Gone are the days when certificates were a guarantee of getting a high-paying luxury job. Yes, diplomas, Degrees or Masters are not golden tickets. Thousands of graduates in almost all the fields have flooded the job market. Think about this – if companies hire people because they have degrees, masters and good certificates, then why should they even go to an interview?
Why do we even go to universities and colleges? To get a diploma, degree or masters, right? Here is what most students don’t know – a university is just a training ground, and a degree is only a credential. The experience you obtain from the university is the most significant thing.
When soldiers go to a battle, their ranks don’t matter. What matters is the experience they have gained over the years. If you were to choose a bodyguard, will you go for the one with a higher rank or higher experience? The same applies to job interviews; your rank (a diploma, degree or masters) won’t determine your eligibility. How you maximized your college education and the previous jobs you have been into is what transforms you into a valuable job candidate.
Getting a First Class Honours is never enough
A’s in every unit don’t mean anything in Kenya. Take what you learn and apply it to the real world. Build your reputation by demonstrating a pattern of achievements through the new skills you have acquired.
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When you go to an interview, your potential employer wants to know what skills you have and apart from your credentials what else you will bring to the table.
Probably you decided to advance your education to masters or Ph.D. so as to improve the chances of getting a job. So, apart from the credentials what else will you bring to the table? Do you have any work experience? If you still rely on your papers up-to-date, wake up! It’s time to examine yourself and see what value you can add to a company.
Do you have the right soft skills? Can you communicate, solve problems, and be a good leader? Of course, no one wants to hire someone who has everything but lacks one of the soft critical skills. Soft skills include communication skills, time management skills, result-oriented, leadership skills, problem-solving skills and so on.
Stop thinking that your credentials will translate to employment
Jobless Kenyans it’s the high time you wake up. You need to realize that our job market is becoming competitive day by day as the number of universities in Kenya is increasing. If a degree or masters is what you want, fine, go ahead and pursue it. However, be prepared to get a disappointment after 4 or 5 years of hard work with the mentality that it will translate to employment.
Here is what you can do to make yourself more valuable:
- Get some experience
Today I still remember the advice our chemistry lecturer once told us. He said that one should never choose work when he/she is jobless. He added and said that working to learn is the way of securing a dream job in the future. So, what exactly did he mean by working to learn? Simple – seeking internships, volunteering, joining unpaid projects, and even starting your own business. This will definitely equip you with skills that will continue to make you valuable to the job market. The practice can be compared to icing a cake.
- Build relationships
Build relationships and stay connected with as many people you meet as you volunteer as possible. Why is it so? They might get a job opportunity where two candidates are required. Some can possibly turn out to be your interviewers in your next job application. Hey, I’m not encouraging corruption – what if you burned out everything between you and them? Do you think you will pass the interview?
- Find valuable mentors
This involves surrounding yourself with relevant and useful people who can give you advice or just an insight into how you can achieve your goals.
To sum up, go and further your education to the furthest level you wish. However, just remember one thing – credentials are never enough to make you valuable in the current job market in Kenya. If you are currently unemployed and you have good certificates, I have this message for you: desire to get as much experience as possible because this is the second way, after miracles, to getting a job. Good Luck!