Every year, when Kenya Certificate Secondary Education (KCSE) results are out, we get missed reactions. While some are celebrating, others are left miserable. A good number are not sure where they truly stand. Heart-moving stories of learners who overcame great personal odds and emerged victorious splash the media.
Last year, one out of every four candidates who sat Form Four national examination did not get grades to qualify them to enter a ‘professional course’. It went on to say that out of the over 500,000 candidates who sat the exam, over 120,000 scored grade ‘D’ and below!
Career experts now beg the question, Does that mean that blue-colour jobs are not professions? If I am an electrician, one would ask, am I not a professional? What are professions?
The online Cambridge dictionary describes a profession as ‘any type of work that needs special training or a particular skill, often one that is respected because it involves a high level of education.” To experts, every career is a calling!
Interestingly, confusion about career paths to follow does not know grades. Those with A, B, C, D, E always find themselves at the same crossroad; which way do I follow!
Mercy Stuma was elated when she got an A-. I listened as every member of her family and friend advised her on the career path to follow, each giving their very good reasons for their choice. The uncle said; “which other career can you follow with such grades apart from medicine?” The dad said engineering, the mother wanted to have a lawyer for a daughter, her best friend thought Actuarial sciences sounded cool!
I asked her, “and what course do you wish to pursue Mercy?” And she said, “I don’t know any more!”
For Mercy and thousands of Kenyans in her shoes, the question still begs; how will they determine what careers they should pursue? Career decisions are based on evidence of abilities, interests, skills, personality and values and yet, our education system only measures ‘success’ using academic performance. Whatever the grade scored, all students must be assisted in choosing their careers so they are compelled to study courses that align with the careers they seek to pursue and what suits them.
Mismatch of interests and work
Industrial Psychologist John Holland conducted a research to find out why some people were so motivated at work, while others were very dissatisfied. Holland’s study led him to understand the connection between interests and motivation in the workplace.
He developed the theory of career choices that stated that a match between interests and work tasks led to motivation, satisfaction and better performance. A mismatch between interests and work tasks led to demotivation, dissatisfaction and poor performance.
For many years, scientists have studied how motivation affects productivity. In studies involving children, college students and working people, it has been discovered that people are more strongly intrinsically motivated when driven by interest, enjoyment, satisfaction and a sense of personal challenge in the work they do.
Like Gardner’s and Holland’s theory, some people are fascinated by mysteries and beauty; others love enjoying investigative documentaries and understanding how, for example, aviation accidents happen, how seemingly simple processes and procedures overlooked can cause great havoc, how forensic science is used to solve long forgotten murder cases, how wildebeests strategize themselves so as to cross crocodile infested rivers and how a house can be completely changed and renovated through creative use of colour and space. The list can go on and on.
An objective way to find out your interest area is to use a scientific interest assessment known as a psychometric test. Doing a psychometric test can be beneficial to one’s career and selection of university/colleges as it helps you know your motivation, strengths and weaknesses and hence identify a career that best suit you.
NEXT: Chris Kirubi: How to work with young people
A psychometric test will ask you questions about your preferences and give you a list of careers you might like. Since psychometric tests match your natural behaviour and motivation to a career that suits you, it is instrumental in helping you make career choices that bring lasting fulfillment.
Students set to join university and tertiary colleges could gain a lot from doing the test in their endeavour to discover what kind of career best suits them. The test will reveal to them careers that are suitable for them so that they know what courses to focus their attention and resources on in order to realize their ambitions.
Given the high number of people changing careers midstream, the importance of such a test in charting one’s future professional field cannot be overemphasized.
The author is the Executive Director of Discover Your Career, a leading career guidance service provider in East Africa. Go a career issue? email to: [email protected] or visit www.discoveryourcareer.co.ke
Five dream jobs for travel enthusiasts
From the bustling attractions in Nairobi, to the gorilla trekking adventures in Uganda/Rwanda, and to Notre-Dame de Paris, there is a lot to write about the destinations you visit
Is travel your everyday dose? Then, you must know that some jobs have a restricting nature that would restrain you from actively living that vacation dream life. Yet, there are others that will allow you to explore the world while working unrestricted by the office walls eight hours a day.
Jumia Travel has highlighted five jobs that are perfect for travel enthusiasts without necessarily being minimalists:
If you are an expert in your field of work, being a consultant rather than a full-time employee gives you the flexibility to be your own boss. It also enables one to have an extensive clientele, most of which require you to travel to on-site locations for physical consultations.
This helps you to visit different places and work from luxurious locations such as hotels and
beaches most often catered for by the company you are consulting for.
2. Pilot or Flight Attendant
There are those whose flying is the best part of their travel experiences. Stunning in those beautifully donned attires and well-placed smiles, being a flight attendant or the captain steering the airliner could give you a fulfilling thrill as you fly from one destination to another.
These two jobs give you the opportunity to explore the world from high on the sky, and what other best way to live the travel dream? Often inconsistent working hours may however mean frequently being away from family and close friends.
