Every year, thousands of graduates are churned from Kenyan Universities. In the past, a degree would guarantee one a job but it’s a different story now. It is a reality that people with degrees are now turning to no-degree required jobs to survive. Below are ideas that might make you the chosen one of the many and save you the agony of ‘tarmacking’.
1. Write an outstanding CV
A CV is an essential tool in the world of job hunting. You need not wait till a CV is needed for you to write one. Start early that way, you will have more time think back and take note of everything you have done and do corrections. Your CV should be up-to date with no typos and reveal your best trait. Avoid unnecessary clatter as no employer is willing to read through the numerous sports certificates you won back in primary school.
2. Make connections
It is not rare that we hear someone landed a job because he or she got ‘connection’. Having connection means you know the big fish in the job pool. Making connection is as easy as keeping in contact with the people you meet. That economics lecturer might be the next C.E.O of East African Breweries or that friend of a friend’s father might be the next M.P. What I mean is you do not have to be from a rich family to have ‘connection’. All you need is to meet great people and stay in contact.
3. Get work experience
Look at job advertisements and you notice every employer is looking for experience. Adept employees are more attractive than rookies who will require guidance. Experience can be the job clincher; the question is how to get it. Getting good internship, volunteering and versatility can be the ultimate embellishment to your CV in terms of job experience.
4. Pass your exams
This is arguably the most important factor to secure a job after campus. Most Kenyan employers employ graduates with at least a second class upper or equivalent. Having anything lower doesn’t mean you won’t land a job; it will just make it harder. Go out of your way and do what brought you to campus; study hard for all C.A.Ts and exams. Your performance in class will be the first thing an employer will consider before fixing an interview.
5. Be flexible to differing career choices
A number of people I know have ended up taking career paths that they did not study for in campus. A living example is Mike Muthiga who has a degree in civil engineering but is making it big in the animation industry. He is the brainchild behind the Faiba advert fame and theSafaricom Mazgwembe crew. Landing a job after campus is not all about passing exams and having experience, it’s about being flexible to fit in any job field other than the degree studied for.
It’s never too early to start job hunting and students should see further than the graduation after party. Getting the grades is good, but a degree is only part way to getting that job.