In Palestine, Having a Job Means Seeing a Light


Raneen Kiresh, Administrative Assistant, Palestinian Museum

My name is Raneen Kiresh, and I’m a 22 year old from Jerusalem, Palestine.

I graduated on January 2013 with a major in Business Administration, and just like many other graduates, I faced a hard time finding a decent job that suits my field of study and career ambitions. As a fresh graduate who knew nothing about the work environment and needed skills required in any job, getting a job opportunity was really challenging at the beginning.

So, I decided to participate in a training program to develop my skills and knowledge. The training courses included Workplace Success, Principles of Marketing and Business English. These courses organized by Palestine Education For Employment helped developed many skills needed to succeed in researching, applying for, and securing a job position.

For example, before going to the job interview for my current job at the Palestinian Museum, I conducted online research about the history of Museum and their scope of work, I read the job description very well as to be prepared for any related question, and I photo copied my resume and made sure it is professional with no mistakes. Also, for the job interview I dressed in a professional way and presented a professional image. These skills which I gained through the Workplace Success training helped a lot in convincing the panel who were interviewing me, and I finally seized this job opportunity.

The Business English training is helping me a lot too in my current work so I can I write professional, well structured emails.

I currently work as an administrative assistant at the Museum and finding this job opportunity has changed my whole life! It makes me a better and happier person who is very active, optimistic, productive, and independent. Having a job is like seeing a light that you see at the end of a tunnel. It also creates a platform where I can meet different people and make professional connections. Furthermore, my family looks up to me and they are very proud and pleased from what I do, and this in return will keep me strong and determined in achieving my career goals.

Eventually, I want to be an executive director at one of the leading Palestinian organizations working in the field of development. Having a job enables me to contribute in covering some of the life expenses by giving a percentage of the income that I earn to the household. Actually I am very satisfied and proud of myself and proud to tell my friends about my new job. It boosted my self-confidence in fact I am getting more respect from other people recently. People praise me for what I’m doing and how I didn’t lose hope and determination in finding a decent job. I’m looking at life from the sunny side.

I want to tell other fresh graduates that getting a job is not an easy task to do especially when you live in a country that has a deteriorated economy with thousands of university graduates and few available job vacancies. However, one should not give up because nothing is impossible especially when one has the determination, skills, knowledge, and ambition to succeed and be a productive member in the society.

I would like to conclude by saying that “a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step” and I believe this first step was by participating in job training. I’m very optimistic that the best is yet to come.

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and the Middle East and North Africa not-for-profit Education For Employment (EFE), in conjunction with the third anniversary of the self-immolation of Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi on December 17, 2013. That event kicked off what has come to be known as “the Arab Spring” and brought the Arab youth unemployment crisis into the global spotlight.

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