Article University

By Elizabeth Benu,
You blame the job market and the Kenyan employers for being biased when in fact you might be the cause of your joblessness.

Janet Mueni confesses that she only job searches for 30 minutes every week while the rest of her time is spent hanging out with friends. Most times opportunities pass her and she has never updated her CV for three years yet she complains that employers are unfair.

Kenyan employers hate lazy job seekers. You might not be like Janet, but you should watch out for these deadly lazy-jobseeker signs:

Signs that you are a lazy job seeker

1. CC-ing all HR Managers in one job application:
You went through all company websites and gathered all email addresses on the website. Good research but the problem is that you send the same application to more than 20 email addresses. No employer will bother employing you as this is a sign of laziness and lack of enthusiasm.

2. You just want ANY job
While it is understandable to give in to the frustration of job search and need for money, wanting just any job does not cut it. After studying your course, you should make a list of job titles that align with it.

For example, applying for an IT Assistant job just because you have a computer package certification and the pay is good will only lead you into more frustration.

3. You do not prepare for the interview
“Interview preparation is important no matter your position or experience,” says Melody Mwendwa a Career Advisor at Corporate Staffing Services.

She also adds that attending an interview shabbily dressed, looking confused and failing to answer all questions asked is proof to an employer that you will not be dedicated to the job.

4. You request sample CVs so that you can copy paste.
How much effort have you taken to go through your CV and improve it? If none, you are probably the job seeker who always asks for a sample CV so that you can copy paste it and send it to an employer.

“Your CV is a great asset for career growth; do not mess up job opportunities by copy pasting things from the internet. Samples are only meant to guide you,” Ms. Mwendwa advises.

5. Your referees have no idea they are in your CV
When an employer settles on you, most times they call your referees for a background check. Many HR managers confirm that a large percentage of referees are unfortunately unaware of any skills a job candidate has.

Any time you add someone as your referee, inform them so that they can vouch for you in case an employer comes calling.

More signs that you are a lazy job seeker

6. Asking the wrong questions
“How do you apply for this job?” “When is the deadline?” are questions you should never ask. Read a job description to the end and get the answers to those questions.

7. Clumsy mistakes
You forgot the HR Managers name and title and also misspelled their name and the company name too. Before sending an application, proof read your documents to be sure that nothing is missing.

Attention to detail is something that the employer can see through your CV even before you start the job.

Make a decision to change your status to an energetic jobseeker. The effort is worthwhile.

Source: Job Search

Safaricom, Centum, PwC and Google are among the many dream companies for Kenyan job seekers. If these companies top your list, look at the following tips:

Keep tracking these companies even before you start the job application process. There are several benefits to “tracking” a company for a period of time before you apply.

How to get a job with your dream company

You’ll be able to speak with genuine interest and enthusiasm, and you’ll likely have a well-formed opinion and several compelling anecdotes to share when you’re asked something like, “What do you know about this company?” or “What do you see yourself doing in the first 30 days on the job?”

Here are some tips for tracking your dream company:

1. Follow the company on social media. Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Instagram. Chances are, the company or companies you’re after probably have accounts on at least a few of them. Connect with them all and pay attention to their updates.

2. Connect with the company on LinkedIn. Follow the company on LinkedIn, view who you’re connected with at the company and who you can connect with, and check the company LinkedIn page for the latest job postings.

3. Look for specific hiring-related accounts. Some larger companies have individual accounts for hiring purposes. Twitter can be a good way to get in touch with a company’s human resources department that might be hard to reach otherwise.

4. Clean up your act. If you’re going to be interacting with a company on social media, you need to make sure your online presence is professional. Review your social media profiles to make sure there’s nothing inappropriate or unbecoming, and check your privacy settings to see who can see what on your page.

5. Bookmark the job openings page. Most companies have a “Careers” section of their websites set aside just to post job openings. Bookmark these pages and make a habit of checking them periodically.

6. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the company. If you have a question – like if a job you’ve been eyeing has been filled, if the company is looking to fulfill a certain type of position – don’t be afraid to get in touch with the company. Just send a polite and professional email asking your question.

Not only will it get the organization’s human resources department familiar with your name, but, it’s a good illustration of your enthusiasm and interest.

Keep these tips in mind for a successful job search.

Source: NigeriaBulletin

There is nothing more discouraging than realizing your colleague earns way much more than you especially if you are on the same level.

