, people can work from home, and based on
the guys messages with me he's got a high level of English. So this this could
be a good fit. So I messaged him and said okay send me an email and we kind of
took it off off YouTube and then I just sent him your email and said get in
touch with my friend and see where it goes. And I received an email from him
basically the day after you told me to expect some sort of communication. The
conversation went well from the beginning - we emailed back and forth at
which point I asked him to translate an article for one of my clients that was
in French. It was a medical article. I asked him to translate it from French
into English. He took day or two to do that and I
thought it was very well done. In fact I was impressed. I had to do very few
corrections of the article in English. It was something that could be posted as a
form of content marketing in English for a doctor in this field. At that point
I invited this young man to become affiliated with my company in
the form of being a freelancer or a private contractor, and I gave him the
information that he needed to become what's called an auto entrepreneur. If
you're not familiar with Auto Entrepreneur in Morocco, it's a
fairly easy process of becoming a legitimate business as an individual.
There are many categories of work that you can do as an auto entrepreneur and
the taxes are low. But the main factor is that you are legitimate and you can
issue invoices which means that businesses can deduct from their revenue
what they pay you to do your work, and it's not an employment relationship...
it is a contractor relationship and they can give you work as needed and not have
to worry about CNSS and taxes, and labor laws and employment that give a
lot of businesses, especially small businesses here in Morocco, a lot of fear.
I emailed this young man and that was about five days ago when I gave him his
first assignment which is to become an auto entrepreneur, and I asked him for
his plan on how he's going to accomplish this task and when he expects it to be
done. And unfortunately I have not heard from him in five days. From a Western
point of view, this is not good. it is especially [bad] when you're you're offering
someone work, knowing how difficult the employment situation in Morocco is.
Knowing how frustrated a lot of young people are when it comes to work, the
fact that I've offered this young man work and the opportunity to prove
himself and the fact that he has not responded to me in four days...it really
does not give me a lot of confidence that he's going to be a reliable
individual that can produce value and meet customer deadlines. Because the
culture of my business and the the values of my business is
that when I say I'm going to do something for a client, I do it to the
best of my ability and I complete it when I say I'm going to complete it. And
I'm not willing to engage with someone who's going to work for me
if they're not going to be as reliable. Right, they have to be aligned with your
company's values and culture. Yeah this story is a perfect intro into what we're
discussing today, which is how do you get hired in Morocco? How do you find a job?
And what I can see in this situation is that this young man is not demonstrating
real hunger. Typically when you're doing an interview or when you're trying to
land a job with a company you're putting your best foot forward, you're trying to
make a good impression. Okay it's like being on a first date with somebody -
you're gonna wear a clean shirt, you're gonna be on your best behavior. And
typically over time your performance might dwindle or it might go down. So if
even before you've entered into some kind of formal working relationship with
somebody, there's red flags or there's disappointments or frustrations...it
doesn't bode well for the future. It's not looking good, it's not positive. The
other thing is there's just no communication, so you're left to wonder.
You don't know is this guy not willing to become an auto entrepreneur? Is he
looking at your email saying okay well forget it
and he's he's not interested? Or is he actively pursuing it? Has he been on
government websites, has he gone to offices, has he already taken steps? You
don't know, you're just left to guess and to assume. That's not positive. You
know even if he said, thanks so much for your email. I'll get back to you in 24
hours. Or hey I'm writing an exam this Friday I need to focus solely on that
but by Saturday by noon I'll send you the plan you're looking for. Or you
know, even things like that shows you that he values your offer and that he's
hungry! I think one of the things that happens is a lot of the people that
are unemployed are young. The unemployment statistics show this: that
it's typically youth, it's typically the 15 to 24 age group that has the
highest rate of unemployment. And so a lot of them are living with family - they
don't have bills in their name. They don't have a lot of pressure - the heats
not turned up. You know when you're somebody who's got your own apartment or
you've got expenses, you have a wife, you have some kids...that breeds hunger. That
breeds desperation. So I think sometimes it's evidenced by stories like this
where there's opportunity, there's a chance of landing a job, but they're not
really hungry. And this might not lead to a job, and a
month later this guy's gonna be whining to his friends that the unemployment is
a huge problem - there's no opportunities. When meanwhile he just ignored an
opportunity because it took a little too much effort or he wasn't hungry enough.
If young Moroccans or Moroccans in general wonder why it's so difficult to get a
good job or why aren't there more good jobs out there what why don't companies
hire people, there are many answers to these
questions, but one is fear. Companies fear hiring the wrong person.
They fear going through the whole process, validating someone's CV, the
interview process, and then having that employee not work out. There is a huge
level of fear because there are many restrictions in terms of labor law once
you have hired someone. And companies not only fear having to fire an employee if
they turn out not not to be a good employee, but they also fear getting sued.
