The long journey from living on the streets to becoming self-supporting
For the past year, Nicky and Marina have been mostly surviving, looking for a better future. They have not yet managed to find a job, but they have received help for their daily needs such as food and a roof over their heads: “We are grateful for the help we have received.”
Age works against you when looking for work in Indonesia
“It is very difficult for us to get jobs at the moment because in the current situation there are too many people who need work. We are just looking for a decent job. However, companies in Indonesia prefer young people aged 25 to 35 and people who have just graduated, because they are cheaper than people with work experience. I know this because they have hired people I know, like my neighbor and a friend from our dorm, both in their twenties. That’s our obstacle, because I (Nicky) am 35 and Marina is 44. There are large companies that do accept experienced workers, but the job requirements are extremely high and you actually need a connection within the company to get a job there.
Marina has had many job interviews with no results and has always been rejected without explanation. I have also applied for staff positions and at courier companies, but it seems that they only accept young people. For motorcycle taxi driver you are only hired, if you pay money to the broker first.
Moreover, now that it is almost the end of the year, most companies are not hiring. Some wait until February or even the second quarter. So far, we don’t see a bright spot.”
Our dream for the future: Owning our own business
“Now that it is so hard to find a job, we think we might want to start a small business, like an online store. But for that we don’t have enough capital and there are many other obstacles.
We know Fivver [where you can offer online web design and other online services, CvW] and we are thinking hard what can we do as a service. However, most design programs are too heavy for our laptop; we are still looking for programs that can run on it. One time Marina had an assignment for photo editing, but after that project she didn’t get another assignment.
What we are thinking about now is an online store, there are many platforms in Indonesia like shopee.co.id, tokopedia.com, facebook market, OLX and many more. We were planning to sell cat food there because we see that people are looking for that a lot and that demand is not affected by the pandemic…. We just need to sell it at a higher price than we buy it for. But we still have to make a plan and do market research. Here, however, is the problem that most distributors require a minimum purchase amount.
My sculpture takes too much time to produce because I use clay and not a digital program, like zbrush or blender. It was a hobby and such collectibles do not interest the people here, especially in this bad economic situation since the pandemic.”