A 24-year-old man from London got innovative with his job hunting methods – and bagged himself a job within a week.

Haider Malik hit the streets of London equipped with his own pop-up stand at Canary Wharf. In less than 3 hours, he secured himself an interview followed by a new job by the end of the week.

Haider, a first-class degree holder in Banking & Finance from Middlesex University, was becoming increasingly frustrated at Zoom interviews over the course of the pandemic as it wouldn’t allow him to showcase his personality. Taking matters into his own hands and inspiration from his 67-year-old father, Mehmood Malik, who migrated from Pakistan in his teens and secured a job within a matter of days, Haider took to the busy financial district.

“I decided to get out of my comfort zone and get some well needed human interaction. I made it a point to never travel to Canary Wharf until the time was right as I always wanted to work there,” Haider told Indy100. He created his own pop-up stand complete with QR codes that directed potential employers to his CV and LinkedIn profile.

Despite initially feeling “nervous”, Haider soon became “more approachable.” He explained: “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.”

Once he started engaging with commuters, people started handing him business cards and phone numbers – and before he knew it, one person offered their assistance and shared a photo of Haider to LinkedIn.

Within an hour, he had given away all 50 of his CVs.

“I just wanted to get out of my comfort zone, I feel like lockdown had worn down my communication skills and have forced me to become a shell of myself,” he said.

“I think it’s key to get comfortable being uncomfortable. A degree once was the pinnacle of success, now, unfortunately, it’s seen as a minimum requirement.”

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By 9.30am, he received an interview offer for a role as a Treasury Analyst at the Canary Wharf Group.

Haider 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’.”

The interview took place on the very same day, which was shortly followed by a second on the Friday. By the end of the day, he was offered the job.

Hard work does pay off.

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