I've had clients tell me that the lowest employee on the totem pole pole can
literally put a business out of business, that a lawsuit can ruin a business. And
this causes a lot of fear among employers to take any chances
when it comes to hiring someone. So like you said, they're looking for any red
flag, any reason to not hire you: a lack of communication,
being late to meetings or late to interviews...I've heard many anecdotes
among Moroccan employers who say we interviewed for a job and half of the
people invited to the interview did not show up on time, did not show up with a
copy of their CV, did not show up properly dressed. These are very basic
things that you can do to distinguish yourself from the crowd. Be reliable,
communicate clearly and in a timely manner, be presentable, cordial. Give that
employer, that hiring manager the confidence that you are going to be
someone they can be proud of. Because in every company there is going to be
someone who decides to hire you, and for them it is a leap of faith. It is a risk
because their reputation is going to depend on how well you do. Give
every employer every reason to believe that you are going to work out. The
other thing is, if you are unemployed you don't have a job. This is your thing,
this is your full-time job! If you have a job you're gonna be working, let's say 40
hours a week, and you might have to commute. Even if you just say it's half
an hour on either end, that's an extra five hours a week. So you've got
45 hours a week and that's when you're secure, you have a salary coming
in, and even then you're giving 45 hours a week. Now if you don't have a job,
should you be giving less time to pursuing a job or more time? In my mind
you should be giving more time to pursuing a job. From morning to night, this
is your priority, nothing else can really supersede this, except for a family
emergency. When your friends are meeting up to go to the cafe, or there's a
Netflix show you want to watch or whatever, all of that should be inferior
to any hope, any lead on finding a job. So when somebody writes you and says hey
there's an opportunity to apply for a job at this company,
or hey they're hiring here, or hey if you can jump through a couple of these hoops
I'll think about hiring you...that should be your number one thing. From
sunrise to, you know, the next sunrise, there's just nothing else that
should be demanding your attention. So stories like this, it's just
hard to believe, it's hard to fathom.
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Now back to the show.
Doing the basics is important. Having a CV that is properly formatted, one page.
Please please do not have a CV that is three pages long. If you cannot
communicate the essence of your skills and your background in one page then you
have not tried hard enough. One page. At the top of your CV have one to two sets
of summary of your essential skills, your number one essential skill - something
that you bring to the table. Quantifiable metrics in your CV - something like, "I help
small businesses acquire or find new customers via online marketing. I was
able to achieve a 58% growth in the number of monthly
patients on a year-over-year basis for a local doctor." If you can communicate
results, you will set yourself apart when it comes to a job interview or CV. If all
you have on your resume is your education, you have a very, very low
chance of being hired by anyone, unless you're a computer programmer. If you're a
computer programmer, then I'm hoping you can find a job here in Morocco or
in Europe as that is a highly sought-after skill. But if you're not a computer
programmer and all you've ever done is education, you should know by now that
you're gonna have a very hard time getting hired. Ryan, do you have any tips
for people coming just out of school, all they have on their resume,
on their CV, is their education. What can they do to kind of set themselves apart,
or beef up their CV? Well first of all I think you've already made a crucial
error if you're graduating from university and you still have no
experience. That's a problem because, I've worked at many universities, I've gone to
university myself...I know that yes it's demanding, you know, you've got your class
schedule and you've got assignments and you've got exams. But if you add up the
number of hours that you put into your studies and you look at that over a
yearly basis, being a student is less work than working full-time. When you
consider the fact that university semesters are twelve to sixteen weeks
long, and often people have two of them a year, you add up the number of weeks
people are really only in school maximum 40 weeks a year. So there's another three
months completely unaccounted for. What are you doing? I taught a class that was
helping students that were in their third year of university, so they'd
already had two university summers, they had a summer, you know, all the summers
from high school, but then they'd already finished first year and second year and
had a summer break, and many of them had no work experience! I couldn't understand
that! And I was asking them, so what did you do in those four
months you aren't working and you're not studying - how did you fill your time? You
know, you have a hundred and sixty eight hours a week and no commitments...how did
you do that? I couldn't even understand it. So
if you're graduating and you have no work experience, you've already made a
crucial error. But going back to what we were saying earlier about a lot of the
unemployed being young people, there is an advantage to that. The advantage is
that you're probably living with your parents. You probably have very little
expenses, you probably don't have your own car, you probably don't have to pay
rent. So that's an opportunity because in that situation, there isn't the
crucial need to earn a salary. And as the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad said, "When
you're young, it's important that you work to learn rather than work to earn."
