What Independence Is For A Rural Job Seeker
“You know, it’s like a ball. You think it’s solid, there’s so much matter in it. But it’s only when you go close and look within that you realise there’s nothing inside. It’s hollow.”
All of 21 years old, Rupali Suware was one of the first students to have gotten through Aasaanjobs’ Rural Urban Integration programme.
From a small, unheard-of hamlet in Shiposhi, Ratnagiri, to the hustle-bustle of big city life, life has taken a drastic turn for her. It has been three months now, and on the occasion of Independence Day, she looks back at the many ways her sense of independence has increased.
1. Independence from long and extended waiting periods
When asked about her next plans while she was still in college, Rupali’s answer would always be a 3-6 month long round of living with relatives in Mumbai before landing a suitable job. The Rural Urban Integration programme, on the other hand, helped her find a job within a month. She simply had her profile created and had a chat with our counsellors/schedulers.
They took care to ensure that they had lined up 2-3 interviews at least in Mumbai every time she made a trip here. That way, every trip was much more fruitful and worth the time, effort and money. Also, these interviews were chosen such that it fit her profile perfectly — with the result that at the end of it, she had 3 different offers to choose from!
2. No more dependence on relatives/suspicious agencies, no more ‘ehsaan’
All Rupali knew about job-hunting were her relatives’ contacts. Further, there were some placement agencies that charged an exorbitant amount to just register with the agency, with no guarantee of getting a job. She is glad of two things:
One, thankfully, she does not owe anything to her distant relatives who lived here, for a job. No more ‘zindagi-bhar ka ehsaan’, because she got the job all by herself.
Second, she saved huge sums of money that would otherwise have been spent on agencies whose very authenticity was in question.
3. Financial Freedom
Rs. 9000, in hand, is a huge deal for her first job! The paltry Rs. 6000 that was being offered to her at the earlier company would eventually boil down to only Rs. 4,500 per month, which would never have been enough for a decent living in Mumbai. All job openings go through a strict filtering process, where only compensation structures that provide for a decent living get to feature on the portal. As a girl, her financial independence means much more for every female in the family.
“Now,” she says with a wink, “I’m the one who buys little treats like Cadbury shots for everyone at home”.
She recalls with horror the job interview she gave before Aasaanjobs was recommended to her cousin by a friend. That company called her to 3-4 different far flung places in Mumbai for interviews, all in one day. With the scorching heat and lack of food , she just about managed to stay alive during the interviews before collapsing at home after the long day, only to discover the next day that the money she’d get there would never be enough to survive in Mumbai.
4. Imbibing skills
Her current job rocks. Start-ups and SMEs, the major chunk of Aasaanjobs clients provide for immense learning and flexibility, even for someone like telecaller. “I will become a master at MS Excel some day and become a Back office executive, with a much higher salary. One week on the job in Mumbai teaches me more than the 2 months MSCIT course I did in Ratnagiri”, she eagerly says.
5. A place to call home
One MAJOR roadblock to finding jobs in Mumbai for someone outside, lies in the eternal question: Where do I put up?
Aaasaanjobs made this easy, by providing assistance to candidates unfamiliar with the city in finding the cheapest places for decent overnight accommodation (while looking for a job) or long term accommodation (after bagging it!).
6. Learning soft skills and beyond
As a telecaller and otherwise, Rupali is overwhelmed by the way people in business interact with one another. As she absorbs the professionalism of Mumbai city, she can see her soft skills improve beyond just speaking more fluent English.
7. Empowering others
Completing the circle of job hunting, Rupali now proudly refers Aasaanjobs to her friends in Ratnagiri. Not only is she a role model for her juniors in college, every time one of them gets a job, she gets more pocket money for her daily pack of Kurkure in the commute to office!
Coming to Mumbai was a chance Rupali got to question her assumptions about her own self, her skills and her knowledge.
In her words, “ab pata chal raha hai nazdeek aakar..ki us bade gyan-ball ke andar bahut jagah hai, aur cheezen seekhne ko, aur gyan bharne ko!”