Networking is a winning card you should always have in your palm.
This phrase is certainly colloquial in Kenya, that there’s a great disconnect when the gown hits the town. While in school, hopes for a lucrative job coming up ahead may be highly bolstered, especially because the environment hosts minds that are all optimistic for an unforeseen future. However, that script isn’t what the world reads from once you you’re finally ‘given the power to read and write’
The grounds shift after campus and you quickly get schooled that graduating doesn’t give you a highway to a job. To have a place at the table of the 21st century workplace feast, you need to do more.
Maybe you’ve been ploughing the sands and ending up frustrated, but here are 6 proven ways that could set you on a conveyor belt that rolls constantly towards your first job after graduating.
- Seek for a job shadowing program: Job shadowing is an arrangement where you join an organization for a temporary period of time and work in the ‘shadow’ of a professional in the same field as you. The aim is to clothe you in experience and skills first-hand. In as much as it is not automatic the company will retain you after the job shadowing period, there’re companies that choose to keep the mentees. And there’s nothing to lose, because even if they don’t keep you, you’ll have a fresh experience to update in your resume; that could land you a job elsewhere.
- Make use of old and new networks: Networking is a winning card you should always have in your palm. After campus, sift through all the networks you made while schooling, including lecturers, and ask them for leads pertinent to your area of specialization. Their referrals could be the lifeline you need. Also, keep your feet moving on to more networking. Your first job is only a few networks away.
- Check with your university career office: Some universities have set up a career office that holds the hands of their students and alumni. The career office links them to internship and job opportunities. This should be among the first places you start off your job hunting.
- Improve and update your CV: Treat your CV it like your faithful servant who at your command runs out to tell the stories of who you are and what you have. If you have an incompetent ‘servant’ inept in storytelling, your story will be dully and dreary and no employer will invite you to interview. It is therefore smart to improve and update your CV.
- Volunteer: Alright, I know I’ve touched a raw nerve here and guns will probably be clicking out of their safeties soon. Most people are of the opinion that efforts put in should be compensated. But the truth is, volunteering could make your plane’s rotor blades rotate, setting you up to take flight. What you volunteer, you become. What you volunteer, you attract. Many companies have ended up adding to their payroll the talents that were volunteering with them. What’s more, when an opening pops up, a volunteer could be the first to be considered for it.
- Have your profile on reliable online platforms: There are job platforms that have devoted to linking job seekers to employers. Setting up an account with them and updating your profile increases your visibility to employers, and exposes you to an ocean of job openings. Fuzu is a good example of such a platform.
Walking out of campus doesn’t have to feel like you are diving out of a plane without a parachute. I hope that by now, you know so. Read my story of job hunting in Kenya.