The problem with ‘The Unemployment Problem’ in Cyprus

I am, like many others, very concerned about the growing unemployment rate on our lovely island. With companies being forced to close, and even more scratching their heads as to how they will fork over the upcoming annual company levy, cover their bills and feed their families… the situation will get a tad worse before it gets any better, especially for the unemployed.

This post rant is about us, as Cypriot citizens and workers, looking at one of the core reasons jobs are not coming our way… and yes, a lot of the time, it’s our own damn fault.

This topic really slapped me in the face from my conversations with entrepreneurs and business managers on the ground around the island, and is best illustrated in the form of this short story.

Alexandros owns a small business, he currently hires 3 locals and needs a new person to join his team. He posts an advert in various places and gets some calls in, from which he arranges interviews with 4 candidates for the position.

First in, is Marios, who arrives 15 minutes after his scheduled time, without a text or call to notify Alexandros, who has taken time out of his work day for this meeting. Upon arrival, Marios is asked why he is late and responds… “eeeeh it’s only a few minutes my friend”. Good bye Marios. Reason: Lack of professionalism.

Second pops in Andreas. Arriving on time and being well presented, the interview goes great. Having finished a masters in a relevant subject, Alexandros offers him a bit more than he was prepared to go, after all, someone must still pay the bills, rent, other wages and take home some bread and water for the family. To which Andreas appears offended, being an entry-level position, he was expecting at least double the normal wage, because he had a masters. Good by Andreas. Reason: Inability to assess the current market.

Then pops in Katerina, who is a lovely young lady who arrived on time and dressed well too. At one point in the interview, she drops a bomb on herself. “I can only work afternoons on Saturday,” she tells Alexandros. When he asks if it’s due to another work obligation (it is tough times and he is an understanding guy) he is blown away by her answer. “No, I just go out on Fridays and can’t wake up easily afterwards”. Good bye Katerina. Reason: Inability to put in the work required when it clashes with her social calendar.

The fourth interview is with a young man this afternoon.

If he arrives on time, presents himself well, is qualified, gets along with Alexandros, is willing to work as much as he is needed at a fair rate of pay and is constantly professional… why should it matter if his name is Dominykas?

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Hey, I'm Hector 👋

I lead strategic initiatives for people, brands, and projects at the intersection of tech & work

I’m part web dev, part guerrilla marketer, and all geek.

I love working on interesting ways to build campaigns, implement tech, elevate voices, and drive revenues for market-defining personalities, brands, and platforms.

In 1999, I hit upload on my first “website”, and 12-year-old me was immediately hooked on the ways the internet would become a force multiplier for people, brands, and ideas.

Since then I’ve worked on over 850 strategic initiatives across media, advertising, non-profits, proptech, e-commerce, marketplaces, productized services, and more.

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Previously I founded and led the growth of the global perks network to 700+ communities, supporting over 133,000 members and businesses.

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7 Responses

  1. Right attitude, right aptitude and flexibility and interacts best with people best for the post. For Cypriots looking for work youneed to turn back the clock and be like they were 30 years ago, Friendly, helpful, resourceful and HARD working!

  2. I agree with this theres another case where the candidate agrees and says everything the interviewer wants to hear and on his first day on the job after he realises what work he was hired to do and the workload just decides to not appear again …. These are the cases that make me feel embarrassed and even worse these are the times where i feel the economic climate is on a high percentage due to our business mentality , it starts from family and the work ethics we teach our kids , when a person is totally used to being pampered by mommy daddy and relatives then at one point he sees these as a “right” rather than a “privilege”which in return infects many aspects of ones life and spreads in our small society/community , and just every one wants to be chill while they can say i got a good job

  3. and yet number 5 comes in. Punctual, well dressed and willing to work. he might have been in the industry all his life, but does NOT have his masters. oh i forgot, he is a Cypriot, born in another country.

    Oh well he is not spoudasmenos(although he probably knows more than the manager)
    The going rete is +-1000 a month for 8 hour day, but what the hell, we will offer him 800 for a 12 hour day, what have we got to lose……. he is a cypriot but hes a kseno at the same time…..oh how we love cyprus

  4. the problem is that this employers are even less than people who are like Dominykas . everything else you wrote i keep saying it over and over to my friends who are against foreigners workers and still believe that this people are stealing their ”jobs” . i went to many interviews and i am 22 years old still looking for job but i will never blame any foreign man/woman who is trying to find a job to keep her family with their needs .

    1. Its a sad fact that the potential employees are being exploited in Cyprus, vague hours and unreliable payments to workers are a great part of the problem. I know several people who have been conned over wages and job spec / working hours

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