These reasons are enough to convince you why your colleague earns a fatter pay slip and what you can do about it.

5 Reasons Why Your Colleague Is Earning More at Work

Your colleague produces more result
Employees who bring in more results in terms of innovation and profit stands to be more rewarded than others. This is why your colleague’s efforts impress the boss and he will sure get a pay rise.

Your Colleague has got more skills
With increasing standards and new innovations coupled with stiff competition, companies are forced to improve their products and services and this requires more skills. The staff that showcases great skills are recognized and rewarded accordingly.

Special recognition is given to staff who can handle several responsibilities effectively. Those qualities make such an employee get a pay raise.

Your Colleague earns more than you if he or she is a new recruit
This may look untrue but it’s not unusual. In certain industries, the external market value can increase faster than company salary levels and this may cause employers to offer more to be able to recruit better candidates.

What actually causes this increase in market value is the possession of new skills by new candidates which current employees may not have and which the company desperately needs.

Your colleague is more experienced
The time an employee has spent with an organization is also one of those factors that determine the pay. You may be doing the same kind of work or the person may even be doing less but the company recognizes the commitment of that individual to the organization and that may be the reason the pay is more.

The person might have also gathered certain experiences before entering the job which is now useful on the job.

For whatever reason your case falls into, take a bold step by negotiating for a raise in your next review if you feel underpaid.

By Patrick Koranteng Antwi

Lording over a group of people is not an easy task; likewise succumbing to the heated behaviors of leaders at the work place is not a one plus one affair. At work places, the main aim is economical gain so services rendered to the people are necessary for the structural and economic expansion of the organization. As a vibrant employee, you are an important chemical in the success equation, so respect, honesty and trustworthiness are fundamental traits to display. What are some other behaviors employees’ exhibit at work places which are encouraging? What are some other traits to improve good work ethics? A lot of articles on the internet and books have explored this topic but this article is typically geared towards the African job market or setting.


Let procrastination be a foreign word which you do not understand

The idea of “I will do it later” is a canker imbedded at work places. Heaping files to work on later is now a fashion every employee craves to experience but its long term effect is ineffectiveness towards work and low productivity. The main cause of procrastination is over confidence. This employee foresees he has all the time the world gives to do a stipulated work, but unfortunately on his part he is not aware of tomorrow’s worries, something can happen which he has to postpone his procrastinated work to attend to. To improve our work ethics, when we set to execute a task we should salt our being with the idea “finish it now and do it right”. When we are tasked with a job or in the due process of fulfilling our responsibility doing it outright should be our hallmark. Procrastination is an enemy and a characteristic of failure which has no advantage at the work place. One best way of improving our good working habits, to increase productivity, is a stop to procrastinate!


Use time as you are told to and as required

Reporting time and closing time are norms of work places. Keeping taps on employee’s arrival and departure times are carefully supervised nowadays. When employees fail to arrive on time, salary deduction, allowance denial and suspension for some few days are used as punishment. How much is the salary! Displaying good character of punctuality can be a positive trait which can spray you with reliance and exclusive devotion towards work. Bosses and co-workers can rely on you and you will be a role-model to many. When you give time its place in your work, your performance is consistent and your dedication towards work will encourage others to follow suit. A reliable employee is always punctual and does work on time; lateness is a bad taste he despises. This helps to increase productivity.



Control our emotions

The importance of controlling our emotions is never exaggerated when talked about. There are some who lost hard fought prizes because at the end they were unable to control their emotions. Work place population entails persons from different background, raised by different parents, may have different preferences, varied ways of encouraging, advising, reproving, and judging. So it will be very profound to hide your personal sentiments towards your boss or co-workers at the work place because they have done something or said something against you. The best way to settle scores like this is by approaching the person privately and secretly and telling him what he has done wrong. If he accepts his mistakes then progress can be made but if he refuses then you can involve a third party who you trust can resolve the case. No matter what happens at the work place do not let your personal feelings against someone affect your attitude towards work. Showing love and concern are good emotions which do not need controlling but do not let anyone see or experience your anger. When you are angry you can leave the place or if it happens in front of your superiors you can politely ask to be excused for a while. Displaying good character is compulsory at work places. Negativity and dissent can spread like a disease and damage workplace morale and decrease productivity.


Your change must relatively be positive

If you cannot continue something, don’t start it at all. Man is relatively resistant to change, in a way which is opposite to what he already knows. To improve our work ethnic we should remember the enthusiasm we displayed from the beginning of our appointment: our punctuality, how fast we finish task and the best effort we inserted into our work. This initial zeal should never depart. A good employee is the one who has good permanent attitude towards work.


