Episode 90 Transcript

All right welcome to episode 90 of the Business of Morocco Podcast today we're going to talk about getting hired finding a job in morocco it's a topic that we started the podcast with episode one which is almost two years ago about a year and a half ago and we talked also about specifically about job interviews from the point of view of an employer and a job seeker but today we're going to revisit the topic in general how to get a job or how to be productive and earn some money so stay tuned for that but before Ryan how you doing what's going on yeah good to see you Ryan doing well I'm still here in Canada for another couple of months but yeah I'm excited about the way things are growing with the podcast it's exciting to be we're at episode 90. we just crossed a thousand subscribers on our YouTube channel and we've had some really great guests even some return guests over these last couple months so that's exciting to see and to be part of and we've got to explore what we're going to do for our 100th episode see if we can do a big in-person event if we'll be allowed to if people would be comfortable coming but yeah things are going good with um my real estate business over here uh as i mentioned on a previous episode purchased a new home which is going to be converted into a duplex into two units and the contractors are beginning work today so there's been some demolition that's happened but they're going to take over and continue continue the project from there so that's exciting how long do you think that's going to take uh I'd say about three months because you know the the upstairs there's no kitchen the bathroom's gonna be completely gutted and there's some work to be done in the bedrooms as well and then the downstairs is just completely empty so building a two-bedroom apartment with a kitchen and a bathroom from scratch so it'll take some time wow it's a big project exciting for you how have you been oh good started uh teaching here at uh SIST Cardiff University here in Casablanca so teaching intro to marketing for the first year in strategic management for third year students so that's interesting uh project it's more work than I was thinking it was going to be because of the Covid restrictions there's limitations on class size and we're doing one hour of of content online per week and so creating a video is uh is more work than doing like an in-class presentation just because of editing and getting all the slides and everything together and um you know i want the content to be valuable because it's supposed to replace an hour of class so yeah um you know I don't know whether my standards are too high or I'm just a slow worker uh but I'm taking off it's taking a lot of time to to uh to do the work I'm sure it's like this podcast I mean when we first started this podcast it would take me a long time to edit the shows and get everything together and get it all posted but once I did all the process and I have it I figured out what all the tools were it went much faster so I'm hoping that that's will be the case with this teaching but I'm happy about the uh the energy of the students and their involvement enthusiasm um and their level of English is pretty good I mean obviously the third year students are are at a higher level than the first year students but we have good class participation and so I'm hoping that we we get to stay in class for the rest of the year and uh and we don't go online because i think it would be a lot harder to teach online than with everyone in the classroom together so so when you're doing the online classes it's a pre-recorded video or is it a live zoom call with everybody so it's a pre-recorded video okay and then when you're in person are all the students wearing masks but you're at the front without a mask um we're all have masks we all have masks um they're at varying positions on your face uh but we all have masks sometimes with the language barrier in order to understand what someone's saying you need to make adjustments right but that's a good point i need to make a note of that i need to find one of those clear masks because uh it's very hard for people in the back of the classroom to hear me when i'm wearing a towel on my face

especially when you're dealing with various accents and when you're operating in your second third fourth language as some of these students are um it really is difficult to to understand people when you're you're muffled through a mask so that's that's added a lot of challenges yeah um but you know we could actually start the episode with one of the things i told my students last week and i was talking them specifically about you know how to get a job first of all i asked how many had a job already and almost nobody did i think i have um like 80 students

there may have been like two or three of them that are working right and i said well that's your first mistake you should be doing something um there was a little bit better participation on linkedin and i said well you should start that right away

