Picking up after job loss

Saturday February 10 2018

Picked up. Nannyonga lost her job unexpectedly.

Picked up. Nannyonga lost her job unexpectedly. However, she quickly picked herself up to create her own job. photo by Godfrey Lugaaju.  

By Phionah Nassanga

In 2013, Mary Josephine Nannyonga ended her long wait for the job she had hoped to get immediately after graduation.
The job had taken three years to arrive and the three years had been filled with anxiety and batted hope for the 28-year-old.
Just like any other young graduate, Nannyonga had tried her chance at applying for a number of jobs but with little success.
However, her search would later land her at Allied Property Surveyors, where she was deployed to work on a number of projects including Nalukolongo Drainage Channel and Mukono-Katosi-Kyetume road, which would be her last project with the company.

Wrong turn
“I had settled into the job. It was a nice feeling that came with some good money. But as fate would have it, it came to an abrupt end and in a manner that I least expected,” she says.
Allied Property Surveyors, according to Nannyonga, had been sub-contracted to work on the Mukono-Katosi-Kyetume road project but the 2015 corruption scandal ended the contract and her job as well.
“Things happened so fast. Soon I had no job and I was even failing to pay my bills. I decided to return to my parent’s home in Masaka [District] as I planned something else,” Nannyonga, who holds a Diploma in Land Management and Valuation from the Institute of Survey and Land Management in Entebbe, says.
Losing a job that she had searched for for almost three years, she says, was hard to take especially since she had no idea where to start from.
In Masaka, Nannyonga resumed the job search, looking through newspapers, asking friends to assist as well as networking to get opportunities.
However, the search, just like the first one, proved to be long and quite stressful amid “a complete struggle to get money to survive and severe competition,” she says.
“I tried updating my CV [curriculum vitae] because I had come across some jobs being advertised in Uganda National Roads Authorities and ministry of Lands. So I tried my luck but could not get any,” she says.
Around 2016, Nannyonga secured a job with an advocate firm in Kampala but it did not last long.
“I was there for only six months. The firm had just been established and it had a lot of challenges, key among them, lack of finances. In fact I had to leave because I was funding most of the basics such as transport and feeding yet I could not get enough money to rent,” she says.
During the same time, Nannyonga tried her hands on a number of things to survive including teaching short computer courses at her brother’s computer lab before meeting a friend who would give her a new lease of life.
“I met this friend who had started a travel company - Noah’s Ark Tours and Travel. She gave me a part time job to coordinate European trips. I was only required to do this between 7am and 2pm,” she says.
This introduced Nannyonga to a new world where she would later pick keen interest to start her own company - Trinitus3 Tours and Travel Company.
“My new boss guided me through the process. I learnt fast because I had my own interests and after about one year, I moved to start my own company in August 2017,” she says.
Currently, Nannyonga is the general manager at Trinitus3 Tours and Travel, a company that she helped to start about six months ago.