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By Lisa Osiako

What is the number one thing you think of doing after clearing high school? Is it to get a job or go to campus, graduate and get a job later?

I spoke to Peter who is yet to join campus but has grown his career a step at a time. Here is his story:

As soon as I finished high school, I started looking for a job. A friend asked if I wanted a job. That marked the beginning of my career journey thus far. I became a messenger at her graphic design office. I soon developed an interest in what she was doing and with time, she taught me the different applications used such as Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop. I worked there for a year, and by the time I was leaving, I had helped with the layout design of the class 7 and 8 CRE textbook, Living In Christ.

3 months after I left that job, I got another job as a digital marketer at KejaHunt, an online real estate company that deals with house-hunting for individuals. I was also incorporated into their sister company, KejaMove, which deals with helping individuals move houses. Here, I wrote content, managed the online platforms, and handled the field agents who went out looking for the houses. 6 months into it, I left because I felt that the pay was not very good.

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I ventured into full-time freelance writing, something that I believe made me grow in my area of expertise. On a good day I would make up to Ksh. 4,000 and on a not so good day, Ksh. 500. The best part was I was working from home and had flexible working time. Within no time, however, I felt the need to grow and so I decided to start applying for jobs once again.

I was able to get a 3-month contract at Safaricom as a sales agent selling the international calling bundle. After the three months, I was absorbed into the company as a customer service respondent. My supervisor and I did not get along very well as she soon felt that I was a threat to her position. After a year, I left.

I went back to writing, but still felt that I needed to grow, and so I continued looking for opportunities.

It is around that time that Corporate Staffing Services was seeking to recruit a content writer. I applied and was called for an interview. However, I was over-qualified for this position.

I went back to the offices and interviewed for a more senior position I had also applied for, and this time was told I was under-qualified.

Not one to give up easily, I wrote back to the CEO and gave told him why he should hire me.

I was soon called for a job offer, and I am now the communication and marketing officer

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Lessons I have learned:

  1. Skills are more important than education. I have not gone to college yet, but what I have gathered in my career journey so far has put me in a better place today. However, nothing can negate good education –and not having my papers has locked me out of several positions.
  2. You’re Responsible for your own career give yourself. Give yourself the best, and show grit: Never give up. Know your capabilities, and what you can offer a company.