What you need to get good jobs in Kenya?
A must read for all job seekers looking for jobs in Kenya.
Getting jobs in Kenya nowadays is a daunting task faced by many fresh and experienced jobs seeker. While this is not the case all the times, job seeker; whether currently employed and experienced or unemployed with no experience, can attest to having been frustrated when they looked for new jobs in Kenya.
Employment in Kenya is in a level where you need to have a very good resume that gives you a competitive advantage over other jobs seekers. Even when you have such a resume, there are always many other competing candidates with equally good and even better resumes. Competition for the available jobs is very high from highly and appropriately qualified professionals. This makes it very difficult for some job seekers to get even at least a job interview invitation with the advertising organization.
Kenya is in the age and era where majority of jobs seekers have all the skills needed in any advertised position in any given time. Additionally, due to frustrations, many jobs seeker are willing to take a salary that is 30% – 50% less than the market average for some positions just to be in employment.
Planning your career path early is very important if you want to succeed in the competitive Kenyan job market. You also need to have killer strategies on how to win both the trust and confidence of an employer who is looking for candidates in your area of specialization. Keep in mind that, it is equally difficult to get top management jobs as it is to get entry level jobs. Planning your career right from high school to at least the first five years of employment therefore becomes very important.
There are two things you need to consider in your career to make your future job search efforts easier. This can only be managed in the early stages of your career failure to which, you will most likely get challenges in your career path. The steps involve early planning for future employment and sacrificing both time and money in your first five years of employment. The following are the strategies that can be applied early in your career to ease your future jobs search efforts.
To get good jobs in Kenya, You need to good grades in your undergraduate studies and secondary education.
I was browsing through LinkedIn profiles of top Kenyan professionals where I learnt that; 90% of professionals holding the most senior positions in government owned entities, blue chip companies and multinationals in the private and public sectors that every job seeker admires to work in, had at least a C+ or above in their secondary education, an Upper second class honors degree or above in their undergraduate studies and they hold at least one professional certification in their area of specialization.
This shows like these are the basic minimum grades you have to attain if you do not want to spend the first years of your employment looking for experience. It is also very easy to get employment with the “big ten” technology and consulting global firms. If you have met the above grades, you should try your luck with the “big ten” to see if you are among the few professionals who get opportunities to work in these companies and have a career changing employment. By “big ten” I mean successful technology and strategy consulting firms namely; Pricewaterhousecoopers, Ernest and young, KPMG, Deloite Consulting, McKinsey and Company, IBM, Google, Cisco systems, Oracle and Accenture (Accenture has no office in Nairobi but is worth mentioning for readers not in Kenya). Fortunately or unfortunately, the “big ten” employ candidates who have had excellent performances in their studies with their minimum grade for undergraduate students being an Upper second class honors degree.
Design your career path right from high school through the first five years of employment.
There is that job you always dream of; either as a small kid or even as you pursued your studies and career path. If you plan your career well, you will most likely get that job in the future, probably around the fifth year of your employment with proper career planning. For you to ethically get that dream job earlier than that, you need to have obtained very good grades in your studies. There are of course a few exceptional people who achieve these dreams without having to go through the experience gathering process, these cases are however very rare. Unless your dream was an exaggerated one, to get your dream career requires a sacrifice of many things just like being a good believer requires.
Important factors to consider in your education and employment journey
• Having a good degree and supporting it with a relevant professional course.
You can still achieve this even when your degree is from a different field but you must have a recognized professional certification or diploma for you to be considered by many employers. In cases where you complete your degree without a professional certification, you should invest your time and money in it, at least in the first two years of your employment.
Examples of professional courses may include; CPA/ACCA/CISA for Finance and accounting professionals, CIM for marketers, CPM for supply chain/procurement professionals, Cisco, CISSP, CISA, ITIL, COBIT, Comptia, PMP among others for IT and Computer science professionals. There are many other courses for IT professionals and almost every area of study has a related professional certification needed in the job market. Take an initiative to research on the certification needed in your area of study and make sure you have obtained it at least within the first three years of your employment.
• Vigorously apply for jobs in your area of interest in your first three years of employment even if they are lower level jobs.
Note that the first five years of employment should be used to gather experience. Employees who do not change jobs in these periods may not achieve their career aspirations in future unless they are already working in bigger organizations with many growth opportunities. It is recommended that you change jobs after every two to three years until that time when you get a job you are very comfortable in.
• Consider doing an MBA or a master’s degree in your area of specialization at least not later than the third year of employment.
At that time, you will probably have known the career path you want to take. Based on the current education trends in Kenya, there will come a time when a master’s degree will be a minimum requirement for most jobs in Kenya. Try to achieve this early enough to avoid job search headache in future career journey.
• Think of obtaining an academic PHD after you have worked for at least 5 years.
This is specifically important to ambitious people who are interested in understanding an area of specialization in depth, and those who would probably want to teach the same in higher institutions of learning. Obtaining a PHD puts you at the peak of your career improving your employ-ability in many roles. This also opens up doors for you to undertake professional consultancy assignments which are even more rewarding than employment. A PHD may also be used to correct where you went wrong in your professional career development. You can enroll for a PHD anytime in your career but it is best when you first experience the challenges in your area of specialization. These challenges can only be identified during employment, 5 years of employment should be enough to let you know whether you are in the right or wrong career.
Thank you for reading my article, please share it as widely as you can, it may help change the behaviors of most students in our learning institutions. You may also be interested in jobs in Kenya.