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:
- 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.
- 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.