24-year-old job-seeker Haider Malik has become a new internet sensation after a photo of him standing outside a London tube station went viral. Malik, a British Pakistani, had adopted a creative way to get himself gainfully employed after he struggled to find a job despite months of trying.
In the photo, Malik was seen standing outside a tube station next to a board, which read, “Bsc Banking & Finance, First Class Grad. Looking for entry level role gradudate scheme.”
The board also had QR codes for his potential employer to access his CV and Linkedin profile. Malik asked people to approach him for CV, advice or simply a chat.
Malik told a British newspaper that he arrived around 7 in the morning not knowing how people would react. He told the MyLondon website, “The first five minutes or 10 minutes I felt nervous because I was standing there empty handed.” He added, “I had all my CVs in my bag. I was standing there empty handed trying to look at people and hoping to meet people rather than being proactive and speaking to them.”
He, however, noticed a visible change in people’s attitude towards him as they began to engage with him. “I held my CV in my hand and I was just saying good morning to people, just trying to engage people in a conversation.”
Malik said that he was inspired by his 67-year-old father, Mehmood Malik, a retired cab driver who migrated from Pakistan as a teenager. He said that he had purchased a board from a stationery shop in Romford in east London and stuck QR codes to it so people could easily view his CV and LinkedIn profile.
Malik said that while people gave their phone numbers to him and offered kind advice, one person in particular, changed his life. “There was one person called Emmanuel who actually posted a picture of me online,” he said.
That person, Emmanuel Fajuyigbe, shared his story on Linkedin and the post went viral within minutes.
By 9.30 AM, he received a message asking him to come to an interview for a role as a Treasury Analyst at the Canary Wharf Group. He said, “I got a text message from the director of the department at about 9.30am saying ‘come in for an interview at 10.30am’.
“I had my car in the car park so I took the board and took all my stuff.
“I was like ‘wow, this is crazy’.
“They interviewed me on the 30th floor of a building and I’m overlooking Canary Wharf thinking ‘wow, I never expected to be interviewed here let alone potentially about to get a job’.”
Haider said that after he returned to his car following the first round of interview, he saw at least 10 missed calls from different people. That was when he realised his story had gone viral from Linkedin.
He was inundated with phone calls and messages in days to come. Malik was asked to come for the second round of interview on 5 November before he was offered a job at the Canary Wharf Group.
Malik later took to Linkedin to thank everyone as he wrote, “A lot can change in 14 days, I have accepted a role with the Canary Wharf Group plc, thank you to everyone that helped make this possible. Let’s all stay connected and grow together!”
Thank you Emmanuel Fajuyigbe for your share on day 1. #thankyou #share #work #canarywharf #banking #finance #graduate
As expected, netizens are now hailing him as a hero, a go-getter, who used a creative tool to find a job for himself. One Melissa Sigodo wrote, “You might have seen this young graduate on LinkedIn who set up a stand in Canary Wharf with QR codes of his CV. He got an interview within hours of being out in the cold and accepted a job offer within days. It was so inspiring to speak to him about it and how his father who worked as a cab driver had instilled him with drive and determination. Shows you should never give up.”
User Jibran M wrote, “My friend Haider Malik. a real go-getter. Such a cool story.”
User Shloka Shenoy wrote, “I saw someone post about him a few weeks ago and I found this idea so amazing and out of the box! I immediately knew that I want to stay connected with him. As a fellow international student, I am so proud of him for his brave and smart idea. The times have been really hard for us especially, during the pandemic and frankly we need to learn from this guy how to make the best of the worst situation! #kudos to you Haider Malik, it’s just onwards and upwards for you now!”