but the one thing i told them as i said you're taking a business degree program and you're going to graduate with with a diploma in business with a certain specialty could be marketing international business law i think there's a couple others but one of the classes that that is not offered is sales and i said it's not cardiff it's not cis it's not morocco when you look at business programs around the world whether they're undergraduate or graduate they don't have sales courses my master's in business did not have a sales course in virginia at george mason and as far as i know harvard business doesn't have one either and they're supposed to be this the gold standard right yeah i'm thinking now i don't know if i had a sales course in my mba either well you know and i said to them you know why they're they don't have courses because everybody who can sell is out selling like they're not teaching they really are they're out selling and i told them i said if you can sell you will always have a job always you'll always have a job um and the best way to learn how to sell is to start doing it so the first tip that i want to give to our audience about finding a job in rocco is go to one of these big markets you know here in casablanca we have derb golift or sultan derb omar where you can buy things in large quantities so buy them move them somewhere else in the city break them down into smaller parts and sell them off go through that process develop a plan develop a strategy and go through the process of going down trying to sell something to somebody and make a profit now the important thing is not necessarily making a profit that's a good thing but the important thing is to learn what to actually have experience selling gaining some confidence and some experience

but it's also a great story that you can tell in an interview that will set you apart it doesn't matter what type of job you're applying for if you're in an interview and you can look at the person doing the interview and say well i was studying or i was unemployed so i decided that i want to get some sales experience so i went i bought this product for these reasons then i developed this sales plan and then i went and i did my sales plan this is what i sold it for this is how i adjusted my strategy and this was the final result this is what i learned like you are going to stay in the memory of that person yeah like it's just no question that you are because hardly anyone is going to have a story like that especially for an entry-level position yeah so get your auto entrepreneur card you know go on google type in auto entrepreneur morocco and follow the steps and go get it and go do it so that's my first tip yeah that's that's really good i think when you recognize that an employer is looking to see are you going to add value to my company are you going to make me money because the only reason an employer is hiring somebody is because it's good for them somebody's going to come in and they're going to add more value to the company than it's costing the company to hire that person and so when you prove to somebody i can make sales i can take initiative i can you know use my into intuition or my training to make adjustments to a plan to overcome obstacles like the example you're describing it shows the employer that you have the type of experience and the characteristics that are going to add a lot of value to their company and so any you could if you had that experience of of choosing a product then going and selling it you could then choose another product that's owned by a company and approach that company and say i know i can sell this i know if you hire me on i can go out and convince customers to purchase it to to acquire this product or to take advantage of this service and i know i can do it because this is another product that i've i've previously sold and your confidence will open up a lot of doors for you you can go and choose the companies that you'd like to work for yes absolutely

some of the things i told the the students in strategic management because strategic management is always it's all about decision making it's about understanding who you are as an organization what are your resources your assets your tools what are the goals and then planning to get there planning and then executing and adjusting as you go based on the results that you see now that's strategic management it's managing the organization to achieve its goals what i said to the students is

if someone can tell you exactly how to do your job right they can give you a very detailed job description and they can tell you exactly how to do each step of it i said forever that will be a low-paying job forever yeah and where you get paid more money is to do problem solving it's it's to take a current situation with an unknown future apply your knowledge and experience and your resources to that problem and design a pathway to a solution and that's really what strategic management is all about so if you are in a job interview and you can show the interviewer that you are a problem solver not only are you problem solver but you have the courage to investigate things that you don't understand and you don't know how to do and find a solution to them then again you will you will set yourself apart in your job interview i mean i i think you would you would impress most hr people if you were to tell them i i registered as an auto entrepreneur i got my card i registered a bank account i paid my taxes

