Saturday, July 13, 2024

Hero of the Hour – Haider Malik

Unemployed graduate Haider Malik’s decision to seek work by standing with a pop-up-stall outside Canary Wharf tube station paid off with a top job offer

In a move that echoes the story of 22-year-old Mohamed Elbarkey, a Libyan refugee who took enterprising actions to find work and whose story we featured in August 2018, the MailOnline today reported on the similar story of an equally inventive 24-year-old named Haider Malik.


Unable to find a job since graduating with a first-class degree in banking and finance from the Middlesex University London because of the impact of the COVID-19, Mr Malik decided to set-up a pop-up stand in Canary Wharf earlier this month.


Stood with his CVs and a billboard with QR codes announcing where interested parties could download his details from 6.45am on a Tuesday morning, Mr Malik “took a chance and within days had secured a job offer.”


Mohammed Elbarkey
In August 2018, ‘The Steeple Times’ featured the story of Mohamed Elbarkey, a young man who came to Britain as a refugee from Libya, graduated in rocket science from UCL and then got a job by standing outside Canary Wharf tube station with a sign pleading for work. At the time of his reasoning for doing such, he commented: “I found this young man, David, he did the same stunt in Silicon Valley. He wanted a job in technology and what better place. I found that he had over 200 job offers and I thought I only need one. Why don’t I try and see if my story resonates with these executives at these large financial firms and see if they wanted to take me under their wing, even offer me an internship and a job or genuinely just some advice.”
Haider Malik 1
Haider Malik’s enterprising actions resulted in him being rewarded with his “dream job” at the Canary Wharf Group.

Of his strategy, the Seven Kings, Ilford based youngster announced:

“The first five minutes or 10 minutes I felt nervous because I was standing there empty-handed. I found it really awkward. I didn’t know what I was doing, I found it really weird.”

“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.”

“I held my CV in my hand and I was just saying good morning to people, just trying to engage people in a conversation. A lot of people gave me their cards, they gave me their phone numbers, and started talking to me.”

“There was one person called Emmanuel who actually posted a picture of me online. He actually came up to me, he put his hand out and said: “I wish you well.’”

“He said he wanted to do something similar two years ago but he didn’t have the courage to do it. He was happy that I put myself forward to do it and that he wanted to share a picture of me on LinkedIn.”

Going further of what happened next after being contacted by the Canary Wharf Group, Mr Malik added:

“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.’”

“That same day my life changed because when I got back in the car to go home after my interview, I checked my phone and I had about 10 missed calls from loads of different numbers.”

“I didn’t know that the LinkedIn post went viral straight away and my number was on my CV so people were scanning it and calling me. For the first three days my phone was non-stop ringing, it never stopped ringing and LinkedIn was really busy.”

“It was going crazy and I had to have my family help me to respond to DMs and get in contact with people.”

“It was really cool the way it happened – I took a chance. The first interview was the same day, which was a Tuesday morning, and then I got a second interview on Friday. And then by Friday evening they were happy with me and I accepted the role.”

Today, we join those saluting Haider Malik and urge others in a similar position to follow both his and Mohamed Elbarkey’s lead.

Matthew Steeples
Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.


  1. This is why we need to rescue migrants in the Channel. Anyone who does what they have done to get to that point has guts and determination. The countries they come from are losing their talents. These are good people.

    • Totally agree as usual Officer Duck: Haider Malik has shown great initiative and spirit and his new employer is to be congratulated and applauded as is he.


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