“You Don’t Need Connections!” How I Got A Job Before My Graduation
By Selipha Kihagi
Kenya’s job market can be a difficult one, and if you have been searching endlessly for jobs without any luck, then you can attest to that as being true; and this has rendered most youth jobless.
This becomes frustrating, especially when the state of being jobless extends to more than 2 years after a candidate’s graduation.
CareerPoint caught up with Sandra Mwangi, a lady who is already in her first job but has no graduation papers to show for. She is still waiting for her graduation, but is ecstatic about her new job.
How I Got A Job Before My Graduation
“When I finished campus late last year, I did not know what to do or where to begin but I knew I did not want to stay home and help out with the daily chores until my graduation, like most of my schoolmates decided to do. I wanted a job and I wanted it fast,” says Sandra.
“Like most jobseekers in Kenya, I started going through job adverts in the Newspapers, Social Media (Facebook & Twitter) and every career website I could find. For every job I thought I was qualified for, there was an application sent out. After a month of sending applications to different organisations on a daily basis, not even one person called for an interview or replied to my emails.
Nothing was working out and frustration was now kicking in, but i knew I could not allow myself to give up. I had gone through so much advice with my parents to despair, so I decided to reach out to friends and those I knew for help . That incase they heard of an opening they should let me know.
2 weeks later, I was told about an internship position. It wouldn’t pay much, but I was promised experience and an opportunity to grow. That it would steer up my career, after all, there was nothing else I was doing.
At first I was skeptical, why would I agree to an internship that wouldn’t pay enough to keep a house, afford partying on weekends and buy nice things? No one wants that.
But I decided to talk to a close friend of mine about it, and like any accomplished person would say – or so I’ve learnt, he told me to take it and look for other opportunities while at it. So I took the internship.
The internship was a good idea to keep my mind busy, but not without challenges. There were times I didn’t know where fare to work would come from. The pay was not enough and asking for money from my parents was met by rejection since they were of a different opinion, they wanted I stay home and wait upon the graduation.
Still no job offers after 4 months into my internship, I knew I was doing something wrong.”
How I Got A Job After My Internship
“I got myself a mentor, a close friend of mine who I am still grateful for until this day. He told me to take a break from sending applications. I was confused at first but he knew better, so I allowed him to explain what he meant by that.
I realised I was doing everything wrong. I was applying to the wrong jobs, some which i was not even qualified for. I also realised I had been applying to scam jobs because I was not selective on the websites I got the job from, i would just apply because it was open to applications. While my CV was good and updated, and my Cover Letters good enough to get me interviews, they were going to the wrong organisations.
Knowing this, I decided to write down open positions and compare the skills in my CV with the ones on the job advert. If they matched, then an application was sent out. After about 3 weeks of doing this, I got the first call ever to a job interview, one that got me the job I am at today. I didn’t have connections, It was all me! I am still on probation, but I believe in my skills and I keep learning every day.”