MISTAKES GRADUATES MAKE; REALITY AND EXPECTATIONS.

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Dear graduate avoid the city like your mother in law, the city is a jungle.

Graduating seems to be a big deal to many students, keeping in mind not everyone who gets admitted to the university accomplishes this fete. The undergraduate degree one acquires can either make you a better person or it can frustrate you out here considering we live in a country where it takes an average graduate, with no tall relatives 3-4 years to get a stable job which might not be his or her preferred choice.

Graduates often become frustrated since they aren’t able to bridge the perception gap between reality and expectations which makes them to make the following blunders:

Going to the city; Dear graduate do not attempt to come to the city without any plan, the city is a cruel place to be when you are unemployed, you don’t have any relative and you don’t have money. If by any chance you must come to the city and you don’t have a relative, look for 3 former colleagues rent a bedsitter close to the CBD where you won’t be struggling with fare as you go hustling out and about. If you don’t have a concrete plan in the city, avoid it like your mother in law, the city is a jungle. Staying in the village for too long may also limit your opportunities and open-mindedness. Only graduates who are teachers, social workers and community developers should stay for long in villages, their demand is very high there.

Respect your less ‘illiterate’ supervisor; when I was in campus, Dr. Andrew Lang‘at gave me a book by Robert T. Kiyosaki “Why ‘A’ Students work for ‘C’ Students and ‘B’ Students work for the government.” From this book I managed to extract my own version of this book in relation to the Kenyan context “Why ‘A’ Students are in the private sector ‘B’ students work for the government ‘C’ students are in the Jua Kali Sector ‘D’ Students are the government and ‘E’ Students are government suppliers and tenderprenuers.” When you land a job you are likely to work under a boss who can’t write a memo, report or letter. However, with all his or her brief education he or she remains your boss, you do the donkey work yet he takes away the lions share in terms of credit, salary and allowances. My friends respect that person he or she remains your boss despite the brief education. Raising your ‘head’ can lead to your dismissal just be polite as you earn a living.

Dropping job applications everywhere; moving from one organization or company to another like a mad man dropping copies of your curriculum vitae and academic certificates even when the company or organization hasn’t advertised for any vacancy. Printing outside here is very expensive unlike in campus. The worst thing about dropping your curriculum vitae and academic certificates is that they end up being shredded without even being opened; in short your application is dead on arrival. If they are opened at the HR department they are used in training staff on how to write cover letters, resumes and CV. In short you are supplying the HR department with personnel training material for free.

Setting the Minimum Salary bar: How much do you expect as your salary? This is the first question you are asked in all job interviews. Outside here there are many graduates who came before you and there are many graduates who will come after you. Kenya is a capitalist state where employers pay you what they deem enough for you to survive not what is enough for you to live. So you should stop dreaming that you will get a starting salary of Ksh 50,000 if you are not a doctor. By the way employers don’t employ the best; they employ the person who can do the work at the lowest cost possible. Furthermore, they have a large pool of unemployed graduates to choose from. My friend when did you become a commissioner at the Salaries and Remuneration Commission to determine how much you should be paid for your work?

Following former colleagues online; Being online across all social media platforms 24/7 will only make you more frustrated unless you want to get ulcers or heart attack. It’s only in social media where everyone is living a larger than lifestyle, everyone is employed and doing well in life. Only login Facebook and Instagram when necessary, instead you should focus on LinkedIn where you may stumble across job opportunities and you email account where you might be lucky to have received an interview request from those random jobs you applied via those links sent on Whatsapp or LinkedIn. Stay on Twitter to get news updates and know what’s trending around you it might help during a job interview when you are asked about that question that doesn’t concern the job you applied but it’s an emerging current affairs topic. Employers nowadays prefer employees who are well informed in current affairs not the book type only employees.

Volunteering expecting employment; when you offer yourself as a volunteer in any organization kindly do so to gain experience and not expecting employment, if by any chance a vacancy comes up and you are employed well and good. I have seen former colleagues who have volunteered for more than 9 months awaiting employment only for them to be frustrated as the organization employs newbies who come out of nowhere when vacancies come up.

Fitting in; don’t struggle to fit in when you can stand out. Live your life according to your bank statement don’t overstretch your wallet. Don’t start taking coffee at Java, Lunch at KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken), dinner at Dominos and drinks at Sankara. My friend I also see these outlets on billboards and TV adverts, and hear their stories from friends of my friends.

Having Safaricom as your only line; it might be the reliable option when you were using your parent or guardian’s money to buy airtime. However, when it comes to your own cash Airtel has the affordable call and mobile money rates and Telkom has the affordable mobile data. Outside here you forget reliability and convenience focus on affordability, when you will get enough cash you will focus on reliability and convenience. Have 3 lines Airtel for calls and Sending money, Telkom for Mobile Data Bundles and Safaricom for receiving money. If you can’t have the 3 just have the Airtel line alone it will serve you best.

Comparing self with former female colleagues; most ladies land jobs faster compared to their male colleagues after completing university, take a sample of your former colleagues you will realize that most of your male colleagues are doing everything in general and nothing in particular. We all have those female colleagues who were flower girls back in campus, those who used to copy paste your assignments word by word, full stop by full stop and comma by comma. They are in permanent and pensionable employment with reputable firms, you are not. They make you to ‘see your life’ by inviting you for lunch at high end city restaurants where the cost of a plate is enough to push you through a whole week lunch at your usual dugout and still have pocket change you can use as a day’s fare. My friend don’t compare yourself with them just remind yourself that God’s time is the best.

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