On 08th June 2019, I met a man, tall about 26 years. He said “I have a B. Com and about to complete CPA, but no one seems interested in my profile. I have so far sent my CV to over 30 companies without success. I got feedback once where I found so many other job seekers. We were asked to undertake an aptitude test. Which they told me that I had failed. It is now three years when I am on the street, and it is clear, they sold us the wrong education.”
The fact is at 26 years without a job or active source of income from a small farm or business; one may start losing confidence in the self, which affects personal esteem the number one asset for success. That is the age bracket of high energy, productivity, and enthusiasm for the business. It is the age of creating things, taking risks, and climbing the ladders in all arenas – corporate, family, and intellectual firepower of street smarts. It may be true, as social media my advice that everyone has got their ‘own’ clock to attain certain things, you need to know that some things are age specific. It is a scientific fact that a woman should consider having children before the age of 45. Much as with today’s technology, one may have children after that age, albeit with high risks to one’s health, the earlier, the better. A man could have children at any age, but a first born at 40 means one will be 63 years when their child is completing the first degree at University assuming a first-rate child! It would be an achievement, but by then, one would have retired and lost contacts with the peers and critical networks to introduce the child!
Forget about your ‘own’ clock. Plan for your life so that when your time arrives, it finds when you are prepared and ready.
A great job might come at your ‘own’ clock, but do you have the enthusiasm, energy, and push to travel and do your best?
I asked the young man to apply for a position at Summit Consulting Ltd for Finance & Strategy Manager, instructing him to “visit our website, study what we do and generate a list of roles that you think would make you add value to our business when acting in that role. Even better, state your key targets or KPIs and work plan within the first three months, and the budget, if any, you would need to perform your roles well.”
If I shared the kind of response he provided after seven days, you would indeed agree that all prospective employers are right not to consider him for a job. Some people think gaining new skills stops at University. That is wrong. Once you get the degree, you now need street smarts and marketing skills to find your way around the city into any office.
He uses the same CV to apply for jobs in different companies. The cover letter is a template from the internet, which you can find with a simple Google search. The packaging of the application is too ordinary – dirty khaki envelope which one throws off leaving the documents disorganized. I could go on and on. I guided the man on effective presentation, and how to apply for a job in any organization which has not run any advert and I am happy to report that he got responses from five out of seven, of which two gave him an offer! And now I had to put him on level 3, how retaining the job.
Anyone can add instant value in any organization especially NGOs and private companies by focusing on resource mobilization side. Business is about generating revenue and reducing costs. For public entities like Ministries, the focus is on stakeholder value delivery (delivering value for money) on every shilling apportioned from the consolidated fund is spent. So its value offered to the public vs. benefit for money procurement and accountability.
An employee in an organisation is like a player in any game. Any player on the pitch must focus on scoring goals or preventing their team from conceding goals. Anyone doing anything other than that should be immediately identified and removed from the pitch. Same with the staff.
Any staff not helping to grow revenue or save costs should be removed immediately. And for new hires, no business leader wants a dead weight – – someone who joins the business to just seat and uses company resources for no measurable impact on the revenue or cost savings.
Next time you go to look for opportunities, remember to articulate your value clearly. It starts with your self-esteem.