What it takes to land a job in the competitive kenyan job market.
The hostility in the Kenyan job market is disturbing. The uncertainity of landing an entry level job becomes even more real to the thousands of fresh university and college graduates. The volatility in the job market takes these graduates by surprise holding that they are less competitive and lack the crucial skills to navigate the work place.With the sluggish Kenyan economy not shedding any light of hope of creating more jobs to address this unemployment menace it is about time we take a totally different aproach. Inspite of all the drama in the job market there should never be a shortage of hope and one can still secure a job in Kenya having cast the right shots. Below are 6 successful job hunting tips for the Kenyan job market:
Change your Attitude
Attitude is everything when it comes to jobhunting and moreso in Kenya it is not a thing for the faint-hearted. Be optimistic about the whole process. Stay open-minded and don’t let the so-called unemployment statistics deter you from going for that which you so badly want. I have severally heard people say even if I do this I won’t still find a job, even if I do that there are no jobs for me out there. The reality is everything becomes to be what you make it to be. There are opportunities for you out there, sit up, dust yourself, go for that skillset training session,volunteer, apply for that internship, do all with an open mind and full of spirit. Whenever negativity reigns in your job search chances are you’ll soon sink into desperation. Never allow desperation take the better part of you when looking for a job recruiters can smell desperation miles away and once they detect it your CV will only add up to the pile in the dustbin.
Get clear on what you want
The most ideal step in job hunting is getting crystal clear on exactly what you want. Take some time to plan, you will not fit all the available positions. You may have to consider narrowing down to some specific positions that fits your current requirements and qualifications. Develop some objectives for your job search before you nose dive looking to magically fall right to your dream job. Your career aspirations here come in handy. Have clear and concise career goals that align with your values. Develop a master plan for your job hunt with well defined performance indicators. The worst of all the things that you can do as you jobhunt is “ looking to just fill any vacant position”. Just be true to yourself even the greatest of genius of old times could not do everything. They specialized with that which they are best at. In the same way there is that which you are talented at, now is the time you concentrate in looking for that which you are a best fit and not a best fix. The secret is to convince the employer that you are the talent they have been missing for long.
Identify your economic value
During the interview session the recruiter usually have two questions in mind that if you are able to answer you surely win the day. What can you bring onboard that we currently don’t have? And how much do we pay for it? Simple! The problem is that since you don’t have an answer to any of the two you take the panel round in circles expecting to trigger some empathetic emotions in them. It never works and it won’t work. The recruiter is not interested in the fact that you are jobless infact if he just had another option other than filling the vacant position he would happily take it. The recruiter is not interested in the theoretical rhetorics you give about how energetic and moltivated you are to take on the task he is interested in proof of what you have,this will give him a clear picture of what you are worth. The panel understands the hefty investment that goes into recruiting and therefore will not take chances they will go with the highest economic value. Before you go for that interview understand what you are worth to the organization and capitalize on that during the session just leave the employ me because my mom is ill and I can’t afford her medication without this job games. The recruiter is not interested in what you want to be spending your salary on he needs to know why he is to pay you in the first place.
Diversify your skills
The reason most people in Kenya struggle to land a job is because they don’t put in the extra effort it takes to build new skills and beat out the competition.
Having that bachelors degree or even a masters will not give you an easy gate pass to the boardroom for an interview. The employer is not interested in those ‘A’ painted transcripts, he wants to see certificates indicating that you have acquired some of the skills that you can’t afford survive the work place without. Conduct a research to know what must-have skills you need in your line of profession and start acquiring and practicing them. The recruiter’s interest is in what skills you have and how you have utilized them in the past to overcome challenges, this way he is able to gauge whether you are a best fit or a best fix to the position. Instead of relying on that bachelors or masters get out of your way and try out some leadership, communication, organization,managerial, computing, people skills among others. They will pay off in the long-run. In addition familiarize yourself with expressing to the employer the skills you have. It would be worthless to have a skillset that you can’t express or even demonstrate to the employer. The whole idea here is the more skilled you are the more the recruiter is convinced you’ll perform and of course the more valuable you become to him.
One excellent way of finding a job is networking. If you don’t have anyone in your social circle to network with google some local networking groups and see what events are on. Sign up for the sessions, put on your best clothes and have some official business cards. Remember to tell your network circle that you are looking for a job. Online networking is also another mostly overlooked avenue to landing a dream job. LinkedIn for instance, is one of the best and mostly recognized online networking site. Creating a linkedIn account and optimizing your profile to tell the world that you are looking for a job is a good move but also let the recruiters know what you can offer. Never at any time fall prey to copy pasting your CV to your LinkedIn profile this is a gospel that is passed by time. Optimize your LinkedIn profile to display your online version in the best way. The idea in online networking is not just jobhunting but also to expose yourself to like-minded professionals who never take anything unprofessional lightly. Let the LinkedIn profile speak volumes regarding your professionalism.
Make an Investment
Landing a job is a rare but life-changing opportunity. The problem is that most people never take it with the magnitude it deserves. They sit and hope that things will just fall into place but this is never the case. The more competitive the job market becomes the more it demands aggressiveness. Those who invests in jobhunting wisely always reap both in the short and the long run. The idea here is that you may be qualified and at times even overqualified for the positions you are applying for but the casualness in which you present yourself fails you. Your CV and cover letter for example is too unprofessional not mentioning annoyingly generic. Only because you have never attended any other job interview or it was long since you did you think that it’s a good explanation as to why you lack basic interviewing skills. Or rather since you don’t know what to include in your LinkedIn profile you decide to wait for some miracle to happen and turn your LinkedIn profile into a powerful career tool even after knowing that 93% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find high-quality candidates. Thanks to Teestep Kenya Limited you can now easily get your linkedIn profile optimized by a professional in just 24 hours, you can get yourself a professional CV and cover letter at a favourable service fee and in the same way improve your interviewing skills with personalised job interview training or purchase a Job interview eguide. To place an order send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the customer help center +254(0) 700 064 001. Login to www.teestep.co.ke to find out more.A job will not find you wherever you are you’ve got to invest in getting one. The investment will eventually pay off.
About the Writer.
The writer is the Managing partner and senior Human Resources Consultant at Teestep Kenya Limited.