By Jacob Mugendi
At some point in campus/college, especially during your final
months or semesters, you will need to start planning for life after school. It
is a joy to finish and look forward to graduation, but there are also many
moving parts involved that can rob you the joy
of completing your studies. As you anticipate a life without assignments, CATs and Exams set by
the devil himself, you also realize that it will be a life without HELB
and possibly the close social gatherings you have enjoyed. By the way, HELB
will still be there, but this time round like Santa Claus turned terrorist,
asking you to repay your loan. Blessed is the one without HELB, for they will
not be haunted! Sorry, I digressed.
What’s next after campus? I faced this question almost six years
ago, and with so many uncertainties, I had to decide what to do next and how to
shape my life at least in the short term. What makes this a significant decision in life is that a lot of
things change, and your life will be altered significantly from how you have
lived in the last 20 years. Some of the major
changes to expect include:
- The increased cost of living, in terms of housing, food, travel, etc.
- Decreased support from the people you depended on.
- Increased expectations
- Finding a job in a jobless economy.
- Transition to a different town/location, new community, and friends, or a new Church.
- Another 300 challenges which I have no space to mention
One of these challenges is finding a job, and I would want to talk about it in the hope that I will help someone make the right decision. While in school, we work hard in the hope that we will land on a good job and possibly occupy the corner office. Even those who do not venture into employment hope to be successful as entrepreneurs. How can we make this a reality?
The reality of the job environment today
Once upon a time, there was some
Things have changed
Today, your career is probably going to take a lot of twists and turns. You’ll work, change jobs, tarmac, get a side hustle and a main hustle, become an employer, an employee, consultant… etc. With the exception of a few people whose career path will look like the straight path shown below, most of them will have a twisted, convoluted and mixed up career path as shown
With this in mind, how can one ensure that their career kicks off well? Jobs need experience, and experience needs jobs. This cyclic loop can keep you jobless forever. Some people are also not sure which job they want to do, and others are keen on changing their careers altogether. The other problem comes when you send hundreds of CVs and receive neither response nor regret. Other times you attend so many interviews that you start doubting your purpose in life because some do not even bother to send a regret. With such challenges, here are three considerations that will help you get relevant experience to land on the job of your choice in the long run.
Internships are loved and hated at the same time, majorly
because you can easily get yourself one,
and also because most of them do not pay. However, internships are one of the
best ways to gain some experience in a
Internships give real time experience and exposure and work best if you are targeting to
intern in small organizations as opposed to big corporates. This is because, in small firms, you are likely to be given more
duties and responsibilities, as opposed to big corporates. In our start-up, an
intern will get more experience and exposure in three months as a system
administrator than they can get if they worked in the big Kenyan companies for
one year. This is because we give you as much work as we give a senior system administrator, and you
will have the guidance of the senior admin seated next to you all the time.
For networks, you are likely to get an internship through referral, because many times these opportunities may not be advertised. If you know someone in an organization or business that is doing what you want to do, that will be an ideal place for you. Consider cold applications to any firm you know, and also look out for advertisements.