No one prepared me for university life. Heck, no one will prepare me for life after university. And I am scared. I am scared that I have no clue whatsoever of what I am going to do 2 years from now after I graduate. I am scared that I will be one of the chaps that did Engineering for 5 years and haven’t gotten a job in 5 years. I see it on the news and I am petrified. I know, I know manifest good things for yourself. Manifest jobs, opportunities, wealth…Trust me, I have. I do. Everyday. In fact, for me to maintain my future lifestyle, money has to reside in my master bedroom. There’s no other way around it.
But I’m still scared. I’m still lost. I despise books that tell me ‘how to be successful’ because when did life ever come with a manual? I will be honest though, I could really use some guidance. I could use a ‘how to start my career’ kinda book. However much of a loyal subscriber to living in the moment I am, the future is near. I know wahenga na wahenguzi hawakutupaka mafuta kwenye tako la chupa waliponena ‘kwani ni kesho?’ but ata kama si kesho,I have to, okay not “have” to, but I want to plan for my career.
When I decided to go to university, I committed to making a significant investment of time and money. Just like any other investment, my education ought to bear returns. The higher the investment, the higher the returns, or at least that’s what I think. The question then becomes, how do I make my ‘education’ investment more valuable?
I got stuck trying to ransack my brain for answers. All I can think about is how I’m going to cry for 40 days and nights persistently without water once I get this degree because yoh, what sort of madness is this I signed up for? All I can think about is how I’m going to sit at a corner and eat a whole mbuzi choma by myself at my graduation party because I have missed way too many lunches for this degree, abeg. But what next? Constipation of course. Seriously, what next? “Basi msisumbukie ya kesho…”Oh, no-no. Let’s not go back there. No escaping this time around. The elephant in the room is that I have to start now for me to even have a “what’s next”. Here’s what I mean.
Plan my career. Plan for your career.
- Putting together your grades, extracurricular activities and skills.
How can all these bring value to the company you want to intern for or get a job at? Even if you’re planning to be self-employed, how can all the eating competition trophies and certificates bring value to your company? If you currently feel like you can only offer good vibes, well it’s good for a start but what other skills do you need to learn to get yourself a job at Deloitte?
One of the best lessons I have learned this far is that I need to change my language from ‘this is what I studied’ to ‘this is what I can do’. Can I hear an Ameeeen? Kusoma tumesoma but what can set you apart? How can you make yourself relevant to KENHA as a transport engineer?
- When it comes to job hunting:
What do you want when you’re looking for a job? Is it experience or exposure? Is it to build your portfolio for a job that you’re eyeing in the future? It’s important to know so that when you get an unpaid internship, you don’t feel like you’re in the slavery era. You’ll be okay because all you wanted was exposure.
3. Curriculum Vitae. Cover letter.
If stress was a person, it would be these two. Developing a CV has been the most stressful thing for me as a baby gurl ha-ha. There are a gazillion ways minus one of writing a CV. I say minus one because the one I learnt in high school is no different from my ‘enter into the frog’s kingdom’ compositions. I currently have a CV but having gone through Centonomy’s Career Planning Program, I knew I had to get rid of the 1954-1955 baby class Warogongo Kindergarten then skipped to class one in 1955 because I was too smart to attend nursery. I knew I had to re-write my cover letter because ‘nilidamka dam dam’ won’t get me a job at the UN. Having a well-written CV, cover letter and LinkedIn profile provide a foundation for your career so please start now while you can still remember your achievements.
Let me just laugh first. This is where people unleash their unutilized drama skills from high school. The interview could be going so well until they ask you, “What are your weaknesses?”
You confidently answering, “Makasiriko. In fact jana nilifika nyumbani nikapata wamenimalizia matumbo alafu wananiambia butchery si mbali ninaweza endea zingine. Ah niliskia kama nitawabonda bonda.”
This question beats me as well. I want to be honest, but I will just incriminate myself to 6 years in prison if I speak. I’m kidding. Again, thanks to Centonomy, I now know how to pick a weakness that will not compromise my job and how to manage my weaknesses.
That’s enough adulting for today ey? I could go on and on about career planning. There are so many angles of approaching it and I can confidently attest that Centonomy has been such an amazing platform for me to know what I should do. From how to identify my skillset, to networking, to how to uphold myself on social media to dressing. Imagine wearing Valentino heels at a dog walking job interview; ni kama drama ni kama video.
All this information can be overwhelming but as cliché, as it sounds, one step at a time. Take that professional photo for your LinkedIn profile today and tomorrow write the header of your CV…younahmean?
Register for Centonomy’ s Campus Edition (32nd session) here and thank Anoni later.