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Jobs that you should avoid.....Only if possible.

A few weeks ago we carried out an article tiled, ‘Good Jobs.......Bad Jobs’ where we went further to explain the characteristics of a good absolute job. Employers in Kenya are notorious with focussing on profits and not people issues. It is very few that look at their employees as human beings but most of them refer them to cash making machines that are just there to earn profits for an organization. If someone asked you today whether your employer is good on a scale of 1-10 where 10 means the best, what will you rate him/ her.
According to the latest statistics that were released on Tuesday the 14th facebook emerged as the best place to work in beating Google who won last year. We have carried out studies of both these offices and their work policies which we will share shortly. Most IT companies have flexibility like no other. The world and Kenya are shifting towards adopting more IT based solutions in transacting daily business. I can give you several examples that you can start realising how easy things are if you use your IT well, you can shop online, get a job online, get directions, search for information, ask questions online, pay 
money online and even get paid online.

How do you determine a good employer? I am sorry it is not easy to tell and an employer is the one that makes a job good or bad. All I can tell you is that the best employers are found in solution based businesses like Google, facebook, yahoo, MSN, VISA, Paypal and many more. These are employers who depend on your technical skills to deliver and the autonomy you get at your work is unmatched. In Kenya, it remains quite hard to site a good employer except Google at Purshottam Place along Westlands Road. Facebook has not yet opened an office in Kenya but they will move very soon because they collaborate with Safaricom to run the application in-house. I am not saying that these are the only employers who can provide good jobs but they are the two top rated employers.
In a short while I shall share a few jobs that you may wish never to begin with for your career but at this point I feel obliged to remind you of the qualities of a good job:
1.       Time: A good job should afford you the time to develop yourself for example if you are interested in enhancing your CV by complementing it with a degree or a masters.
2.       Work Environment: This should be a motivator in itself. Your office should be something to look forward to and not a hole that buries you the whole day.
3.       Remuneration: Superb and compensatory is the way to go here. This is a motivator number one to some people and thus an employee should feel well appreciated.
4.       Relations: There are jobs that become difficult to do if a relationship with a senior employee go sour.
5.       Talent: They say that money earned out of talent is sweeter and a job should be exploiting your talent.
In the Kenyan Human Capital Market, there are some jobs that you should avoid and should only be taken as a last resort. I am not discouraging you from any specific job but cautioning you about your future although if you take any one of these jobs play it safe and fast. Our current generation (Y) is like Makonde (A man who achieved a lifetime within 7 days) who want things done very fast and if they are to be CEOs then we want it now. Get a job that can give you time for your own development so that you can do other side things. The jobs I will list here are those that I know from experience and some of the clients we handle give us responses from employees and results from surveys.
1.       Insurance Sales: This is one job that requires patience and persistence to get people to buy insurance policies. In Kenya, people do not appreciate the need for insurance but the landscape is changing especially in medical insurance. I worked for an insurance company and I can confirm that some sales men used to take home 10% of a medical policy and imagine a company buying a medical insurance for its employees worthy Kshs. 89m. You can stay at home without working if you are the sales agent here. For some it may work nut if you don’t have the above characteristics, please keep off and remember it does not have salaries, only a commission and what happens if you haven’t sold any policy at the end of the month. To a bigger extent this may include selling credit cards. Conclusion here is that this may not be a good job to start with while languishing in poverty in Nairobi.
2.       Bank clerks/ Graduate clerks or whatever banks call them: This is not a bad profession because for a starter it pays well since am reliably informed that Co-operative Bank pays the best in this field into a tune of around Kshs. 65,000 which ends up with a net of Kshs. 40,000. This is a decent figure but come to think about it, what goes into performing this job? There is something they call a ‘short’ where you have less money than expected. If you report this amount you pay it and get a warning letter, the third time of such an act may lead to dismissal. The truths that your friends who are bank clerks don’t tell you is that they end up paying for these amounts without reporting them for fear of a warning. It ends up draining your savings. You are forced to leave life in a loan without even time to go out and pursue other opportunities like attend interviews.
3.       Audit Associate/ Tax Consultant in an auditing firms: These are a group which is perceived to be highly paid but their lives are a mess from the office to home especially if you work for one of the big four audit firms. When you join these big audit firms straight from campus, they give you a salary which is very hard to match elsewhere but you will realise that your colleagues leave you behind after two years very easily. If you are involved in auditing very big clients who were in fact your dream employers at some point, it gives you contentment and you find yourself talking about big audits and tax consultancy forgetting the direction of your careers. Most managers if asked will say there is no need for auditing and tax consultancy but they do it as a statutory requirement. Tax consultancy is the most frustrating job ever, get in and then you email us the result. You will hunt for work, get stress, meagre earnings while you watch clients pay millions for a small job that you did in one day. In this field you will make money from a client in two days which is an equivalent to your annual salary. Stress can kill you out of a lot of work or lack of it.
4.       Bartender/ Cashier/ Parking boy: These are not only general jobs that do not require a specific skill but the kind of clients and supervisors that you have will frustrate your efforts to make life better for them and yourself. Nagging clients, hands on supervisors and too much work will wear you out. If necessary avoid such kind of jobs because all the tenets of a good job do not seem to appear in their cascaded performance goals. They require humility because if you are temperamental, you may end up throwing your work tools either at the client or your supervisor. There is no talent involved in these kinds of jobs and if you believe you have hospitality talents try a more unique job. Career growth here is deterred by all means and therefore upward motion has a ceiling. Please don’t choke yourself.
If you want graduate careers that are rewarding and fulfilling which may exploit your talent, go for management trainees in manufacturing companies where there is a training involved over a specific period. Every year big multi nationals pick up graduates from university for their programs. The common one include, GSK, PZ Cussons, Unilever, Bamburi, EABL and many more. If you get in, specialize in unique fields like Supply and Chain Store Management or Procurement. After the training start hopping, stepping and jumping from one company to another in search of the job satisfaction that you want, I assure you to find it.
This by no means does not imply that you can’t find job satisfaction by working elsewhere, in fact I have friend who work at Radio Africa who have job satisfaction like no other.
All we can advise is that jobs take different directions and if yours takes a different way to get you where you want then the better but please take control of your career.
All the best from HCC

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