yeah like i figured out how to do all of that right yeah it would be impressive yeah it speaks very highly now when you were telling your students uh that they've made a mistake by by not working did some of them say well i'm studying right now when would i work or why would i do both at the same time was there any pushback on that not really i mean it was the first week i don't know i don't know if i expect them to push back so soon although there are some students that uh are certainly willing to engage and i i like that i hope that um we have active participation because look one thing is certain i don't know everything okay um i know some things i have some experience but i certainly am not an expert in everything and so uh i'm happy to have people question what i'm saying or offer different points of view um but my answer to them is um you know you're probably not that busy like you you you your frame of reference in the world may be like school but if you ask anyone who's like 30 years old or older to compare like a full work day to a full school day they'll they'll just laugh right they'll just like there's no comparison right none at all and uh you know i'd say that if anybody actually put 40 hours into their schooling they would by far be the valedictorian like they would be the best performer of any other student in that class because it's an incredible amount of time to be focusing and working on something right yeah it's true i've challenged my students on that as well like when you when you really start tracking your time and determining well how many hours am i putting into attending classes studying or working on homework it's a pretty low number and of course it gets very intense around exams or short periods where a lot of assignments are due there's there's periods of intensity but often those are caused by the small number of hours that have been put into it in the weeks leading up to it when you do four weeks in a row of just 15 hours of effort then you're going to put in some some 100 hour weeks or some 80 hour weeks to catch up or to get the assignments done on time or to try to cram for exams the other thing you need to look at is is the entire year as a whole how many hours are you putting in when you include having four or five months off a year so i coming back to this topic of preparing to be hired in morocco i think to demonstrate to employers that you have a strong worth ethic then you're capable of handling a lot that you have a higher capacity again you'll set yourself apart if you are handling more things than one at a time if you're able to hold down a part-time job or have some kind of a side hustle where you've you know you're you're doing gigs or you're earning some income as an entrepreneur in addition to your studies it'll demonstrate that you have a high capacity that you're able to juggle things you're able to to keep more than one thing going at the same time and the other thing about a part-time job a lot of students shy away from them because the jobs that they qualify for before they've completed their education and they have a degree they're often low paying or they're kind of you know they're at the bottom of the totem pole you know they're the bottom of the the organizational chart and there's some students that don't want to begin at the bottom you know they expect to earn a degree get their masters and kind of slide into a management position somewhere and i think students should really be open to anybody who's unemployed should be open to starting from the bottom you don't have to wait for your dream job you can begin wherever somebody is willing to hire you prove yourself gain experience and from that position you can leverage that into better paying or more qualifying roles but to to go from you know being unemployed and just sitting in your pajamas hoping for a position is a bad plan it's better to take where you can find for the moment and grow from there into better roles we we have a great example of that in um in no foul the the engineering student a computer engineering student from tangier that we interviewed a number of episodes ago and he started just as an intern at a company and proved his worth you know he he showed that he was hard-working and that he was very skilled he was learning as he went he's a fast learner and he proved his value to his employer and he he was given a management position just a year and a half in and so if he had held out for a management position there's no way he would have been hired they weren't going to give it to him he was just a new graduate but as someone with just 18 years experience being willing to start from the bottom he rose quickly through the ranks but he had to be willing to begin somewhere yeah i mean there's this idea of

social credit right social authority and it's far more powerful than a resume or even like a letter of recommendation if you have a job even if it's not the one you want and you apply for a different job that's at a higher level which by the way most people when they get promoted they they change organizations when people move up they move sideways and up right you move to a different company maybe a competitor in the same industry but you move up into their organization because they have a high they have an opening but my point is is that there is there's social credit in the fact that if you are currently working then the the company you want to work for they look at that as uh approval right it's it's uh it's validation someone else has gone through the process of validating you and saying you're worthy of having a job or this job so it's far easier i mean it sounds terrible but it's far easier to get a new job when you already have one than when you don't have one right and so um yes you know take a job especially in this environment people still don't understand how bad the economy is right now it still is not fully sunken anywhere in the world but it is bad it is it is very very bad and so if you are offered any kind of opportunity if you are unemployed or you're offered any kind of opportunity you need to think very seriously about taking it um and going forth and then working from that position uh to a more desirable position um you're not in an economy where um unemployed people can demand a lot yeah yeah and one example we've interviewed on this podcast is uh sophia elwardi where she was having trouble finding a job and so she followed your advice and she started just selling something on her own which was her writing ability you know she's very articulate she's good in english and in french and in arabic and so she created an account on one of the gig economy sites like fiverr um i forget which some of the other ones upwards yeah so she she created an account on one of those and started just with these small level gigs you know doing doing work for a small amount of money but then it grows from there as you gain experience and people see your reviews and they see the work you've done previously you can start charging more and she was able to leverage from that into a permanent position at a company because she was able to show that she's got those characteristics we're describing where she's entrepreneurial she's hard working and she's got skills to offer a company and so she's a great example she also leveraged linkedin which you've encouraged your students you know they need to begin even in their first year to build a linkedin profile and start to grow their network start to build an online reputation in their industry she really focused on that and that's really how she found this job was it was a contact in linkedin that knew who she was what she represented and uh and hired her to join their company so these these people were referencing i encourage our listeners if you want to hear more about this topic and see people actually applying this advice you can go back into our our catalog we're at episode 90 now and we've interviewed many moroccans from a variety of points in their careers and they've they've lived out these principles and and made them happen so just go to moroccopodcast.com or find morocco business and morocco podcast on youtube and you can see these episodes that are there yeah when you talk about uh fiverr or upwork i have a very specific and technical tip okay so you created your fiverr uh boutique or your virtual store okay whatever service you're providing design writing it doesn't really matter what it is

