Job Searching: How Long Does It Take To Get A Job In Kenya?
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By Sera Kazungu
“I have been job searching for five straight years. Since I graduated in 2010, I have never gotten formal employment. I am at that point where I just want to give up,” says Davis Gitau via email.
Do you find yourself in a similar situation? The Kenyan job market may be a very unforgiving one, especially for fresh graduates and those with no clear or marketable skills. Job seekers will usually tarmac for long periods of time with no success.
According to Mr. Perminus Wainaina, a Recruitment Manager at Corporate Staffing Services, getting a job can take you at least a month and at most a year, depending on your procedure or job searching tactics.
If this is the case, then why are you still jobless? Why has it taken you so long to land your dream job?
Reasons For Unemployment In Kenya
1. Lack of planning
Having a plan is usually key to achieving goals and getting things done efficiently. You could be going into the job search unaware of what exactly you are hoping to find. This will ensure that you wander around aimlessly for a long time.
Absence of a plan will usually be characterized by one or all of the following;
- Applying for the wrong jobs
- Not following application instructions
- Casual approach to applying( typos, forwarding string emails e.t.c)
- Being too choosy about the jobs you apply for
Before embarking on a job search, ensure you have a clear plan of what you want, then make a list of all the things you are hoping to achieve. Give yourself a time period to achieve these things. This will ensure that you remain focused.
2. Not having the right documents
The current job market in Kenya is a competitive one. As such, the job qualifications and specifications are much higher than they ever were. Keeping your documents neat and in order is an important part of securing yourself that job.
The right documents will include the following;
- A well written and formatted CV
- Academic Certificates
- Cover Letter
- Any other document that supports whatever skills you have acquired over time
3. You are no longer competitive.
The truth is that the job market is evolving. You have to strive to remain at par with the current market trends. Do your research and see what is expected of someone in your particular field. Whether it is in terms of skills, education, etc, ensure that you remain on the same page with all other professionals like you.
4. You came into the job market too late.
Are you that fresh graduate who waits to job search months after graduation? Or are you that professional who waits until they are fired or the company shuts down to start job searching? Timing matters. There is no ‘too soon when t comes to job searching, but there is definitely a ‘too late’.
Start your job search early enough to avoid frustration and desperation. If you start early enough, you will not have the sense of urgency where you feel like you are already out of time. This will give you ample time to research, make a plan and set goals.
5. You have a bad attitude
The importance of having the right attitude cannot be overemphasized enough. Your attitude plays a big part in your life, whether you are willing to admit it or not.
Having a bad attitude in the job market will slowly lead you to depression. This is because you will be searching frantically for a job that might never come.
The following are bad attitudes in a job search;
- Having unreasonable expectations- e.g. an entry level job seeker seeking a salary of 50K and above
- Focusing on landing a job only with a specific company- Start somewhere!
- Expecting to get a job at the snap of a finger- Job searches may take some time.
The key to a successful job search is in your hands. Strive to be a smart, efficient job seeking Kenyan today. The market is all yours to conquer.
Wishing you the best in your job search.