By graduation time, we were all thrilled to start our careers, except some of the guys whose primary concern was knowing their military status. It was quite disappointing to know that everyone around was moving forward in their careers, while they were stuck in the military for one or more years.
This is a yearly story for many male graduates around the country. If you are one of them, you might be overwhelmed by the fact that you cannot start your career before your 25th. Be that as it may, WUZZUF is here to tell you that there is still some hope. Even though I am not subjected by any means to the military service, but I have done my homework so we can help you invest in your military service time in favor of your career.
Before you start your military service, you should know the following:
- Military service plans are not identical, especially when it comes to the vacation policy. Typically, every recruit gets a 7-day vacation, after 28 days of service. However, this sometimes varies from one case to another depending on many factors, including your role, level, and the unit where you serve. For instance, some recruits serve for 21 days, followed by a 7-day vacation. Others may serve for 20 days followed by a 10-day vacation.
- You don’t necessarily serve in the faraway deserts, you may do your military service in Cairo and spend your night at your home (sweet home), and this case is called “mabeet.”
I totally understand that your situation can be even harder and more challenging than the mentioned cases. Here I bring you some suggestions that may help you invest in your military service time, yet only you can tell if any of these suggestions may work in your case.
Time spent learning is never wasted
You might not be able to start your career right away, but you can prepare yourself well for a bright career.
If you are enrolled in any university program or diploma, you don’t have to pause everything till you completely finish your military service. You may not have access to your devices during the military service, but you may get permission to have and read your study books during your spare time.
Studying is usually associated with classrooms, but well, it’s the 21st century. There are many online platforms that offer you technical and extensive knowledge through the web that you can acquire anytime and anywhere, and in many cases, for free. These platforms include Coursera, Udemy, D-NA program offered by IBM, NTL initiative led by the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information.
Abdel-Rahman Tarek (26 years old) is one of the guys who tried his best to well-utilize his time during the military year, and he enthusiastically shared with us his inspiring story. Abdelrahman was lucky to have his military service as “mabeet,” where he used to do the service in the morning, then spend his night at home. His case encouraged him not to pause his Master’s program in “Marketing and International Business.” Tarek said that he could study in his spare time. Actually, his supervisors always understood and encouraged him. “After I finished my military service, I found out that I don’t have to start my master’s program from scratch, because I did finish it already. It was time to think of step two already. And that was something!” Abdel Rahman says.
Volunteering might be the compromise you need
Whenever I make it to any charity and volunteer-organized event, I meet one or more guys who do such volunteering work in their spare time, despite being enrolled in the military service. If you cannot commit to a part-time/ full-time job, direct your passion, skills, and good intentions towards volunteering.
Volunteering will also help you widen your network and increase your chances to hunt the first job, especially when you add your valuable volunteering experiences to your CV.
During her NILE FM interview, Rehab Afifi, WUZZUF Coach, advised young talents who aspire to work for NGOs to do more volunteering work in the fields they are interested in. This proves how passionate they are about such fields.'After I finished my military service, It was time to think of step two already. And that was something!'Click To Tweet
Work, work, work
It’s true that you cannot start a fulltime job until you finish your military service. But try to find a part-time, a project-based, or a freelance job; with a prior agreement that you are only available during your vacation. Many startups would understand the situation and offer you a special deal, based on your availability.
Discover Startup jobs in Egypt on WUZZUF.
To increase your chances of getting such a deal, you should
- Make sure to have an internship before graduation. It will add to your work experience.
Check WUZZUF internships program for the largest database of internships in Egypt.
- Widen your network through volunteering activities and student activities.
- Never decline any work opportunity even if it was temporary.
Remember Abdel-Rahman? ِApparently the 26-year-old guy could do more than being the impressive master’s student. During his military year, Abdel-Rahman was offered an opportunity to work for “Educate Me” organization as a Training and Development Executive, where he used to design internal and external training and ensure that they comply with the set criteria. “This job opportunity,” says Abdel-Rahman, “helped me grow mentally, technically and financially. It is commonly thought that a year at the military, is a year wasted in terms of career building. But after I ended my military service, I found out that I started my first job already that helped me enrich my knowledge and skills and boosted my confidence to take more bold career decisions.”'If you cannot commit to a part-time/ full-time job, direct your passion, skills, and good intentions towards volunteering.'Click To Tweet
Work on your own terms: FREELANCE!
The brilliant comedian Milton Berle once said: “If an opportunity does not knock, build a door.” If you didn’t receive any job offer, visit one of the freelancing platforms available on the web; namely, Freelancer, Upwork, Mostaql, and many others. Think of something that you can do and that you can offer as a freelance service, e.g., teaching a foreign language, translation, content creation, graphic design, photography..etc. If you have a driving license, you may consider working for driving service companies, e.g., Uber and Careem.
Mohamed Atef is another guy who seized the opportunity to well-utilize his military time. Few months before being summoned for the military service, Mohamed Atef was offered a one-project job. He participated in an exhibition in behalf of the German- Arab Chamber Of Industry & Commerce, along with other exhibitors. After the end of the exhibition, he finished all the required reporting tasks within two days.
Apparently, his Impressive performance paid off. He was offered a training and then a fulltime job. Once his military service started, he had to quit his job, yet he was offered to work on a freelance basis. He worked on the projects that will coincide with his 10-day vacations at the beginning of every month. Later, when he finished his military service, Mohamed Atef was offered to return to his full-time position. “I’ll always be thankful for this early opportunity. Everything I have now started with this one opportunity” says Mohamed Atef, adding that he encourages other young men to do anything, rather than waiting for the perfect timing and the perfect opportunity.
I know it is not ideal and that your circumstances can be harder. But, take a moment and contemplate the things you have now and how you can make the best of your situation. Nobody said it is easy, but it is totally worth it.
Now, what’s your plan for your military service time?