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The relevance of your education in a job search.

This is a very hard topic to tackle and I will try to be as sincere as possible with the hope that I will not hurt any feelings out there. There are arguments among students and working class people on which degree or diploma did you undertake, the university in which you were, and such arguments. Well, today I want to demystify what employers look at that will shock you. I once attended one graduate recruitment exercise in a leading university in the institution and one student rose up to ask a question on the quota system employed by the bank in recruiting because in a group of graduates, a quarter seem to come from one university or a certain course while we have more than 10 such institutions. Very often, you will find employees complaining of the composition of the office staff, the educational background of colleagues and other factors that they feel are unnecessary to look at when employing.

Examples.
Many leading audit firms in the country (multi-nationals) like PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, KPMG and Ernst & Young employ fresh graduates who are not auditors or accountants by training. Most of the people that are absorbed into such firms have done medicine, engineering, actuarial science and a spectrum of other irrelevant courses. There are arguments fronted that if a doctor takes up a professional accounting course, he becomes a better auditor of an hospital, an engineer can audit a manufacturing plant very well or even an actuary can do it well with an insurance company or a bank.
Do most employers understand this? NO they don’t but some do. I want to tell you today that your post secondary educational achievements are only meant to expose yourself to the outside world. This is why especially if you have a choice, be very careful with the options that you take for a course. There are those who are admitted under Joint Admission Board (JAB) who do not have an option, don’t worry just pursue what you have been allocated but along the way look for a job that can help you achieve your career aspirations. I want to give you real life experiences, I have a lady friend of mine who did a Bachelor of Education from KU who is today an air hostess, another one who did actuarial science and has been practicing tax with a leading audit firm, a biochemist from Egerton practicing tax, an HR expert doing procurement and I know you may have examples of your own.
Passion.
This is what should drive your career. Today, I say unto you that if you are in a job that you are not passionate about, please leave immediately or take your last steps towards leaving. You may have been forced by your parents but please follow your inner-self like the article yesterday suggested. If you remember a short a few weeks ago in ‘Churchill live’ (a show that I usually attend the recording on Tuesdays), Jalang’o and Otosh came as guests with the same message that follow your passion. This was necessitated by Otosh’s mother who never used to introduce him to visitors because by then he was at Kenya National Theatres auditioning for various drama groups and ‘Papa Shirandula.’ He stayed true to his course and he told us that he is comfortable and making money that some of us dream of. Money made out of talent is sweeter than that forcefully earned. You all know that radio presenters like Maina Kageni and King’ang’I earn good money using their talents and doing what they love.
There are more examples like Mariga, Oliech, Papa, Various TV presenters, Businessmen, Rudisha and many more. I am not chasing you from the corporate world because there are people whose passion is to be accountants, auditors, human resource experts (like me), receptionists, managers, lab technicians and other white collar jobs. Although you will realize that this is not talent, it is more of desire and where someone wants to see himself (goals). If you could like to focus on your career, please find passion in it and make it part of your life but have sometime for yourself.
In the corporate world there are preferences of what job you want despite the fact that you are doing a specific job that is irrelevant, you did an irrelevant course to what you want – please follow your dream unless you want to end up in a situation of ‘I wish I knew’ and the earlier the better and here below are suggested ways in which you can turn your career to what you want:
1.   The first thing is to know where you want to be and where you are. Suppose you are a salesman and you want to be an HR administrator, what will you do?
2.   Set a timeframe for the shift in which you want. This should be as realistic as possible and look towards the goal and forget the past.
3.   Associate yourself as much as possible with what you want. Here I mean offer even to assist the department you want to join in some projects, associate with people from it, engage them in topics of help and even attend seminars and conferences concerning that profession if possible.
4.   Build your CV along those lines and pimp it up using the experiences you have gained from that relationship you have had with those people. Please keep unnecessary irrelevant experience on a job you are applying for far from your CV.
5.   Don’t just apply for any job because you need out or you need in but because you feel it fits you and you can deliver without getting out of your way.
If you love something go for it.

We at HCC wish you all the best in your job search.

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