you can create it you'll have a link okay you have a link to your to your individual profile you then start an instagram account that has a catchy phrase to it but also sort of describes what it is what you that you do okay then your your profile link is that link to your store

you start posting

pieces of your your work okay um things you're interested in or examples of your work but then here's the more specific point you start following other accounts and you start making comments intelligent relevant comments in your industry or area of interest on other accounts that are highly followed okay it's going to be a small percentage but a small percentage of the people who follow those accounts they also look at the comments and an even smaller percentage of those people when they look at the comments they actually look at who makes the comments and an even smaller percentage of those people click on the profile the person who makes an interesting comment and then there's your link and then they will click on that link it is a way of literally doing lead generation with all you're doing is your time that's it it doesn't cost you anything but you can generate leads to your profile on these sites by simply making comments on people's instagram posts yeah there you go yeah and i've i've done it myself where i've i've been looking at something i'm interested in i've read some of the comments someone said something i thought oh that's insightful or that's interesting who is this person and i've clicked and then i discovered somebody new i've followed that exact same trail that that you're describing and so i know it's valuable i know it can work and like you said it's a small percentage but when you're looking for a job when you're unemployed you should be willing to put in the effort and to do whatever it takes you really need to to try anything at this point you have a full-time job of finding a job and so just you know putting in an hour of work to check your email or scroll through job postings and then saying well yeah you know that's all i can do right i'm looking for a job what else am i going to do is making excuses and it's being lazy you need to try every avenue you need to kind of turn over every rock and pursue every opportunity another thing that can be really helpful is to try to make personal contacts so it's great to grow your online presence and your linkedin network those things can be very powerful but it can also be powerful to add the human connection to it so that might be following up so you submit a resume and then you call the company or send a follow-up email and say hey i'm just checking back you know if you've been able to process through the resumes you know here's who i am and here's why i think i'd do a great job you're distinguishing yourself you're standing out as somebody who's hungry as somebody who takes initiative as somebody who's willing to put in extra effort and then if you can show your face at a company if you can talk your way through the the gatekeeper and get face to face with somebody in hr or a manager and just share who you are not take a lot of their time but just hand them a copy of your resume in person your cv in person be likable and smile and then follow up again you're gonna distinguish yourself you're going to set yourself apart yeah i i forgot to mention something in the beginning of this