3. Cruise Worker
Often associated with amorousness, cruising is something water lovers would want to try. Voyaging brings you as close to the sea world as possible, as you travel the different destinations and transits on the floating vessels.
Jobs on the cruise range from engineering, to attendants, deck jobs and entertainment among others.
4. Destination photographer
The greatest beauty of travel is being able to perfectly capture each moment for memories, and for presentation of the destination to the world. Whether for weddings, corporate or social events, or just destination photography, one can make money selling their high-quality images for different use to
Creating a photography website for display could attract advertisers thus bringing extra income to fund your travels.
5. Travel blogger/writer
From the bustling attractions in Nairobi, to the gorilla trekking adventures in Uganda/Rwanda, and to Notre-Dame de Paris, there is a lot to write about the destinations you visit. Join the club of travel bloggers and writers making a fortune sampling and telling the world of their escapades.
It is one of the most expressive ways to record your experiences, and in the tech era, you are sure to reach thousands, if not millions of readers online. The larger the travel record, the more the opportunities to also provide travel consultation and other travel related services; thus increasing your earnings and making the job even more exciting.
The list of the numerous jobs is endless, therefore these five are a simple guide to those wishing to venture into a more exciting career in line with their travel desires. To echo Hans Christian Andersen, “To travel is to live” – so go travel, go live your life.
Credit: Josephine Wawira
Marketing and PR professionals among highest paid in Kenya
According to a research by Fintech and online recruitment firm BighterMonday, the number of people joining sales is consequently dropping while there is a marked increase in those preferring marketing, which includes PR and communication
The allure of sales jobs in terms of payment appears to be fading as marketing edges up, in a battle of two very related but equally popular professions.
According to a research by Fintech and online recruitment firm BighterMonday, while the number of people joining sales and marketing, which includes PR and communication, salaries for the latter remained higher.
This is perhaps because marketing jobs are paying higher compared to sales. The report by Fintech shows marketing jobs (Marketing, PR and Communication) offering better salaries, beating sales by over Ksh20,000. “Marketing jobs continued to widen the median salary gap with sales jobs in April 2017, at Ksh88,263 and Ksh65,596 respectively,” says the report.
The study shows the creation of sales jobs decreased by 12.43% between March 2017 and April 2017, with a similar trend being realized in marketing jobs, which dropped by 21.74%.
The report by BrighterMonday and Data Fintech looked at the number of marketing, public relations (PR), communication and sales jobs created in Kenya’s economy in April this year. “April 2016 recorded a reduction in the jobs created for both marketing and sales positions. In April 2017, sales jobs decreased by 12.43% while marketing, PR and communication reduced by 21.74% compared to 11.90% increase in April 2016,” states the report.
In comparison to last year, over a similar period, sales job creations decreased by 16.13% while Marketing, Communication & PR job creations increased by 11.90%.
The higher salaries in marketing can be attributed to the growing role of marketing and Public Relations in many organisations, as well as the emergency of PR and communication agencies that are hiring more PR and communications experts. On the other hand, sales remains retainer and commission based, thus discouraging many younger people who do not want to toil to make a coin.
The presence of two bodies lobbying for the welfare of PR practitioners gives them an upper hand in bargaining power. Public Relations Society of Kenya (PRSK) and the Marketing Society of Kenya (MSK) front the interests of the PR and marketing industries, while there is no established self-regulation body for sales representatives in Kenya.
“To keep abreast with the global dynamics of the profession and to create networking opportunities for the practitioner, PRSK affiliates to regional, continental, and global PR bodies,” states PRSK on their website.
MSK empowers and regulates the marketing industry by creating policy that governs the Marketing Industry (self-regulated), education and training of professionals, corporates and entrepreneurs, marketing and business mentorship and arbitration through the Advertising Standards Board.
Citizen journalists who survived plane crash identified
The three Royal Media Services journalists injured in a plane crash yesterday have been treated and discharged, but the cause of the accident has yet to be established.
The TV and radio journalists sustained slight injuries when a plane they were flying in on Wednesday crash landed in Lang’ata, Nairobi near the Southern Bypass area, causing panic within the media industry.
The journalists have been identified as TV reporter Sam Ogina, cameraman Mauritius Oduor and Joseph Njane of Radio Citizen.
The two pilots, both rank of Captain, are meanwhile still undergoing treatment at a Nairobi hospital with one admitted in the intensive care unit.
The CESNA 206 plane was heading to a National Super Alliance (NASA) rally in Baringo before crash landing near National Housing Corporation Houses in Lang’ata.
The aircraft registration 5Y-PEB left Wilson at a recorded 13:47 hours and crash landed at 13:52 hours, just five minutes after takeoff.
The cause of the accident is yet to be determined. The aircraft owners said that the plane was in perfect condition and had just been serviced.
Following the news of the crash President Uhuru Kenyatta (Jubilee Party leader) and opposition NASA’s presidential candidate chief Raila Odinga wished the journalists and pilots quick recovery and highlighted the risk media operators take to bring news to Kenyans.
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