You have an opportunity there as a young person to do internships. This can be
tricky because some companies will take advantage of young people, but try
to make it a win-win situation. Yes they're getting quote-unquote free labor,
but you're getting experience, you're getting something to write on your CV,
and if you distinguish yourself, if you work hard, there's a chance you'll get
hired there. But at bare minimum you will walk away with more network, more
connections, more contacts, more knowledge, and hopefully some sort of letter of
recommendation that you can take into the next internship. So when I hear about
some young person that's been unemployed for a year or for eighteen months, I
think, how is this possible? If you offered to work for free and just
said, I'm gonna work for free for you for three months, how many times
would you have to do that before either a company that you are working for
recognized your value and hired you on, or that another company recognized hey
here's somebody with six months experience or nine months experience or
one year experience, great recommendations from previous employers...
let's give this guy a shot, let's give this guy a chance?
Absolutely. I mean when you're young, when you're unemployed, even if you're not
young, anybody...doing a job is not just about money, it's about learning and
gaining a skill that you can perfect and that
then later you can be paid to do. If you are in school and you're not taking
advantage of your spare time, you are wasting that time. And you have, honestly
you have no right to complain about not getting a job later on. We are here,
telling you now, that simply going to school is not
enough, especially for most employers. They don't care! Most employers, small
businesses, they don't really care what you learn in school because a lot of
what you learned in school has no application to the real business world.
They want to know, are you gonna help me save money in my operations? Are you
gonna help me find new clients? How are you going to make my life easier? These
are only things that you can learn working in an actual business, and my
advice is to literally, like you said, walk around your city, whether it's
Casablanca, Marrakesh, Tangier, Rabat, any of these cities, and go from small
business to small business and say exactly what you said, I will work for
free. I want to learn. I will work for free. I will show up on time, I will be
reliable. I want to gain skills. Your payment to me
will be knowledge and experience, and I hope to earn your trust, and I hope to
earn your favorable recommendation when I seek a paying job elsewhere. Or maybe
let me show you how good an employee I could be and how much value I can
provide, and then you will eventually hire me!
I would be shocked if you walked around and you got to the tenth business where
you found a small business owner that agreed to do that. If you think that
sending resumes and waiting for your friends to get you a job is the best
course of action, you're just wrong. Big companies, especially in Morocco, but
it's true all over the world - in the United States and in Europe and Canada,
I'm sure. Sending resumes is a horrible way to get a job. In my entire life I've
only gotten one job from sending a resume and that was by the grace of God -
that was a miracle! There's no other way to describe that I got this job or even
got the interview. It has never worked at any other time in my life -
sending out resumes. It's always been a warm introduction:
a friend or a colleague. It has been through networking, personal networking,
whether it's LinkedIn connections or conferences or networking groups...it has
been personal recommendations, people have recommend...that's how I've gotten my
clients here in Casablanca! Warm introductions, I did a good job for
someone, and they introduced me to someone else. And if you're a
Moroccan you know this is the way it works here in Morocco. Someone would much
rather take a recommendation from someone they trust then read a piece of
paper that has a bunch of words on it that they don't even know if they're
true, which is what a CV is. From the point of view of an employer, a CV is
just a bunch of words and they don't know whether it's true or not. So if
you're putting all of your hope in a bunch of words on a piece of paper,
you're not gonna have a favorable outcome. I can put punctual, hard-working,
dependable, generates results, who's not gonna write these words on their CV?
Everyone's gonna write that on their CV! But when someone else testifies that
these things are true, when a small business owner says this guy is punctual,
this guy's hard-working, if I had a place for him or if I had a larger business
I'd hire him myself - another small business owner in need is gonna put a lot of
weight on that recommendation. The other thing is that the easier something is,
the more people will do it, and hence the less effective it will be. So if I can
sit in my pajamas with a laptop and send hundreds of CVs per day, that's
really, really easy - I'm sowing broadly. I'm throwing out this CV to the world.
But guess what? Anyone can do that! It's so easy that everyone else is sitting in
their apartment sending out CVs in their pajamas. So you're just a face in
the crowd - you're not distinguished in any way. The average time that HR
managers are giving to look at these CVS is seconds - they're just looking for
anything - a spelling mistake or some minimal requirement that's not met, and
it's in the trash. If they're looking at it at all! Right. There's software now. Yeah, so it's even being filtered long before a human eye
is even seeing it. So the better way is to do things that are more difficult
because the harder something is, the more you stand out,
because the fewer people will do it - it just filters down.
