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10 ways to find a job in Malawi

Finding employment in Malawi is not difficult if one knows where to look for a job. Every day, there is a vacancy that a company or organization needs to fill. Often employers are either lazy to advertise or feel it is not important or expensive. Here are some tips on how to get you that job you wanted.

1. Look to Facebook

There are Facebook groups that you can look up to. It is also important to follow Facebook pages for organizations that normally employ people. We found Malawi jobs and Training Listings as well as Malawi Job Connections and Latest Vacancies Malawi to be vital sources of job vacancies in Malawi.

2. Look to the internet

International organizations in Malawi such as Unicef and World Vision normally have job openings due to new projects being introduced. Other websites like Job Search Malawi and Job Centre Malawi also advertise latest vacancies. Job openings from part time jobs, research assistants’ opportunities as well as international organization job opportunities are displayed on these sites.

3. Lilongwe Chat

Lilongwe Chat is a Yahoo group in Malawi. People from all walks of life post adverts on job opportunities, items for sale, garage sales as well as ‘lost-but-found’ items in Lilongwe. To register with Lilongwe Chat, simply send an email to lilongwe-chat-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Once the moderator approves your subscription, you will be receiving emails from the members. You can then place your job-seeker advert by sending an email to lilongwe-chat@yahoogroups.com

To ensure your advert displays well, remove HTML formatting to send your email in plain text format.

4. Newspapers

Another option that you have as a job seeker is to look for vacancies in newspapers. There are so many newspapers in Malawi but the most commonly read are The Nation and The Daily Times. Their sister papers The Weekend Nation and Nation on Sunday are also a vital source of information on jobs.

The National Library Service also displays cut-offs from newspapers containing job advertisements and other vital information.

5. Get job adverts by SMS

From only K85 a week, you can get Airtel job adverts by SMS to your phone. You can subscribe by dialing *567# or by sending an SMS to 56700.

6. Submit random applications

The organization I have worked for the past 5 years receives on average 10 applications a day through the post. There was a time management urgently needed an employee and the HR team simply went through the files to look for candidates. Interviews were set the following day and someone got a job. The rest is history as they always say.

The moral of the story is: it is not a wastage of resources to proactively seek employment. Even if you do not receive a response, sending your application through the post is worth the effort.

7. Do a door-to-door job search

If you are a handyman (we’d have preferred to say ‘handyperson’ to be gender sensitive) then doing a door-to-door job search could be the best fit for you. Plumbing jobs and most labor-intensive skills can easily found by going to places where there is need. If you are a bricklayer, your chances of getting a job are high if you go to places where construction is taking place – new locations for example to look for a job. Expecting the employer to find you in this case is like building castles in the air.

8. Volunteer with an NGO

A simple thing as volunteering can help push you to your next job. The levels of poverty in Malawi increase demand for social services and NGOs are constantly looking for opportunities to reach out to the needy. They need people to achieve their aims. Do a research on the organization you would like to volunteer with. One of the easiest ways is to visit their website. If you are required to apply online, follow the instructions, play by the rules. Don’t show desperation!

Some organizations will disqualify you if you canvass. From my own experience, we have disqualified candidates who phoned the Director to ‘find out more’ about a job that was advertised and no phone number was provided in the advert. The question that the director asked was ‘how did this person get my number?’.

9. Visit the Labour Office

The Labour Office is often frequented by potential employers who are looking for part-time as well as technical jobs. You do not have to pay to get information on potential employment. Many door-to-door job seekers find the Labour Office as a place to ‘cool down’ after going round places to look for jobs. It is also a potential place to meet new people in a similar situation and share experiences and tips.

10. Get self-employment

The easiest way to get a job is to become your own boss. Books like ‘How to Become CEO’ contain helpful tips and insights on how to rise to the top in an ever increasing competitive world.

You can become your own boss by simply finding something satisfying that can help you generate money. You can open a barbershop, sell renewable energy products, have a small farm, even raise chickens. Don’t limit yourself to getting a job. There are many successful people who have quit jobs and pursued business and succeeded. Dr. Tamala Kaunda – a medical doctor from Zambia is an example of a person who ventured into farming and is now making headlines for becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Quick Tips as You Search for a Job

You are addressed by the way you dress

If you are looking for a job as a farm manager and you enter the interview room in a tuxedo suit, what message are you sending to the potential employer? Similarly, if you wear heavy makeup, use the strongest perfume and put on high-heeled shoes and a mini-skirt, what message are you putting across to your potential employer? Use common sense. Be presentable but don’t over-do things.

Improve your skills through CPD

Become an expert on something many people fail to do. Even if they do, ensure you stay ahead of the competition by constantly polishing your skills. If you are an accountant, ensure you learn packages like QuickBooks and other Enterprise Resource Management systems. Read articles and stay updated.

Make it easy for employers to find you (and you to find them)

Get a working phone so that they can contact you. Most employers schedule an interview date on the phone. Configure your email account on your phone so that you can be contacted easily.

Use social media

If used properly, you can harness the power of social media especially Facebook to your advantage. Get a Facebook account, connect with people, join important groups and use it wisely. Some potential employers will dig into the web to find out more about their potential employees. If your prospective employer is a smoke-free environment and you are seen in photos on your Facebook wall at a bar with commercial sex workers, you know by now your job prospects. No need to continue right?

Update your CV

The Huffington Post website provides vital information on how to write a ‘killer’ CV. The rule of thumb is that you are not guaranteed a job when you have a degree. Crafting a great CV can enhance your job prospects.

Don’t give up

Rome was not built in a day. That’s what they told us when we were young right? Yes! You will also not find a job in a day. If you do, you are extremely lucky and most people don’t have that luck.

Continue the search, don’t overdo things. Don’t be discouraged. Do other important things as well such as exercising and participating in community or religious engagements. Most importantly, don’t give up!

Coming soon: Make yourself irreplaceable: 5 ways to keep a job

End Note

Do you have suggestions, additions or comments? Please use the comment box to share your thoughts. Thank you!

Ian C Maliseni

About the Author

Ian C Maliseni is the Founder and Executive Director of Urunji Child-Care Trust. He has worked with several local and international organizations among them World Vision Malawi and Ebenezer Trust in Zambia.

He has an MBA and is also a Member of the Chartered Management Institute (MCMI). He loves writing articles on job search, volunteering and web designing.

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