It is always bad news to receive negative feedback from the HR office, especially when your life depended on the job that you had applied. However, this is better than the 99.982% of the cases where the HR simply ghosts you and you are not even sure whether they concluded the interviews.
This is the position that Amina Mohamed, Kenya’s Sports CS, found herself in after desperately trying to clinch a job with the World Trade Organization. While she did not get the job, the HR at WTO was good enough to give her some very useful feedback while wishing her all the best in her feature endeavors.
The letter from the HR was very short and has some specific actionable points. “We regret that while you are highly qualified and capable of leading WTO, the management decided not to give you the job. We therefore recommend you to Polycarp Igathe who can advise you on how to get such jobs.”
Why Polycarp Igathe? Because Polycarp Igathe is the opposite of Amina Mohamed, especially when it comes to securing to jobs.
For most of us who have the memory of a fruitfully (but that doesn’t matter because Google happened), Polycarp Igathe is the former Vivo Energy Executive who resigned to become the Deputy Governor in Nairobi, then resigned to join Equity Bank, then resigned again to rejoin Vivo Energy, before resigning to rejoin Equity Bank again. Whenever Igathe resigns from a job, top executives cringe because their positions are at stake. Igathe chooses the job that he wants.
On the contrary, Amina Mohammed is the person who was fronted by the Kibaki Administration to WTO but failed, fronted by Uhuru Kenya to take the AU Commission job but failed, preferred by the United Kingdom to take over the Commonwealth top job, and recently, fronted by Kenya to take the top job again at the WTO. In all these job applications, Amina has been very consistent. She is a professional runners up.
While the loss was a new low for Amina, at least she knows what to do.