“It Has Been 3 Years Since I Had Fulltime Job”

March 16, 2016

chardonne paynter

[Letter written by Chardonne Paynter]

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to share my unemployment history and discontent with the new pathway to status proposal.

I am 28 year old Bermudian with an MBA in Public Relations and communications, I also hold a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and it has been three years since I have had a fulltime job in my home country.

Upon returning to Bermuda I was told by a PR firm to schedule an appointment to meet with them, because they were impressed with my resume. Once I arrived on the island I immediately set out to meet with the firm. Conclusively, they did nothing more than congratulate me for my achievements, without even so much as a part time job offer.

When I offered to volunteer my services, they declined my proposal, saying “we would have nothing for you to do”, essentially stating that I would only be getting in the way.

One year later, I was riding the bus and happened to sit next to an amiable young Canadian woman the same age as myself, with equal credentials; ironically this woman had just moved to Bermuda three months before the bus ride and held the position at the exact same firm I had applied for and offered volunteer services for over a year prior to her arrival.

I have applied to over 300 positions in Bermuda ranging from executive level to waitress and caregiver. I have three different resumes that I use based on the position I am applying for; one with high school credentials only, another with Bachelor level achievements and the third with my full credentials listed.

I have had my resume revamped numerous times by online resume companies and professionals; however, I can’t manage to get a foot in the door for an interview. I have been living out of bags from home to home depending on the charity of my family and friends timing my visits just so that it is near meal time.

Only recently have I managed to secure a part time job which is only valid for a three month period utilizing my Bachelors degree; after that I am on Gods good will once again! From an economical standpoint, as a child I did everything the “right” way; attended private school, volunteered for charities, took piano lessons for ten years and went straight to college etc.

The manner in which this reform is being carried out is absolutely criminal and an insult to those young Bermudians and their families, who have burnt the midnight oil in college, lived on ramen noodles, invested blood, sweat and tears and a fortune on the future of their children and this country!

Please do not pass this immigration reform. Contrary to popular belief there are locals who possess the skill and desire to make Bermuda a better place. This is my story, this is my truth! I know there are others like me and I hope this letter gives others in my predicament the courage to come forth, speak their truth and stand in the sun!

Sincerely,

Chardonne Paynter

Elizabeth Tee of Troncossi Public Relations said, “As there are only two PR firms on the island, I assume that Ms Paynter is referring to my firm and I would like to address the inaccuracies in the story.

“First and foremost, anyone working for me needs to have a minimum of three years of experience in the PR business. I run a small company and, as a result, all employees are managerial level and I rely on them to deal directly with clients at a senior level.

“We have several clients that are listed on the Bermuda, Canadian and New York stock exchanges, along with global firms, that expect a certain level of competency when they hire a PR firm. This competency comes with experience. If we don’t perform at a high standard, we would lose the client.

“I would only hire a non-Bermudian if a Bermudian doesn’t apply with the minimum qualifications for the job. Everyone (except interns) who has worked for me has met this standard. Bermuda Government would not grant a work permit to a Canadian with no experience.

“I was once in Chardonne’s shoes myself. When I decided that I wanted to go into the public relations field, there were no PR jobs available in Bermuda. But PR is my passion and so I took the risk that I may not be able to work in Bermuda one day. There are many Bermudians who make a life decision such as this in order to pursue the career of their dreams: pilot, animator, surgeon specialist.

“However, I knew that I had to gain experience in a big city. During my college degree, I completed a PR internship in London. I then completed another internship in New York once I graduated. After that, I moved to London and during my time there I worked for several PR firms, including Ogilvy Adams & Rhinehart [now Ogilvy & Mather PR], one of the world’s top ten PR firms.

“Whenever I meet young Bermudians entering the profession, I encourage them to move to a big city where there is a large media population to gain experience.

“When I decided to return to Bermuda, I was told by the advertising agencies that there’s not enough PR work on the island to warrant offering the service. I was interviewed by the Department of Communications & Information (PR for Government) and told that I would be frustrated working there because things move slowly in Government.

“Just as I was considering a career change to advertising or tourism, I secured the first PR Officer role at Bank of Bermuda. I could not have secured this position without four years of PR experience, including working in the financial services department at Ogilvy Adams & Rhinehart, a global PR firm.

“On the topic of internships, we only offer positions when we have a business need. There are only certain projects that would be suitable for an entry-level graduate and if we don’t have that sort of work at the same time that the person wants to do an internship, it doesn’t work.

“I look forward to the day that I see more Bermudians rising up within the PR and communications field. I wish Chardonne the best of luck in securing a dream job.”

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