So what we're describing: going in person, face to face, having conversations,
putting on some nice clothes - you know dressing up a little bit - looking
professional, looking motivated, looking hungry, showing yourself face to face,
most people won't bother! Most people will sit at that cafe and complain that
there's just no jobs, and the government's not generating enough
employment, and they're not creating entrepreneurship opportunities and blah
blah blah. And someone's gonna walk right past that cafe and go to the small
business next door and get themselves an internship that leads to a paying job in
the future because they're willing to hustle! They're willing to put in the
extra effort and set themselves apart. So let's talk a little bit about how you go
from the three-month job to the one-year job or the lifetime job, the sustainable
job. Ryan, you've talked about this a little bit in the past - this idea of that
task is not my job. You want to expand a little bit on this idea? Yeah just
yesterday I was speaking with the director of a department at a big
company here in Casa, and she was saying one of the frustrations she has with her
employees is that they do the bare minimum. If you picture a box, and
within that box is your job description, and they don't touch anything outside
that box. So even though they work for the company and they might see that
there's a need, if that need is outside their box - it's not their problem and
they don't even touch it. It's this mentality of 'well that's not my job and
so I'm not gonna get involved'. And sometimes it's because there's not a
team unity, there's not a team spirit, and people can feel threatened. So even
though I'm struggling and I'm dropping things, I'm not meeting my
responsibilities, if you come and help me I might interpret that as threatening.
I might interpret that as you trying to make me look bad, or you trying to take
over my role, and I might be threatened by that. So that's kind of a management
mistake, that there's a lack of teamwork, there's a lack of collaboration, there's
a lack of unity, and recognizing that we're all contributing to something
larger. But a lot of times that's not the issue.
It's the individual being lazy or just wanting to do the bare minimum, just not
willing to sacrifice or to give as much value as they can to the company.
It's just very transactional in thinking. It's you're paying
me X amount of dirhams for doing Y, and I'm not gonna do
anything more because anything extra that I give is making my hourly rate
less valuable. When really, when a manager is looking to promote people, and this
director I met with yesterday she said this exact thing, she promoted certain
people to become project leads within her department, and she told them
explicitly: it's not because of seniority, it's simply because of performance. You
guys have done A, B, C and D. You've been willing to take initiative, to be
proactive, to do even things outside of your job description, even things that
you weren't explicitly told to do. It wasn't a direct command from above,
but you saw there was a need and you took initiative and you met that need. So
you're being rewarded for it. That's the kind of behavior we want to see. You're
offering value to the employer. Anything that you do that helps the company,
especially those that your manager didn't have to hold your hand or
explicitly tell you to do, is gonna benefit that manager. Because they're
gonna say, wow this person's someone I don't have to babysit, I don't have to
watch over. But I see this, this kind of thinking of, 'well it's it's not my job, so
it's not my problem, so who cares?' rather than taking ownership. And we have
this expression in English called "Pass the buck." The US had a president
that, he had a little plaque on his desk and it said "The buck stops here." And
basically he recognized that, I'm not gonna, I can't pass responsibility to
anybody else. Like this is the end of the line. So any problems, any issues, I can't
throw that on to somebody else. It's on me. And so he had this attitude
of taking responsibility, taking ownership, and being solutions-oriented.
And that's the kind of thinking that each of us should have in our career.
Those are some great points Ryan. It's about time to wrap up the show for today.
Tell us a little bit about your YouTube channel and what kind of work you're
doing right now. If you're somebody that would like more info about how to find a
job, how to go about writing a great CV, or how to distinguish yourself, or you
just need some extra encouragement, some push, some motivation,
to get out there and distinguish yourself, to hustle, then I
recommend a couple resources. One is on my YouTube channel
Maroc Treasure. There's a playlist called "Find Jobs in Morocco". In those
videos, there's a series of them, I talked about how you can improve your LinkedIn
profile, stuff about your mindset for finding jobs, how English can help you,
and also how do you land an interview, how do you get a meeting with somebody,
how do you demand somebody's attention. But then also you can go to my website
maroctreasure.com and I've got a couple blog posts about extra tips on
how to find a job in Morocco. So those are a couple avenues, a couple resources
to help you. You've been listening to the Business in Morocco podcast. My name is
Ryan Kirk, here with my co-host Ryan Maimone. If you enjoyed this episode, be
sure to subscribe and leave us a 5-star review on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, or
wherever you get your podcasts. Download our entire library of podcasts on our
website moroccopodcast.com where you'll also find extra resources related
to each episode in the show notes, including a transcript of the show. If
you've got a question or topic you think we should cover on the podcast, fill out
the form on moroccopodcast.com, or email us at ryan@moroccopodcast.com
and we'll give you a shout-out on the show. Our theme music is Lovely Day by
Bill Withers used under Creative Commons and we hope you'll have a lovely day
doing business in Morocco. We'll see you next time.

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