Be a good group player

Egotism is never healthy to practice. Keeping ideas, profitable knowledge and other industrious thoughts are selfish conclusions. An organization can be compared to the human body, all parts work for one benefit, no part is more important than the other because every part has its own function to play to cooperate the well being of the human. Likewise, in an organizational setting every employee is a vital contributor to the increasing relevance of the establishment, so idea sharing is the best meal for this body. Working with others should not be a problem. To be an effective group player, humbleness, accepting and correcting your mistakes, reproving friends discreetly are important characters to be cultivated. To be effective in a group also requires good communication skills. Strong interpersonal skills can help form cohesive teams among employees and make handling challenges easier. Criticisms never leave when two or more persons meet for a purpose but for problem-free groups; a good team player knows the difference between constructive criticism and destructive griping. Coming together is a beginning, staying together is a process, and working together is success. Working in a team yields high productivity.

Working towards a greater good is no crime, but the crimes are: when organizational rules are disrespected, personal sentiments are argued and fought over at work and the advent of other unprofessional behavior which floods workplaces at an uncontrollable rate. Good work ethics should never be undermined and improving on them is the best.

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Mansah had her first child at the age of 17. Life became unbearable for her because that mistake was paid with her education. Hacking life would be a problem now but regardless of the harsh circumstances and troubling situations she faced, she rose to become a nurse.

Kwame’s relationship with his parents ended very early. They died when he was 20. At the funeral “promises bi what”, but all these promises were lies. He dropped out of school because his financial condition did not allow his peace of mind. Hunted by failure, he never gave up. He fought the battle of life with vigor, rose through the ranks to be a well established entrepreneur.

These and many sad situation rains through this crazy world we live. Some can be compared to none and others have no penetrable dent which suffers can escape through. We all struggle in this ailing world but as the saying goes “not all fingers are equal”. The subject of suffering is relative, all humans experience different plights, but the point is we all experience suffering at a point in our life, be it financial crises, sickness or any other.

How then did Mansah and Kwame hack life to be what they are now? Was it “juju”? Or a good luck charm? Good luck is the opposite of hard work, but enjoying the fruit of your labour is a blessing. Yes! We can blessedly say Mansah and Kwame after passing through the refurbishment stage of their lives came out successful and more attractive than anyone could ever imagine.

When Mansah was asked how she made it out of her mistake, she said smiling:

I was troubled very much by what happened to me but I encouraged myself with the idea that I will stop to think about problems I cannot solve. Whether what I had bought myself was a mistake or not, at least I was not dead, life had to move on. I managed through with my newly born baby: thus, the prize I had to pay. I was chocking with a lot of “you see what you have done” lectures from family and friends. I remember a friend encouraged me by saying, “I have lost the chance of becoming someone one day”. My point is, we make our future; the future does not make us. I am not proud of what I did but I am proud of how I managed my situation to become what I am now.

Troubling as trouble presents itself, many a people are deterred by their failures and the payment of their mistakes, but as Mansah managed through, so can anyone who is determined to be out of a situation can. As Mansah said, it is fruitless to think about problems we cannot solve. When a problems creeps out of nowhere into our lives, instead of thinking about the problems and probable causes, it would be best if probable solution swims in our heads; then when a sure solution is identified to rectify the problem (even if not permanent), after the cause of the problem can be reflected on. This is to prevent any future occurrence. Problems will never stop to hunt us but solutions should always be the shoulder we rely on.

Kwame scarcely had hope but he managed through. When he related his experience, his bitter face gave the impression he had wish there was yet another way. Although he is not what he wanted to be, he is now someone anyone would wish to become.

Our lives are not ruled by fate, it takes determination. Also, those who through unforeseen circumstances have permanent disability have hope: disability does not mean inability. We are a perfect version of ourselves. So make the life you want to live and live the life you make.

To come out of troubling situations needs quality traits like humbleness and determination. Every human has an innate pompous ability, but raising your shoulders above your head will not solve your problems. No human is an island. So when under trials humbleness and giving an attentive ear to our advisors is a good option to click. Do not be discouraged, but rather have a plan, dig a hole for its foundation and when any opportunity crops up, grab it to build your dream.


  Patrick Koranteng Antwi

                                                                                                            [email protected]


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