Still here, still struggling. The lack of updates is indicative of the lack of major steps forward in the pursuit of finding a job.

Here’s what’s good: That job I found before at the Ministry of Education is still a good job, and the boss still thinks I’m a good candidate. I’ve also found another job that will provide a work visa immediately. It’s at SchoolNet, an organization that puts computers into rural schools and provides tech support when needed via an 800 number (which is pretty-much unheard of in Namibia).

Here’s what’s new: I met with an American who was in similar circumstances when he finished his Peace Corps service – that being “How do I stay in Namibia and legally get work?” He outlined the process of what needs to happen in order for me to get that position. First, my boss-to-be needs to check with the Permanent Secretary if the position needs to be re-advertised. This is because it has been advertised for the last three years, but not during 2007. If it does need to be re-advertised, all Namibians applying will need to be interviewed and if anyone meets the qualifications, they win. If everyone applying doesn’t meet the qualifications, or if the position doesn’t need to be re-advertised, then I can be interviewed. If that goes well, my boss-to-be checks with his boss if he can hire a foreigner. If she is amenable, then she checks with her boss, the Permanent Secretary. If he is also amenable, then he’ll write a letter to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs (the work permit/visa people) and plead to give me a work permit for a year (the maximum duration for a work permit). And finally, if the work permit is issued, then I win.

Let’s say I win – I get the work permit, and I start work. Doing my job well means training people I work with to do what I do – that being working with databases – and therefore I’ll have worked myself out of a job, because now there are qualified Namibians for the post. Excellent! So if I want to stay around next year, I’ll have to go through the process all over again. That’s not all that bad, because I’ll never get board at work if the location keeps changing!

Here’s what’s ugly: As you’ve probably guessed, all that stuff takes time. We might be looking at three months. Or six months! Who really knows. Also, that other job that can hire me right now, which is good because I’ll get a work visa right now, will pay me zero, feed me nothing, and house me nowhere. But I probably will have to do that for a few months just to stay legally in the country while I’m waiting for a paying job to come through.

So in the last month, all that’s really happened is that I’ve met a bunch of interesting and helpful people, and I’ve become more acquainted with how government works. I’m pretty sure that such procedures would even be true for US government jobs as well, so it’s good to know that the Namibian Government is going through the proper procedures.

2 Responses to “Progress?”

  1. Mom Says:

    Hang in there, Pat; I have faith in you!

  2. Deb Says:

    If you don’t update your blog how are we supposed to live vicariously through you?

Leave a Reply

Javascript is required in order to leave a reply. If it is not currently enabled in your web browser, please enable it, and refresh this page before writing your reply. We are using wp-hashcash, a comment-spam prevention program which requires Javascript. The benefit is that you won't be reading comments about Viagra or other pharmaceuticals.