The Quest for a Job: Positioning Yourself for Abundance In The Face Of Scarcity

Every single day you hear about the devastating joblessness that plagues our country. From the radio to televisions to newspapers to social media, you hear heart-breaking stories of graduates who did well in their studies but cannot find a job. Joblessness is mean. It takes a lot from you; self-esteem, relationships, and power. You know, even if you have someone who takes care of you, there is a level of satisfaction you can only feel when you have a job. There’s no dignity in charity. So, how do you brave the odds against employment? Well, there’s no clear-cut solution to joblessness, but there’s a lot you can do to position yourself better for the few vacancies in the job market;

 1. Have a community

Today, job seekers have a harder job finding a job than it was in the past. As a job seeker, you must create a community that can help you acquire a job. How many people in your circle know you are looking for a job? Often, we neglect the closest people around us, but they might have the links we need to get a job. Make it known that you are looking for a job. Have you shared your despair with your pastor? How about that neighbor who works with World Vision? Does Uncle Tom, the one who works for Safaricom know you haven’t got a job? When you have many eyes helping spot a vacancy, you stand a greater chance than people who don’t.

2. Explore the nooks and cranny

Well, we all know about the job hunt. It is a tough job finding a job. However, when you know the right places to look, you become better placed to get a job in Kenya. You know the traditional places we look for jobs; adverts, walking into offices and asking for jobs, or contacting your connections for an opening et cetera. However, there are places job seekers rarely look. For instance, very few people work with recruitment agencies. What about online job boards? Have you ever heard of Brighter Monday? I know this doesn’t solve your woes, but I got my first job through Brighter Monday.

As a job seeker, explore all the avenues that could lead you to a well-paying job. LinkedIn is a good place to find jobs or begin conversations that could lead to one. Craigslist is also a good place, especially for those who are interested in virtual work.

3. Be visible

One big mistake that job seekers do is sitting back and waiting for the jobs to find them. With all your academic credentials, you only get credibility, but without visibility, who will know you are credible? Who knows how skilled you are? You can have more excuses than you need to stay indoors and wait for that job to find you, but sure as hell, you can’t get a job if you are not visible. Here are few tips to keep you on the radar:

  • Attend forums- How many industry-related forums do you know of? When did you last attend one? I have a friend who wants to be a pastor in the future, so to keep himself visible, he made a goal to attend at least two bible sessions every week and to speak at one forum every week. Attending forums give you the opportunity to express your ideas with people who have similar interests.

  Also, you get the chance to grasp new trends in the industry and boost your knowledge. The more             forums you attend, the bigger your circle grows, and the more significant contacts you accumulate. When there is an opening, you are most likely to get a heads-up from the industry leaders you have interacted with.

While it’s true that your pocket might sometimes limit your reach to some of these forums, it is an investment that pays off if you are consistent.

  • Get involved in community work- If you are still waking up at 10.00 am because you have nowhere to go, get busy. There is never a shortage of engagement you can plug into in the ghetto! How many organizations that operate within your neighborhood that have open doors for volunteers? Involving yourself in community work doesn’t only make you visible but also builds your CV and exposes you to the work culture.
  •  Create an online portfolio- In the past, only creatives built online portfolios for potential clients to see. However, today’s employers want to know more than your CV can contain. Having an online portfolio allows you to create an archive of your greatest achievements and showcase your dreams.

Most people believe that an online portfolio must be expensive, like having a website. Nothing can be farther from the truth. You can use free online platforms like LinkedIn to show your industry expertise and qualifications.

  • Follow your industry leaders-Industry leaders are always the first people to know the changes in the industry and how to adapt to them. Also, they share thought-leadership content on their profiles to keep you updated and motivated to thrive in what you do. I love copywriting, so I follow Carol Tice, Darren Rowse, and Neil Patel. How does this benefit me? I always get notifications from Neil on SEO matters. This keeps me updated with latest SEO practices. It helps me stay relevant in my field as a copywriter. From Darren Rowse, I get daily job notifications, and from Carol, I get tips and tricks to scale my copywriting business. She also gives discounts to her subscribers whenever she has a course. However, don’t just be a spectator, get involved. Respond to their emails (it doesn’t matter if it was sent to a thousand other subscribers), contribute on the online forums they participate in, and take advantage of their offers. Make them virtual mentors, and learn from their achievements and mistakes.
  • Contribute to online industry forums- Today, most industries have online forums where professionals can throw in random questions and get answers from industry experts. Join these forums, and contribute. As the interactions grow, your level of expertise is exposed to many people, some of whom might be interested in employing you.

4. Be prepared

If you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail. What a cliché. Yet, so true. Job searching is full of amazing surprises that can change your destiny forever. Here are tips to keep you prepared:

  • Scan all your credentials and save them in the cloud- Scanning your documents and saving them in the cloud makes your job applications easier because you can access them anytime anywhere. If someone calls you to send your application, you can do so conveniently and stand a chance to get the job.
  • Polish your interview skills- You have worked hard to earn an interview, don’t throw your chances away because of poor interview skills.
  • Update your wardrobe- Invest it the right outfits for your career. When you have an appropriate outfit to wear to interviews, you get the confidence to jump on any chance you get.
  • Research- What do you know about your profession? What do you know about your potential employers? Do in-depth research about your potential employers and know about all that you need to know. When do they have vacancies? How do they get new employees; do they absorb interns or get fresh applications? What do they look for in employees? What are their latest developments? Who handles the recruitment process? All these details will help you tailor your cover letter to meet their requirements.

5. Don’t stop sending job applications

The more job applications you send, the more chances you will get shortlisted for an interview, the more interviews you attend, the higher your chances of getting employed. That’s the law of averages! Also, attending more interviews builds your confidence, and broadens your perspective about employment.

Well, getting a job in Kenya can be difficult, but these five tips will help you position yourself better for a job. Keep Trying!

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