this is going to be hard it's just it's going to be hard getting a job is always hard it's it's it's always hard and the second thing is you could very well get it from an un known location or an unexpected way like a a door could open to you in an unexpected way so you need to try a whole bunch of different things in order to get a new job so certainly some of the things um that you mentioned uh but uh yeah this idea that things come easy or that i'm not gonna have to work that hard in order to to find a job it's it's just it's not true there's so much competition and so few openings that um it really is going to be those who who work the hardest and the smartest who are going to to find positions um yeah i mean you mentioned linkedin you know having a full profile asking friends to like review your profile and look for mistakes or errors if i see a cv and there are errors in it i just like it's gone it's gone it's gone you cannot make a mistake on your cv you cannot it's we are all when we look through resumes and cvs we are looking for a reason to throw it away right yeah you you got to recognize that there's for a desirable position for something that's uh you know well-paid a good company something that a lot of people would want to um to take a lot of a job a lot of people would like to have there's going to be a tremendous amount of competition and it's a huge investment of a company's time to interview people and so if there's a way to filter all those cvs down to just a few highly qualified candidates people will take it they're not going to interview 80 people for a position they're going to throw out 90 of the cvs and there's a lot of software larger companies are using now where cvs have been filtered long before a human eye even sees it and so there's great content online to learn about how to you know tailor your cv so that it it survives some of the the software filtering packages that are out there so that you you make the cut and you do reach the point where a human eye sees it but if they see that you've been sloppy or you you've let mistakes slide by yeah you're right it's never going to lead to a call you're not going to get the interview yeah it really is all about trying to circumvent the system i i i mean i personally have never i think one time i got a job in my whole life one time i got a job from submitting a online application um but that was because i had as you mentioned like my resume was perfect for the algorithm it checked all the boxes for that particular position in that algorithm but i know that that's not true for most people so you're going to have to engage in gorilla marketing right not go not like big hairy animal gorilla like guerrilla warfare type things and one of those is is how do i separate my my email or my online submission or my cv from others is build a website for your personal brand your personal profile right now in morocco for like 300 durham's a year or like 400 terms a year you can have a website with a with a website builder now you also need to buy a domain name which is unique to you but that's not expensive either that's like 100 durham's or less okay buy the domain build the website put your personal profile on there make it interesting put some work into it maybe you could have some personal testimonies some video some audio some writing show people who you are make it interesting something that is set apart from the crowd you know you could do it like i said if you you take the time and effort you can build your own dot m a website for fairly cheap and there you have it you have another thing that sets you apart from from most people who are who are looking for work yeah yeah i like you you summarized it well when you said you have to work hard and smart so there's just effort you know pounding the pavements knocking on doors calling people doing everything you can putting in the hours kind of knocking on every door but then also just being smart thinking through what do i have to offer what is my competitive advantage how can i distinguish myself from all the competition and that takes effort but effort is rewarded because when employers see this person was willing to put in the effort it speaks highly about the type of person you are and what value you're going to offer to their company should they hire you yeah yeah i mean i think the last thing just goes back to networking i don't we don't want to repeat episode 1 but one of the things i told my students is at least half of the value of the of the degree program assists is the other people in the room and if you go through the whole program and you don't have any friends and contacts then you have wasted a huge opportunity i know that if for any reason i have to close down my business here in morocco and like move back to the united states you know i'm going to make 10 phone calls to people that i know that can like open set up interviews for me but they're people that i networked with in various schools and relationships over the years and it is true that personal reference is very powerful especially from someone who already is working in the organization so anything that you can do to build that network is is important but if you don't have that network i want to repeat something that i said in the in the first episode you pick an industry or an industry that you're interested in and you identify ten companies and you go to those ten companies and you say hi my name is ryan i'm interested in your type of business and i want to learn as much as i can about it can i work here for free in order to develop some skills that will help me get a paying job somewhere else do that 10 times

and i promise you one of the 10 will say yes i promise you it's certain that 10 people have 10 real businesses someone offering to come in and work for free just to learn they're going to at least give you a shot um so you know go do it if you have no family you have no friends you have no references at the very least you can do that yeah yeah it's a great place to begin

all right any saved thoughts any last recommendations the last the last thing is just to go through our catalog as i mentioned before because there's a lot more on this topic and we've created a ton of content interviewed some great guests that have not just been examples but offered from their experience advice for people that are searching for a job or gonna go through an interview we did an episode with um miriam lalu she gave a ton of great tips and so make sure you're going to our site and enjoying some of that content and learning from it exactly

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